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Journey Without Maps (Vintage Classics) [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Graham Greene
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Kurzbeschreibung

23. April 2002 Vintage Classics
Graham Greene set off to discover Liberia, a remote west African republic founded for released slaves. Crossing the red-clay terrain from Sierra Leone to the coast of Grand Bassa with a chain of porters, he came to know one of the few areas of Africa untouched by colonization. He found that neither poverty, disease nor hunger seem to be able to quell the native spirit.

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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 272 Seiten
  • Verlag: Vintage Classics; Auflage: New Ed (23. April 2002)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0099282232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099282235
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13 x 19,4 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 156.986 in Englische Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Englische Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

“One of the best travel books this century.” – Independent

Journey Without Maps and The Lawless Roads reveal Greene’s ravening spiritual hunger, a desperate need to touch rock bottom both within the self and in the humanly created world.” – Times Higher Education Supplement

Werbetext

Graham Greene's incredible journey to an unchartered land.

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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Englisch in den Tropen 25. November 2011
Von h.n.
Format:Taschenbuch
Eine bizarre Expedition, 1935 zu Fuß durch entlegene Dörfer und Wälder Sierra Leones, Guineas ("France") und Liberias. Oder eher keine Expedition, denn es galt nichts Neues zu entdecken; es war mehr eine ausgedehnte Wanderung: Graham Greene, seine Cousine Barbara Greene (er etwa 30, sie 23, beide völlig Afrika-unerfahren) und ein paar Dutzend einheimische Träger. Die sollten eigentlich Greene in einer Hängemattenkonstruktion durch Afrika tragen, aber er ging meist zu Fuß - sagt er.

Journey without Maps (dt. Der Weg nach Afrika) hat nichts mit den Romanen Greenes gemeinsam, auch nicht mit The Heart of the Matter, das in Sierra Leone spielt und vom englischen Verlag als Pendant empfohlen wird. Nicht nur, dass The Heart of the Matter (dt. Das Herz aller Dinge) meist in der Hauptstadt Freetown angesiedelt ist, auch der Ton unterscheidet sich deutlich: In Journey without Maps erzählt Greene nachlässig bis eigenwillig, wie ein alter Herr, der bei ein paar Cognacs am Kamin daherschwadroniert. Greene gibt auch mal ein paar Träume zum Besten, Jugenderinnerungen oder drei Seiten über einen Besuch im Baltikum. Warum? Kann ich nicht sagen (aber er erwähnt diese Ausflüge auf der letzten Seite noch einmal kurz). Dazu kommen frei schweifende Gedanken, die man mitunter auch rassistisch oder misanthropisch nennen könnte. Insgesamt wirklich schlecht erzählt, und das in einem schlecht gedruckten und nachlässig lektorierten Buch.
Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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Amazon.com: 4.4 von 5 Sternen  16 Rezensionen
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4.0 von 5 Sternen In the heart of darkness, a ray of light 28. Februar 2007
Von Stephen Balbach - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Graham Greene is a famous 20th C novelist ("The Orient Express") who also wrote a few travel accounts. This is his first, when he was 31 years old and left Europe for the first time in his life to experience the uncivilized "dark heart of Africa" by traveling through the back country of Liberia in 1935. It was a 4-week, 350-mile walk, mostly through an unchanging tunnel forest path, ending each day in a primitive village. He had about a dozen black porters who would carry him in a sling, although he walked much of the way.

It's written with a very "old school" perspective, with one foot in the 19th (or 18th) century of romantic colonial imperialism, and one foot in the pre-war 1930s perspective of deterioration, rot and things falling apart. Heavy whiskey drinking, descriptions of the festering diseases of the natives, and plethora of bothersome insects, the run down European outposts and a motley cast of white rejects fill many descriptive pages.

It reminds me a lot of Samuel Johnson's "Journals of the Western Isles" (1770s) when Johnson, who had never left England in his life, decided to go to Scotland to see what uncivilized people were like. Just as Johnson brought Boswell who would go on to write his own version of the trip, Greene brought his female cousin Barbara Greene (who remains unnamed in the book and largely unmentioned), who went on to write her own version of the trip in the 1970s called "Too Late to Turn Back", which mostly contradicts Grahams version.

I can't say I totally enjoyed this book, I found Greene's attitude irritating - but therein lies its value, as a snapshot of prewar European zeitgeist. It is reminiscent of "Kabloona" (1940), another prewar travel account to an uncivilized place (Arctic Eskimos) by a young European aristocrat, who also is deeply inward looking and finds a new perspective and appreciation for the "cave man" people he meets. It's very much a transition period between prewar and post-war attitudes and the fluctuation's back and forth, the sense of things falling apart, but also new-found perspective, make it a challenging but interesting work.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Found what he went looking for and more 20. September 2006
Von C. Ebeling - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Graham Greene was weary and appalled by the world atrocities of the early 20th century. He decided to go looking for life as basic and unspoiled as it was in the beginning. He chose to do so in Liberia, the African nation that had always been under black rule and not colonized or fleeced by Europe in modern times, though even it was a western construct, carved out of the continent by Americans as a homeland to repatriate freed slaves (or, as Greene says, a place to hide mulatto offspring). His trek on foot lasted the month of February 1935, and JOURNEY WITHOUT MAPS is his account of what became a transformative experience.

