The masterpiece of travel writing that revolutionized the genre and made its author famous overnight
An exhilarating look at a place that still retains the exotic mystery of a far-off, unseen land, Bruce Chatwin’s exquisite account of his journey through Patagonia teems with evocative descriptions, remarkable bits of history, and unforgettable anecdotes. Fueled by an unmistakable lust for life and adventure and a singular gift for storytelling, Chatwin treks through “the uttermost part of the earth”—that stretch of land at the southern tip of South America, where bandits were once made welcome—in search of almost-forgotten legends, the descendants of Welsh immigrants, and the log cabin built by Butch Cassidy. An instant classic upon publication in 1977, In Patagonia is a masterpiece that has cast a long shadow upon the literary world.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
One of the great pleasures of my reading life.
In this book, there is little in the way of plot; it’s an account of Mr. Chatwin’s grand meander throughout the southern tip of South America, with side bits about geology, local paleontology, colonial society, organized genocide by both spiritual and governmental agencies, immigrants from Germany, Scotland and Wales, South American Marxism, and Butch Cassidy.
All the chapters are short. I’d call them vignettes if I weren’t so enamored of this book. One of the great pleasures of my reading life. I’ll try out some more of his.
Just a Collection of So-so Travel Vignettes
From the Nicholas Shakespeare introduction to 'In Patagonia' I thought I was about to read the greatest book ever written.
It wasn't. Bruce Chatwin's book was just a collection of average vignettes, typically 2-4 pages each, some interconnected, some meandering aimlessly.
Wandering is precisely the point.
The journey is the reward is what Bruce Chatwin’s book is all about.
Wandering is part of this process.
Both literally as described in the stories he writes as well as in his prose, and the craft he used to create his masterpiece.
Reading this work and then Songlines, will given you a deeper understanding of how fiction and non-fiction can reveal deep human truths and lead us to ask better questions.