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Interesting Meditation on Wandering,
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.