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Tempo di regali: a piedi fino a Costantinopoli: da Hoek Van Holland al medio Danubio (1977)

di Patrick Leigh Fermor

Altri autori: Vedi la sezione altri autori.

Serie: On Foot to Constantinople (1)

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2,447576,221 (4.19)1 / 276
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.… (altro)
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A pleasant remembered account of the first half of Patrick Leigh Fermer’s 1933 trip on foot from Holland to Istanbul when he was 18. We meet people of all sorts and hear their political positions and rationalizations. The author, either then or many years later when he wrote the book, had a large vocabulary and at least some of his words are likely to interest you by themselves. Words I noted included fane, imberb, eyot, barbican and paynim. I know some German, but I learned that a Katzenjammer is a hangover; I’d only known the word from the early 20th century cartoon. There are some entertainingly florid descriptions of architecture, especially in Prague:

“Borne up in its flight by a row of cusped and trefoiled half-arches, each of them carried a steep procession of pinnacles and every moulding was a ledge for snow...among the rooks and the bruise-colored and quick-silver clouds.”

There are some entertaining adventures with assorted characters, especially in the streets of Vienna. It is a lost world, and none of these places are the same as they were. The trip is also from a lost time in the author’s life and we are reminded of what we were willing or able to do when we were 18.

The author (DSO, OBE) was a British war hero and famous for other travel books. He was involved in the kidnapping of German General Kreipe on Crete, later recounted in William Stanley Moss’ “Ill Met by Moonlight”. There is a nice Folio society edition of that book with pictures of PML-F.

As an aside, the author recounts his proclivity to recite poetry backward by word. As in “Whose woods these are I think I know” becomes “Esohw sdoow eseht era I kniht I wonk”. I find this fascinating and think it may replace op-talk, at least for me. [Note added later: opit dopoes nopot ropeplopace opop topalk.]

The second half of PML-F’s trip was published separately, and, apparently, there is a third volume, too. I may read them. ( )
  markm2315 | Jul 1, 2023 |
Fermor is gifted with poetic powers of description and vocabulary. A Time of Gifts is the first half of his travel from London to Istanbul (mostly on foot). He has a great command of language without being pedantic -- wonderful descriptions of people, landscapes, art and architecture. Some of his sentences could be poetry. I had to keep looking up words which in some cases even stumped my Kindle. On to the second half. ( )
1 vota kropferama | Jan 1, 2023 |
I'll quote a small fragment from an interview given by Nick Hunt, who travelled 2,500 miles on the footsteps of sir Patrick Leigh Fermor, spending 50 pounds a week, 50 times more than Paddy had available.

I was also amazed by how little people’s prejudices had changed, especially in the east. Some of the things Slovaks were saying about Hungarians, Hungarians about everyone, Romanians about Hungarians, Romanians about Bulgarians – it could have been cut and pasted from the pages of the books. People have long memories.


It struck me as very true, and in times like this it becomes seriously sad.


Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor was only 18 when he set off on the long journey from Rotterdam to Constantinople. ( )
  luciarux | Jul 3, 2022 |
While reading Upton Sinclair's Lanny Budd series, I heard about Patrick Leigh Fermor's travel memoirs on the NYT Book Review podcast and planned to read this book when I reached the same time period in the Sinclair series. The Lanny Budd books center the wealthy and focus on "high" society. This memoir seemed like a good balance to the novels because I hoped to get glimpses of people from the lower and middle classes.

Fermor decided at the young age of 18 to walk across the continent, from Rotterdam to Constantinople. This first volume details his trip from London to his crossing of the Danube at the border of Czechoslovakia with Hungary. The memoir is, in general, written chronologically. An introduction brings the reader up to the point of his departure, and the story of the journey continues in another volume.

I enjoyed the book, especially his observations of the people he met along the way. He explores the language, folkways, and society of the various peoples he encounters. He also provides vivid descriptions of the wintry landscapes.

The book was written in the 1970s, using his contemporaneous journals and his memories as source material. The experiences of his later years inform the writing and sometimes intrude into the story. These adventures show that his daring only increased in the following decades and made me want to read the next volume as well as his later work. I look forward to doing so. ( )
  RTFlynn | Mar 7, 2022 |
Travels of the author down the Rhine and Danube in the 1930s, when he was 18 years old. Sometimes quite poetic in his descriptions, with a lot of historic and contemporary descriptions of the places and people he meets. I particularly love his description of trying to read Proust: "I had only just heard of Proust...I took the first volume to bed that night: but it was too dense a wood. When I tried again next year..., the wood lightened and turned into a forest whose spell had been growing ever since". ( )
1 vota AChild | Nov 27, 2021 |
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.
 

» Aggiungi altri autori (19 potenziali)

Nome dell'autoreRuoloTipo di autoreOpera?Stato
Leigh Fermor, Patrickautore primariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Craxton, JohnProgetto della copertinaautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
Morris, JanIntroduzioneautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
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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.
-- George Herbert
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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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