The title is derived from the fact that there were no true maps available of Liberia at the time. He relied on a caravan of native porters and a lot of guestimations as to what direction and how far it would be from village to village. Once leaving the ragged European communities near the coast, he and his party plunged into that virgin world he sought. What he describes in exquisite detail is now familiar to us via decades of National Geographics but was then, to someone who had never left Europe at that point, a culture shock. He learned to leave behind his English insistence on time table and surprise at naked, ritually scarred bodies, the persistent sound of drums and the utter poverty of villages. He did not let go his own clothes or whiskey or discomfort over rats and insects. He is eventually waylaid by sickness, and in the healing process comes out with a new, more life affirming personal vision. Though it seems as if the details of the daily marches, the insects and discomforts are so much of the same, by the end you see the impact of the experience. He found what he went looking for and more, and he was not afraid to leave some mysteries unsolved.

Greene's prose is clear as a bell and graceful. His observations of contemporary politics and missionaries, as well as the elasticity of truth in such a setting are valuable today, even seasoned with his candid biases.
13 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Real Life "Adventure" 24. September 2001
Von William L. Yost - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Not an adventure when compared to fictional safari tales in which the intrepid travellers fight off fierce lions and savage "natives" in every chapter. Instead, an enjoyable and realistic account of Greene's arduous and near-disasterous trek through Liberia. Greene travelled with his cousin, Barbara Greene, who also wrote an account of their journey--Too Late to Turn Back. Interesting contrasts between the two books if you can find copies of both. I had to order a copy of Barbara's book from a used book store in England.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Greene's geographical foray 15. August 2006
Von Thomas R. Thompson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
I've read a number of Greene's novels, but this little travel book was equal to his other publications. As usual, his attention to detail, people, and culture creates wonderful images that bring us right to the Liberia of the 1930s. I shared the book with my sister who lived in Liberia for 27 yrs. and she was astonished at the accurate reporting. His prose is the best I've read for a book devoted to travel experiences.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen One of the better, and more literate, travel books that I have read 25. November 2010
Von R. M. Peterson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
In 1935, Graham Greene, hoping to find the human "heart of darkness", embarked on an ambitious (foolhardy?) expedition into unmapped Liberia. JOURNEY WITHOUT MAPS is the book he wrote when he returned. More than simply a travel journal, it stands tall amongst both English travel literature and Graham Greene's works.

Greene traveled with his female cousin, Barbara Greene (who also wrote a book on the expedition, "Too Late to Turn Back"). From Freetown, in Sierra Leone (then a British colony), they traveled by rail to near the border with Liberia. Then, with a few native servants and about 25 native carriers, they trekked 350 miles across northeastern Liberia and then southwest to the coast, arriving in Grand Bassa four weeks later. Along the way they encountered and endured heat, torpor, and myriads of cockroaches, ants, spiders, jiggers, and rats. They also witnessed exotic native life and customs, particularly the dances of masked devils, and they were exposed to some of the mysteries of the secret bush societies. But they were equally a novel curiosity to many of the villagers they met, who would gather around the open hut provided them at the end of a day's march:

"There was nothing you could do without their noticing it; to draw a handkerchief from the pocket caused a craning of necks. It worked a little on the nerves, this constant stare; but you had to recognize the superiority of their attitude over the white man's to something strange. We were as good as a circus; they had no wish to stuff us or skin us or put us in cages."

Greene is particularly good in his commentary (critical, of course) on European colonialism - though at the time Liberia was one of only two political entities on the African continent not ruled directly by whites (Abyssinia was the other).

The book fails, inevitably, in its effort to plumb the depths of the human psyche, which seems to be the underlying reason that Greene, having evidently had some recent personal experience with psychoanalysis, undertook the trip. Realizing (and this was even before the outbreak of WWII) "what unhappiness, * * * what peril of extinction centuries of cerebration have brought us", Greene wanted to discover "from what we have come, to recall at which point we went astray." There is something odd and maybe dated about such faith in the psychoanalysis of homo sapiens. Even though Greene discovered no all-explanatory secrets on his venture into the Liberian heart of darkness, he did not return home altogether empty. JOURNEY WITHOUT MAPS contains various and sundry observations about humanity and the human condition that are percipient and/or provocative. Greene also discovered some things about himself, as reflected in the following: "I had discovered in myself a passionate interest in living. I had always assumed before, as a matter of course, that death was desirable."

Much of the writing serves as a splendid example of slightly ornate British prose. On the whole JOURNEY WITHOUT MAPS is one of the better, and more literate, travel books that I have read. It also holds up very well with the passage of time.

ADDENDUM (20 Sept. 2011): In 2009 journalist and author Tim Butcher re-traced the trek across Liberia of Graham and Barbara Greene, which formed the basis for his recent book "Chasing the Devil". Butcher's book contains a wealth of background information about Greene's expedition, including the fact that he was on a fact-finding mission of sorts on behalf of The Anti-Slavery and Aborigines Protection Society. I highly recommend "Chasing the Devil", especially for those who enjoyed reading JOURNEY WITHOUT MAPS.
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