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The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The…

The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod (original: 1928; edição: 2003)

de Henry Beston (Autor)

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7852420,880 (4.12)61
Chronicles the four seasons on a Cape Cod beach. Includes an interview with the author's biographer, Daniel G. Payne.
Título:The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod
Autores:Henry Beston (Autor)
Informação:Holt Paperbacks (2003), Edition: Reprint, 256 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca, Para ler

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The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod de Henry Beston (1928)


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One hundred years ago Cape Cod was a very different place than the busy area it is today. In 1924, when Henry Beston first saw the ocean side of the peninsula wrapping Cape Cod Bay, it was a wild and uninhabited place. As Beston described it For twenty miles this last and outer earth faces the ever hostile ocean in the form of a great eroded cliff of earth and clay, the undulations and levels of whose rim now stand a hundred, now a hundred and fifty feet above the tides. Worn by the breakers and the waves, it still stands bold."

The immediate attraction and pull of the shoreline was such that the next year he bought fifty acres of dunes, and built himself the Fo'castle, a 20' x 16' two room cottage. There was no road in, only a trail. The closest neighbours were the coast guards at the Nauset station two miles away. In September 1926, Beston went to his cottage for a couple of weeks. Somehow, without any real plan, the two weeks lengthened into a year. As Beston put it, "... as the year lengthened into autumn, the beauty and mystery of this earth and outer sea so possessed and held me that I could not go ... The flux and reflux of ocean, the incomings of waves, the gatherings of birds, the pilgrimages of the peoples of the sea, winter and storm, the splendour of autumn and the holiness of the spring - all these were part of the great beach. The longer I stayed the more eager I was to know this coast and to share its mysterious and elemental life."

So began a remarkable immersion year in the natural world. Beston's observations and writing are such that the reader hears the sea, smells the salt, feels the wind the sun and the rain. Bird populations change with the season, so prevalent in spring and fall, almost absent in winter apart from the eternal gulls. Beaton is able to put all these natural phenomena into words. Speaking of the ocean, he said "The sea has many voices. Listen to the surf, really lend it your ears, and you will hear in it a world of sounds: hollow boomings and heavy roarings, great watery tumblings and tramplings, long hissing seethes, sharp, rifle-shot reports, splashes, whispers, the grinding undertone of stones, and sometimes vocal sounds that might be the voices of people in the sea. And not only is the great sound varied in the manner of its making, it is also constantly changing its tempo, its pitch, its accent and its rhythm, being now loud and thundering, now almost placid, now furious, now grave and solemn-slow, now a simple measure, now a rhythm monstrous and with a sense of elemental will. "

This will is dangerous at times. Fishing schooners wash ashore. That winter even a Coast Guard vessel was destroyed. Wreckage from previous disasters lies entombed in the constantly shifting sand. "Eighteenth century pirates, stately British merchantmen of the mid-Victorian years, whaling brigs, Salem East India traders, Gloucester fishermen, and a whole host of forgotten Nineteenth Century schooners -- all these have strewn this beach with broken spars and dead. "
Although this book covers only the one year, there is a remarkable sense of the eternal cycle of the seasons, of the paradox of repeating patterns coupled with constant change. There is a reassurance in these rituals, something that those who live by the ocean recognize, if only subconsciously, something that keeps bringing them back.

Beston's writing is still as fresh today as when his book was first published in 1928. This edition was a 75th anniversary publication. As for the Fo'castle, Beston donated it to the Massachusetts Audubon Society in 1960. It was swept out to sea in February 1978 in a huge storm. Beston's dunes survive, however, in the Cape Cod National Seashore, the creation of which was partly inspired by his writing.
1 vote SassyLassy | Apr 28, 2020 |
Explorer Books edition. ( )
  ME_Dictionary | Mar 20, 2020 |
Fascinating, etherial descriptions in a style no longer in use. Copy is autographed by the author with the inscription: "To Allan and Helen by their old friend Henry Beston of the Outermost House and Chimney Farm. Henry Beston." Dust jacket is gray paper with hand painted coral and gorgonia fan in shades of pink and white. All is covered with a cellophane jacket. Spine has hand written title and author on a white plaque applied to the gray paper.
  LeeFSnyder | Feb 28, 2020 |
The world happens everyday, everywhere. We're often forgetful whence we came and we easily dismiss that seemingly distant background which is always there – nature.

Henry Beston is the willing witness of a year round experience in the sands of Cape Cod beach. Humbled by the very spectacle of change, the author becomes one of us, and through him we see, listen, feel, smell and become united with the majesty of a world thriving with life. We follow the old rhythm of the earth as it follows the Sun, and before us nature shines: glorious, beautiful, generous, bountiful. And as it happens, we see it unfolding, as it should be, as it always does, bewildering with an elemental and transcendental beauty. This is what makes this book a masterpiece. Nature becomes the main character of a novel without narrative, where people are but silhouettes in that greater background where everything happens, everyday, everywhere. ( )
  adsicuidade | Sep 8, 2018 |
First Printing, one dog-eared page and only a few underlinings, some peeling on back cover ( )
  skyels | Oct 9, 2017 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 24 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Even though millions loved Beston's little house, they, like him, realized it was merely a material possession and nature was just taking its course when the ocean consumed the "Fo'castle" in 1978.

The Outermost House is not just about a day or even a year at the beach. Even though the House and the dunes are gone, the spirit of what Beston tried to convey lives on.
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East and ahead of the coast of North America, some thirty miles and more from the inner shores of Massachusetts, there stands in the open Atlantic the last fragment of an ancient and vanished land.
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Chronicles the four seasons on a Cape Cod beach. Includes an interview with the author's biographer, Daniel G. Payne.

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