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Between the Woods and the Water: On Foot to Constantinople from the Hook of Holland: The Middle Danube to the Iron Gates (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Patrick Leigh Fermor
4.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)

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Revue de presse

"Those for whom Paddy’s prose is still an undiscovered country are to be envied for what lies ahead-hours with one of the most buoyant and curious personalities one can find in English." — The New York Sun

"Mr. Fermor…is a peerless companion, unbound by timetable or convention, relentless in his high spirits and curiosity." — Richard B. Woodward, The New York Times

"We are aware at every step that his adventure can never be duplicated: only this extraordinary person at this pivotal time could have experienced and recorded many of these sights. Distant lightening from events in Germany weirdly illuminates the trail of this free spirit." — The New York Times

"The young Fermor appears to have been as delightful a traveling companion as the much older Fermor a raconteur." — The Houston Chronicle

"[A Time of Gifts, Between the Woods and the Water] are absolutely delightful volumes, both for those who want to better understand what was lost in the violence of Europe’s 20th-century divisions and for those who appreciate the beauty and thrill of travel writing at its best." — The Houston Chronicle

"Leigh Fermor is recognizably that figure many writers of the past century have yearned to be, the man of action." — The Guardian

"He was, and remains, an Englishman, with so much living to his credit that the lives conducted by the rest of us seem barely sentient-pinched and paltry things, laughably provincial in their scope, and no more fruitful than sleepwalks. We fret about our kids’ S.A.T. scores, whereas this man, when he was barely more than a kid himself, shouldered a rucksack and walked from Rotterdam to Istanbul." — Anthony Lane, The New Yorker

“Even more magical...through Hungary, its lost province of Transylvania, and into Romania...sampling the tail end of a languid, urbane and anglophile way of life that would soon be swept away forever.” —Jeremy Lewis, Literary Review

“In these two volumes of extraordinary lyrical beauty and discursive, staggering erudition, Leigh Fermor recounted his first great excursion... They’re partially about an older author’s encounter with his young self, but they’re mostly an evocation of a lost Mitteleuropa of wild horses and dark forests, of ancient synagogues and vivacious Jewish coffeehouses, of Hussars and Uhlans, and of high-spirited and deeply eccentric patricians with vast libraries (such as the Transylvanian count who was a famous entomologist specializing in Far Eastern moths and who spoke perfect English, though with a heavy Scottish accent, thanks to his Highland nanny). These books amply display Leigh Fermor’s keen eye and preternatural ear for languages, but what sets them apart, besides the utterly engagin persona of their narrator, is his historical imagination and intricate sense of historical linkage... Few writers are as alive to the persistence of the past (he’s ever alert to the historical forces that account for the shifts in custom, language, architecture, and costume that he discerns), and I’ve read none who are so sensitive to the layers of invasion that define the part of Europe he depicts here. The unusual vantage point of these books lends them great pregnancy, for we and the author know what the youthful Leigh Fermor cannot: that the war will tear the scenery and shatter the buildings he evokes; that German and Soviet occupation will uproot the beguiling world of those Tolstoyan nobles; and that in fact very few people who became his friends on this marvelous and sunny journey will survive the coming catastrophe.” -- Benjamin Schwartz, The Atlantic

"This is a glorious feast, the account of a walk in 1934 from the Hook of Holland to what was then Constantinople. The 18-year-old Fermor began by sleeping in barns but, after meeting some landowners early on, got occasional introductions to castles. So he experienced life from both sides, and with all the senses, absorbing everything: flora and fauna, art and architecture, geography, clothing, music, foods, religions, languages. Writing the book decades after the fact, in a baroque style that is always rigorous, never flowery, he was able to inject historical depth while still retaining the feeling of boyish enthusiasm and boundless curiosity. This is the first of a still uncompleted trilogy; the second volume, Between the Woods and the Water, takes him through Hungary and Romania; together they capture better than any books I know the remedial, intoxicating joy of travel." — Thomas Swick, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

“Recovers the innocence and the excitement of youth, when everything was possible and the world seemed luminescent with promise. ...Even more magical...through Hungary, its lost province of Transylvania, and into Romania... sampling the tail end of a languid, urbane and anglophile way of life that would soon be swept away forever.” —Jeremy Lewis, Literary Review

“A book so good you resent finishing it.” —Norman Stone

"The greatest of living travel writers…an amazingly complex and subtle evocation of a place that is no more." — Jan Morris

Praise for Patrick Leigh Fermor:

"One of the greatest travel writers of all time”–The Sunday Times

“A unique mixture of hero, historian, traveler and writer; the last and the greatest of a generation whose like we won't see again.”–Geographical

“The finest traveling companion we could ever have . . . His head is stocked with enough cultural lore and poetic fancy to make every league an adventure.” –Evening Standard

If all Europe were laid waste tomorrow, one might do worse than attempt to recreate it, or at least to preserve some sense of historical splendor and variety, by immersing oneself in the travel books of Patrick Leigh Fermor.”—Ben Downing, The Paris Review

Présentation de l'éditeur

The acclaimed travel writer's youthful journey - as an 18-year-old - across 1930s Europe by foot began in A Time of Gifts, which covered the author's exacting journey from the Lowlands as far as Hungary. Picking up from the very spot on a bridge across the Danube where his readers last saw him, we travel on with him across the great Hungarian Plain on horseback, and over the Romanian border to Transylvania.

