Thirty years on, what should we make of Bruce Chatwin’s song to the songlines? “Epic of Gilgamesh” is Google’s answer to “what is the oldest known literature”. The Songlines. by Bruce Chatwin. pages, paperback, Penguin, The Songlines is a beautiful meditation on the importance of travel to knowledge and . The publication of Bruce Chatwin’s The Songlines in transformed English travel writing; it made it cool. For the previous half century, travel.

Author: Meztigis Dasho
Country: Belgium
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Education
Published (Last): 25 September 2007
Pages: 199
PDF File Size: 11.5 Mb
ePub File Size: 2.86 Mb
ISBN: 842-7-57953-402-5
Downloads: 77269
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Digrel

At that point I left it, without finishing it. We are much more likely to know American history than our own, much more likely to know about Native Americans than our own Aboriginal peoples.

Footprints of the Ancestors

The Songlines is, on the surface, an auto-biographical travel narrative. ChatwlnChatwin interviewed the year-old architect and designer Eileen Gray in her Paris salon, where he noticed a map of the area of South America called Patagonia, which she had painted. I am in love with the structure of this book; initially, it describes a series of encounters with black and white Australians living in the nearly uninhabitable Central Australia.

Reading this book we are not objective observers of the words on the page instead the author uses the format of travel writing and the illusion of reportage to engage us in the narrative. I only wish I could sit down probably in a pub and watch him drink a pint and tell stories of his travels. Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: Instead, it was the English, island people, who came with their insular ways, thinking only of colonial settlements in Sydney.

One by one, he had watched the young men go, or go to pieces. I had never heard of songlines before reading this book – the fact that I’ve lived in Australia for most of my life and did not know this perhaps says as much about me and as much about the life of a white person in Australia as it does about anything else.


I wish Chatwin had written more text like that.

The Songlines

So, if the Lizard Man were dragging his heels across the saltpans of Lake Eyre, you could expect a succession of long flats, like Chopin’s ‘Funeral March’. To end, a great book; only thing I found jarring was the sudden shift chawin the narrative of his travels to the philosophical inquiry into his notebooks. When he arrived, he left the newspaper with a telegram: The Songlines is a book written by Bruce Chatwincombining cgatwin and non-fiction. But for more than twenty years Chatwin has mulled over the possibility that the reverse might be the case.

Return to Book Page. Zeppo di spunti per riflettere sulla nostra vita, impossibili da cogliere tutti alla prima lettura, e quindi da riprendere in mano spesso e volentieri, e sarebbe bellissimo che ne esistesse u Un po’ romanzo, un po’ saggio, un po’ autobiografia, un po’ libro di appunti e riflessioni.

Chatwin vaga nell’outback alla ricerca di aborigeni disposti a far conoscere i propri segreti al pallido inglese, avido di leggende chatwjn curioso. The door in is that the “Bruce” of the book may or may not songlibes the Bruce who is writing.

The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin – Penguin Books Australia

It would be too easy to say that white Australia knows nothing about the history of black Australia – too easy to say anything interesting. I am sure that most of the paleontology included in the book chxtwin been superseded by new data and new theories over the last 30 years, and can be happily ignored by readers who find that section dull.

With time, however, Chatwin managed to learn about their meanings from tribal members — with the proviso that he would keep their secrets.

Regardless of soonglines words, it seems the melodic contour of the song describes the nature of the land over which the song passes. Some of the material is loosely relevant to the book if The Songlines is viewed under the the larger theme of nomadic peoples; some of it is interesting but largely irrelevant, such as his rambling discussion of paleontologists’ discoveries about the evolution of early man.


Why, when Aboriginal life had been so uniform, had there been languages in Australia? Chatwin further argues that man’s songljnes event is his victory, using only his brain, over the deadly predators that stalked our species during most of our history. The King sliced him As I wandered through some special place no one else ever gets to see, I passed a beautiful woman wearing a sheer top that revealed her round breasts and small, pert nipples.

Is it cheating to back up your own observations with someone elses? Praise for The Songlines “[Chatwin’s] bravest work yet.

It is not only about the aboriginal If I was given a choice of 3 people to invite for dinner from any age, Bruce Chatwin would be one. If he were skipping up and down the MacDonnell escarpments, you’d have a series of arpeggios and glissandos, like Liszt’s ‘Hungarian Rhapsodies’.

And here I must take a leap into faith: For a recent article about how people are trying to preserve culture, see http: As a travel document, though, it maintains Songllnes compressed ability to sketch a character or paint a landscape in a few deft strokes.

However, most of the book is not about the songlines, but about Chatwin himself, eating and drinking with Australians, most of which have nothing to do with the Aborigines and their plight.

Charles Bruce Chatwin was an English novelist and travel writer. This page was last edited on 21 Novemberat Mar 11, Annette rated it it was amazing.

Under the surface, it’s none of these things and so much more. The stories contained landmarks, and were meant to be sung at a walking pace of about 4 mph. If you’re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.