We get a vision of an idyllic life for the twins growing up on this farm, which they would almost never leave. Lewis is more physical and likes girls; Benjamin was more sensitive and spiritual, loves to tend to the lambs and wants only to be with Lewis forever. The light would literally go out of his eyes when separated from Lewis. They are almost separated when Lewis falls for a local girl and when Benjamin gets drafted for the Great War, but fate seems to intercede.
It is a work of travel, of observation and accident, but also of learning, reflection and art, and can stand in the curiously distinguished literary company that Patagonia has touched…. Frequently on the journey south from Buenos Aires the author walked.
In ninety-seven passages of from a few lines to a few pages he covers the distance, and much else besides…. Bruce Chatwin's success in this short book is the more interesting because it is so exceptional.
It is a book about isolated people, but of very diverse origins; the reader must reflect that any man might be a Patagon-ian…. As [William Henry] Hudson hinted, human weakness and oddity will show up more sharply against this background than against any other.
In Patagonia resists the temptation of exploiting this natural advantage to excess.
Chatwin can convey a person's eccentricity and absurdity without giving the reader that uneasy sense that a life is being reduced to a trouvaille. With persons as they appear in Patagonia, this requires an unusual exercise of rapport and restraint…. Mr Chatwin's encounters are always interesting because his episodic method allows him to leave all the others out entirely, and to cut each recorded encounter to just what it will bear.
He relieves the eccentric with the ordinary, but the ordinary are just as finely conveyed…. He describes individuals, and not types, with the economy of the sketch, not the caricature.
In Patagonia is also the work of a learned man, not of the sort of traveller who thinks that reading will blunt rather than heighten sensibility. The author has read deeply in the extensive bibliography of the region, from the earliest discoverers through Darwin and Hudson to the Argentine writers of the present day….
Historically, it is the shade of Darwin that haunts the book most frequently…. In Patagonia is that most enviable achievement, a minor classic.Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens.
The sleeper must awaken (Frank Herbert, ). Bruce Chatwin's On the Black Hill, is a work of great dramatic intensity.
It is very clever in Chatwin’s chapters of the war in the way that we, the readers already know what had happened and we are measuring with what the people said at the time. He uses the fact that we, as the readers, are looking back at what happened in the war and we know what happened. Still, except for an occasional self-conscious lapse (""the gavel descended with an onanistic thud""), Chatwin's prose is an evocative, pared-down mixture of the gritty and the lyrical; the portrait of changing Wales village/farm life is bleakly authentic; and, despite all the inconsistencies and half-answered questions, the central twin-portrait does stay in the mind--a trifle muddled, perhaps, but nostalgic, . Dec 14, · Chatwin's second novel, On the Black Hill (), shifts locale once more. In this novel Chatwin delves into the lives of identical twins living in rural Wales.
In Patagonia was Bruce’s first book who won awards in Britain and The United States (Bruce Chatwin, NY Times). He wrote so many books after In Patagonia such as, The Viceroy of Ouidah (), a fictionalize story about Brazilian trade slavery in Dahomey (west Africa).On the Black Hill (), Chatwin wrote this novel when he discovered twin brothers on an isolated 20th century Welsh farm.
Dec 14, · Chatwin's second novel, On the Black Hill (), shifts locale once more. In this novel Chatwin delves into the lives of identical twins living in rural Wales.
Charles Bruce Chatwin was born May 13, , near Sheffield, England, to Charles and Margharita (nÃ Â©e Turnell), both from middle-class families.
Charles served in the Royal Navy, and Bruce spent most of the war living with his grandparents. Still, except for an occasional self-conscious lapse (""the gavel descended with an onanistic thud""), Chatwin's prose is an evocative, pared-down mixture of the gritty and the lyrical; the portrait of changing Wales village/farm life is bleakly authentic; and, despite all the inconsistencies and half-answered questions, the central twin-portrait does stay in the mind--a trifle muddled, perhaps, but nostalgic, .
Charles Bruce Chatwin (13 May – 18 January ) was an English travel writer, novelist, and journalist. His first book, In Patagonia (), established Chatwin as a travel writer, although he considered himself instead a storyteller, interested in bringing to light unusual tales.
He won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel On the Black Hill .