Notes and inspirations extracted from Bruce Chatwin’s (published letters) Under the Sun
The search for freedom is very likely the most violent known to man
His mind goes off on a tangent, usually interesting, but usually irrelevant
Such a versatile personality, resisting categorization
Some invisible power carried him away – open, fair, free-minded, ruthlessly honest: some anti-conventional promise of an adventure
Enthusiasm was a constant and remained undimmed
Why wander? To settle natural curiosity and an urge to explore; feed a compulsion to just be on the road
Change is the only thing worth living for. Never sit your life out at a desk!
One’s independence is so fragile a thing that money hardly matters. Penniless: a happy state of affairs but not likely to last.
It’s ridiculous rationalizing that which appeals to irrational instincts, such as wanting a way of life that is largely an imagination. And, why ever not?
Rapidly liberating oneself of all possessions: renunciation of everything but the most portable things
For a long time he was looking too closely at works of art. Was suggested to try long horizons. Africa, perhaps (: and so, he went..
Inspired by the kind of avidity for the undiscovered
There are two Timbuctoos. One – the tired caravan city where the Niger bends into the Sahara, the meeting pace of all who travel by camel or canoe, though the meeting was rarely amicable. And then there is the Timbuctoo of the mind – a mythical city in a Never-Never Land, an antipodean mirage, a symbol for the back of beyond!
Remains elusive but suggests an intrigue
Achieving the means for total mobility
He always contemplated really long and slow trips elsewhere, by the most obscure frontier posts and along the least frequented routes to make all fragmented diaries into episodes of travels
The form of the book must be dictated by the journey itself – to say the least – unpredictable and no point in even trying to guess what it will hold
alas, he knew himself very well: once at a destination, the footsteps always lead to other horizons
On his way he lands in strange situations; people and books tell him strange stories which hold up to form a message
Travel gave him immediate pleasure, writing – only satisfaction; but it’s a combination he longed to have
~ ~ ~
you can say we’re a “love match of literary variety”
Only.. we seemed to have missed each other by several decades and continents