"the deadliest bullshit is odorless and transparent" - William Gibson

Monday, August 30, 2004

tangents to songlines

i was looking on
to try to "search inside" Bruce Chatwin's Songlines, and i came across a few reader reviews which got me thinking about fiction vs. non fiction, Herzog vs. Moore.

"I think the last commentator has missed the point. Chatwin doesn't spell everything out for you - what is a well crafted book worth especially given the Internet and the transience of the printed or spoken word? No, his ideas are still evolving and revolving around my head. I'm a resource investigator and I'm hungry for quirky details and love to connect seemingly disparate ideas into graceful patterns. That's how we, as a species, have survived - making sense of the senseless. This was not a book about aborigines but about curiosity and how movement enables us to continue to see the world anew."

"Chatwin casts a spell you do not want to be broken. I suggest that if you do not know much about him, resist that strong impulse to start reading biographical notes and commentary on the book until after you have finished the book. None of what's out there will deny you its excellence; it just might poke a confusing hole in the reality it has created. The book is an exhilaratingly profound experience in the accessible guise of a pleasant, insightful travelogue. Ask why its author considered it fiction after you've read it."


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