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9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen do it
Dying of AIDS and with Salman Rushdie, Bruce Chatwin made a lightning visit to Australia. The Songlines is the fascinating result of this terminal search for meaning.
The good points are that Chatwin's considerable intellect and narrative capacities weave a story based on year's travel experience. The bad point is that he knew almost nothing about his subject...
Veröffentlicht am 11. Februar 2000 von Greg Flynn

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3.0 von 5 Sternen Anthropological "pensees" leave you wanting more story
This book starts out with a kind of nice, floating narrative about a meandering trip through Australia's outback. You get a candid look at Aborigines and their land rights movement in a way that's not at all preachy but rather funny. Unfortunately, just as I was starting to care about where the characters were going and what would happen to them, Chatwin treats us to...
Am 27. März 1999 veröffentlicht


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9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen do it, 11. Februar 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Songlines (Taschenbuch)
Dying of AIDS and with Salman Rushdie, Bruce Chatwin made a lightning visit to Australia. The Songlines is the fascinating result of this terminal search for meaning.
The good points are that Chatwin's considerable intellect and narrative capacities weave a story based on year's travel experience. The bad point is that he knew almost nothing about his subject and as such has written an Englishman's compassionate contemporary account of the colonies.
I live and work on a remote aboriginal community near the areas Chatwin visited. Traditional Aborignal law is an amazingly complex oral culture so rich in history and symbolism that I have profound doubts about any whitefella ever properly understanding it, let alone a visiting foreigner desperately looking for something.
This is a great book, but don't think by reading it you will get a terrifically accurate profile of what being an aborigine is, whatever that means. They are not, as Chatwin seems to deduce, another group of nomadic noble savages more fulfilled than the more sedentary post-agriculture communitites.
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5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A poetic primer on Australian aborigines, 10. Februar 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Songlines (Taschenbuch)
When I first migrated to Australia in 1983, I immediately started asking questions about the country's indigenous aborigines. For me, it was simple curiosity. New Zealand, where I'd come from, had imperfect race relations, but Maori dances, hakas, and creation stories were taught from primary level at every school. Like many "Pakeha" (white) New Zealanders, I had a part-Maori partner - whom I later married. In Perth, however, no-one I spoke to, including white journalists with whom I worked, could tell me what the "Dreamtime" spoken about in aboriginal culture meant. Their demeanour suggested the very questions displayed a lack of taste.
Strange then, that it should have been a Briton who gave me my first insights - to have the boldness both to outline and celebrate the unique richness of Aboriginal cosmology, and to put it in the context of the great nomadic traditions of human life. This is beautifully written, wry and teasing; it respects aboriginality, but shows a lightness of touch rare in this particularly fraught field.
Arguments have been made against this book on anthropological grounds, and on the grounds that no non-aboriginal person should presume to write about such matters. There may be merit in these points of view; I am simply grateful that Chatwin turned his brilliance to this subject. I find this book as illuminating and as life-affirming now, as when I first read it many years ago.
Other books I can recommend, although more prosaic in style, are Geoffrey Blainey's "The Triumph of the Nomads", Henry Reynolds' "Frontier" and "Why Weren't We Told" and the official reports into the so-called "Stolen Generation" and the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
There is still a way to go.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Philisophical Travelogue, 6. Dezember 1999
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Songlines (Taschenbuch)
Bruce Chatwin's novel traces his search for a definition of human nature among the aboriginal people of Australia. Chatwin's basic tenent is that the human race has adopted a sedentary existence that destroys the creative process and fosters an agressiveness toward our fellow man. While his pitch is certainly difficult to accept, Chatwin writes beautifully and woven into the story are journal entries, observations and quotes Chatwin stumbled across all around the globe that stimulate an intense inner-dialogue. Ultimately, the book will appeal to people who love philosophical thought without the existentialist edge.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting Meditation on Wandering, 30. August 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Songlines (Taschenbuch)
The late Bruce Chatwin is regarded as a travel writer, a correct but limited view of his work. This is probably his best book and is only nomimally a travel book. The Songlines describes Chatwin's efforts to understand the central feature of Aboriginal life is Australia. It combines conventional travel narrative with Chatwin's reflections on wandering, nomadism, human nature, and a selection of relevant conversations and paragraphs gleaned from years of reading and traveling. The Songlines examines the clash between hunter-gatherers and industrial civilization, the possible evolution of humans as natural wanderers, and implicitly, the roots of Chatwin's own wanderlust. Chatwin does not announce his ideas but shows them in a series of subtle vignettes; apt quotations, revealing episodes in his travels, thumbnail sketches of conceptions of human evolution. Some of his ideas seem prescient, his suggestion that gathering roots and tubers may have been more important to human evolution than hunting is now being pursued vigorously by anthropologists. Other ideas, such as the crucial role of climate change in Africa at key points of human evolution were popular ideas some years ago and are now controversial. In any case, this is an original, stimulating, and very well written book.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A stroll in the desert with a wonderful storyteller, 10. Juli 1999
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Songlines (Taschenbuch)
Although I enjoyed all of Chatwin's other books, I was put off reading this one for many months by the tens of pages of quotes lifted from other writers and dumped in large blocks in the latter half of the book. However when I read the book, I found the quotes added much to the text and gave Bruce's desert wanderings more direction and purpose. I was fortunate to visit Central Australia several years ago and Chatwin's beautiful writing awakened a lot of good memories of that time. The area is enchanting and beguiling and the book reminded me of some of my reactions to the area around Alice. People have criticised his dubious anthropological theories, his blurring of fact and fiction, the portrayal of both black and white people, etc. If you are a serious scholar please go and buy a worthy text book on aboriginal culture....but if like me you just want an intelligent, stimulating, thought provoking book by a wonderful writer for whom spinning a good yarn is more important than hiring a team of pedants to check his facts.... ENJOY!
