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A Time of Gifts (1977)

de Patrick Leigh Fermor

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

Séries: On Foot to Constantinople (1)

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2,011475,873 (4.22)247
In 1933, at the age of 18, Patrick Leigh Fermor set out on an extraordinary journey by foot - from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. A Time of Gifts is the first volume in a trilogy recounting the trip, and takes the reader with him as far as Hungary. It is a book of compelling glimpses - not only of the events which were curdling Europe at that time, but also of its resplendent domes and monasteries, its great rivers, the sun on the Bavarian snow, the storks and frogs, the hospitable burgomasters who welcomed him, and that world's grandeurs and courtesies. His powers of recollection have astonishing sweep and verve, and the scope is majestic.… (mais)
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Inglês (44)  Alemão (2)  Francês (1)  Todos os idiomas (47)
Mostrando 1-5 de 47 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
For the most part, this was just a pleasant read, and an extremely pleasant break from American style plain-speakin' prose. Fermor is clearly from the Virgil/Pound/Nabokov school of attention to minute matters of style. My favorite moment in the book came early on, when he describes his growing ability to speak German as "dwindling inarticulacy." He avoids barbarism (e.g., "I grew less inarticulate") and boredom ("I got better at speaking German"), while producing a short phrase that encapsulates the process he was going through: your inarticulacy must dwindle quite a bit before you can describe your dwindling inarticulacy.

Now, there are a few problems here: the descriptions of art and architecture might be great, but they might also be an excuse for Fermor to use the admittedly fabulous jargon of art and architecture, and they often go on far too long.

But mostly, this is a carefully composed book (that's not to say everyone will like his style or composition), PLF is clearly a kind of ethical superman who can get on with pretty much anyone, and there's just enough reflection on the distance between the time of its writing (1970s, I believe) and the time of his tour (early to mid 1930s) to keep you intellectually engaged. ( )
1 vote stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
This is a time capsule. A warm, beautifully written time capsule that evokes a Europe on the cusp of modernity. The breadth of the people he meets, their ways of life, the little villages and the grand cities, the art, the churches, the ruined castles, the scenery … what a time to have been there, to see it all. There are whole sections that feel like a fairy tale. The book’s written years later, though, based off his journals at the time, which adds a layer of “what I’ve seen since” and a layer of “what a young fool I was”. (The whole Thing in Munich, for instance.) A wonderful piece of history and a lovely story of a journey, a time, and a place. Didn’t love enough to rush out for the next two, but will certainly be reading them both.

8/10 ( )
  NinjaMuse | Jul 26, 2020 |
Read 2015, favourite. ( )
  sasameyuki | May 8, 2020 |
In 1933, at the age of 19, Fermor decided that he wanted to walk across Europe to Constantinople. Starting in Holland, after catching the boat from London, he has his passport, a little money, a small bag of belongings and a new pair of hob-nailed boots.

He is in no rush to reach his destination, and with his easygoing manner makes friends easily as he walks. People are always sharing food or putting him up for the night, or he sleeps down in barns. He immerses himself in the culture of the places he walks through, taking time to see the sights. He is fortunate to sometimes stay with Counts and Barons across Germany, who are delighted to welcome a wandering soul. Most of the people he meets are warm with their greetings and generous with their time, food and shelter. He has his bag stolen at one point, but he is issued with a new passport, and is lent £5 by the consulate to be paid back when he is able to do so.

This point in history is where Europe had mostly recovered from the shattering First World War, and people have more or less gone back to their previous way of life. He provides a rare snapshot of what it was like in this period of calm. But in Germany the Nazi party is starting its steady rise to power and there are odd one or two individuals that have a problem with him being there.

He writes with such eloquence and detail in the book. The descriptions of the towns and villages, as well as the Rhine and the Danube are so evocative. He meets such interesting people too, from the German nobility to the country peasants, and acquires the odd hangover after nights spent in bars.

Just about to start the sequel now. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
Completed by Between the woods and water ( )
  ME_Dictionary | Mar 19, 2020 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 47 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Patrick Fermor was only 18 when, abandoning a proper education in England, he decided to walk from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. His accounts of that journey, which lasted from December 1933 until January 1937, were quickly declared classics of travel writing when they were published in 1977 - a verdict unlikely to be overturned even though the projected third and final volume has not appeared. .... Jan Morris calls Mr. Fermor a "born irregular." He is also a peerless companion, unbound by timetable or convention, relentless in his high spirits and curiosity.
adicionado por John_Vaughan | editarNY Times, Richard B Woodward (Jul 15, 2011)
 

» Adicionar outros autores (19 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Leigh Fermor, Patrickautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Craxton, JohnDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Morris, JanIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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I struck the board and cry'd 'No more;
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What, shall I ever sigh and pine?
My life and lines are free; free as the road,
Loose as the wind.
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Dear XAN,
As I have only just finished piecing these travels together, the times dealt with are very fresh in my mind and later events seem more recent still; so it is hard to believe that 1942 in Crete, when we first met - both of us black-turbaned, booted and sashed and appropriately silver-and-ivory daggered and cloaked in white goats' hair, and deep in grime - was more than three decades ago.
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In 1933, at the age of 18, Patrick Leigh Fermor set out on an extraordinary journey by foot - from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. A Time of Gifts is the first volume in a trilogy recounting the trip, and takes the reader with him as far as Hungary. It is a book of compelling glimpses - not only of the events which were curdling Europe at that time, but also of its resplendent domes and monasteries, its great rivers, the sun on the Bavarian snow, the storks and frogs, the hospitable burgomasters who welcomed him, and that world's grandeurs and courtesies. His powers of recollection have astonishing sweep and verve, and the scope is majestic.

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