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Much more than a travel book, 27. März 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Songlines (Taschenbuch)
William James said that to "learn the secrets of any science, we go to expert specialists, even though they may be eccentric persons, and not to commonplace pupils." It seems, Bruce Chatwin used the same method to shed light on what for him was the question of questions: the nature of human restlessness.
The Songlines consists of the stories of the eccentric experts in the science of restlessness Chatwin met in Western Australia, and notebook entries ranging from Blaise Pascal's philosophical reflections to a meeting with Konrad Lorenz in Austria. Chatwin had originally intended to use these notebook entries for a book on nomads. He gave up the project but the entries reveal the man and his quest.
In a way, The Songlines is Chatwin's own songline: a track which tells of what he found on his wanderings, and what he considered worth singing.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A great work of fiction--repeat FICTION, 30. August 1998
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Songlines (Taschenbuch)
Prior to publication Chatwin had huge arguments with the publishers. He said the book was fiction but the publishers said it was non-fiction. Naturally enough the publishers won the battle. Hence, my local library has the book in the Australian travel section. Amazon does too. Chatwin is now emerging from culthood. This is a good thing because it means readers can read his work without all of the emotional baggage that was attached to Bruce Chatwin's life and lifestyle. The Songlines will endure.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A Canny Book, 23. Januar 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Songlines (Taschenbuch)
What a marvelous book. It draws you in and lets you observe aboriginal Australia in a seemingly detached and unemotional way, yet you find yourself there with him sharing every experience. This ability to avoid cliches and to stir emotions of pity or anger or even ambivilance is remarkable and is a demonstartion of Bruce Chatwin's legendary writing skills.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Anthropological "pensees" leave you wanting more story, 27. März 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Songlines (Taschenbuch)
This book starts out with a kind of nice, floating narrative about a meandering trip through Australia's outback. You get a candid look at Aborigines and their land rights movement in a way that's not at all preachy but rather funny. Unfortunately, just as I was starting to care about where the characters were going and what would happen to them, Chatwin treats us to page after page of "pensees," his own and others', on the subjects of nomadism and other topics in cultural and physical anthropology. I was an anthropology major, so I enjoyed many of his ideas, but found some of his main premises to be preposterous... For example, pastoral peoples are notoriously anything but pastoral, being extremely xenophobic and violent as a rule. Chatwin seems to be trying to convince us that the Aboriginals are peaceful and sweet because they roam around a lot... well, maybe. But I don't know that I needed fifteen pages of one-paragraph "thoughts" to state the point. Honestly, I couldn't help skipping pages to get back to the narrative. I understand where Chatwin was coming from with his "pensees" format, but Pascal he is not. Still, if you want a little food for thought, you might enjoy it. If you're looking for a narrative, forget it. Unlike the aborigines, whose travels have purpose and wonderful stories, Chatwin's narrative just kind of ambles around in the dust.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Mind Blowing Insights, 16. Februar 2000
Von 
L. Alper (Englewood CO) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Songlines (Taschenbuch)
I first read this book when it came out in 1987. It completely rearranged my views of humanity as a species & the role of aggression in our lives. Now it's 13 years later, Bruce Chatwin is dead, & yet I still gain new insights into "the Origins of Man" every time I re-read this book.
Altho ostensibly about the Aboriginal culture & mythos, Bruce Chatwin simply uses that as a starting point for meditations upon what forces of pre-history created the creature that became us & how those forces still impact our day to day lives. This may sound dry & dull, but it's not! You will find yourself reading with a Hiliter in hand, the better to mark your favorite passages. If there is anyone else in the room, you will find yourself reading sections out loud, then having intense discussions. You will definitely want to read this book more than once!
If you have any interest at all in what makes us "human", then please, buy "The Songlines"; you'll probably see the world around you with new eyes once you've read it!
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The Songlines
The Songlines von Bruce Chatwin (Taschenbuch - 1. Juni 1988)
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