The trip was an exploration of a continent which was already showing signs of the holocaust which was to come. Although frequently praised for his lyrical writing, Fermor's account also provides a coherent understanding of the dramatic events then unfolding in Middle Europe. But the delight remains in travelling with him in his picaresque journey past remote castles, mountain villages, monasteries and towering ranges.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1516 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 281 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0719542642
  • Editeur : John Murray; Édition : New Ed (10 octobre 2010)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B0049MPKEQ
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Non activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°77.945 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Grande admiration 15 octobre 2014
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Merveilleux livre, surtout pour ceux qui ont un peu connu l'Europe centrale d'avant la guerre.Il y a des termes architecturaux ou concernant la nature difficiles pour quelqu'un qui n'est pas né anglophone ; certains développements un peu longs
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Out of the past 21 juillet 2014
I am glad to have met this amazing character in the pages of these books. I think one forgets how the world was connected in the recent-far past. One can be envious of this weirdo's life, because weird he was. God read.
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0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Half Way only 26 mai 2012
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I thought this book was supposed to describe the author's journey from the Danube to Constantinople but it finishes at the Iron Gate in Bulgaria. I then discovered that he never wrote about that part.
He really lives a charmed life in this part of the trip, spending time at one manor house after another - passed along by friends of friends.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 étoiles sur 5  98 commentaires
54 internautes sur 55 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Exquisitely between two worlds 3 mai 2000
Par Alekos - Publié sur Amazon.com
Like most literary masterpieces this marvelous book has a outer vehicle that develops an inner theme. The vehicle is a journey on foot, horseback and barge across Europe in the 1930's when the author was 19. The inner theme is a resolution of polarities and opposites of all kinds. First there is the overriding polarity of solitude and company. He enjoys spending time with friends and friends of friends at their country homes in Hungary and Roumania and passing hours in their sometimes fabulous libraries but he finds refreshment and spiritual renewal in long solitary walks in wooded mountains and along the banks of the Danube where he meets an occasional deer or golden eagle. He relishes staying with his wealthy, worldly and sophisticated hosts but also enjoys the company of peasants, gypsies and lumberjacks. He likes passing comfortable nights in reasonably soft beds with clean linens but doesn't shrink from sleeping in hayricks or under sheltering oaks. The interplay of past and present are another polarity he weaves into the narrative. His knowledge of history and use of it in this work is both magnificent and enviable. Leigh Fermor is in fact one of the most cultured contemporary writers I have had the good fortune to read. He is a good linguist, a masterful historian and , surprisingly, a knowledgeable theologian. But that is only half the story. He is also a super-macho man of action completely aware of his body and its interaction with the environment. This we know from his activities, almost heroic feats, during WWII, especially in Crete. In the present book he coordinates his mental and physical endowments to produce a gorgeously textured masterpiece of English prose. Sex is not absent from the narrative but it is never described in terms that could be considered even remotely graphic. Acts are kept in the wings while he concentrates on the social, intellectual, and aesthetic dimensions of his relations with women. Unfortunately Amazon.com does not keep an ample stock of Leigh Fermor's works, so I had to purchase my copy from Amazon.co.uk. I may be impatient but my sense of company loyalty is unimpeachable. No?
50 internautes sur 51 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 "...a season of great delight..." 30 août 2006
Par J. V. Lewis - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Here, in part two of Patrick Fermor's promised three-part account of his 1933-1934 walk from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople, the 19 year old wanderer/journalist strolls unguided through Hungary and into darkest Transylvania. Along the way he reads in the great private libraries and parties with washed-up aristocrats; wonders about water buffalo, the echoes of Hapsburg heirarchies, Rumanian gothic architecture, and barbaric wedding practices; rests with gypsies and gabs with rich landowners... He by then had fallen into the rhythm of his travels, and his powers of observation illuminate a strange and distant central Europe. But this isn't mere travel writing. He isn't simply shining a light on a place, a time, and a people. His writing is so ecstatic and muscular that the reader is transported to real yearning for experience, and to face that experience with eyes unclouded by cynicism or too much ossifying adulthood. This book, even more than A Time of Gifts, is a portrait of an enviable mind, a mind that is simultaneously open to experience and wise, or at least subtle and clear-thinking, but refined by a liberal education. The real gift of these books is for us to see a clear glimpse into the mind of a person who is living fully. The glimpse shows the folly of planning, of responsibility, of routine and care. Few writers have ever equalled the clarity of this offering. The life of the cubicle and the steady paycheck is the life of frailty and trepidation. This book spreads a warm ray of strength, resilience, and joy in discovery. A true delight.
30 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Superb 18 septembre 2006
Par R. Albin - Publié sur Amazon.com
This is the sequel to Leigh Fermor's A Time of Gifts. In 1933, the very young Leigh Fermor set out to travel by foot from Holland to Constantinople. Written many years after this adventure, Between the Woods and the Water describes Leigh Fermor's travels in Hungary and Transylvania. He had the good fortune to make some aristocratic connections and spent a good part of the trip being passed from country house to country house and town to town within an extended family network of the Hungarian aristocracy. The Hungary and Transylvania Leigh Fermor describes had already changed greatly under the impact of the First World War, the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Great Depression. Many, if not all of the aristocratic figures from whom Leigh Fermor received hospitality, were living lives of genteel poverty on much reduced estates. Still, he describes a world that would be swept away by the events of WWII, the installation of communist states and the postwar industrialization of much of Eastern Europe. The Hungary and Transylvania through which Leigh Fermor travels is very rural, dominated by a peasantry still coexisiting with the aristocracy. Transylvania in particular was ethnically diverse with significant populations of ethnic Germans, Hungarians, Romanians, Jews, and Gypsies. These populations were divided also by a variety of languages and faiths. The awareness on the part of the author and readers of fate of these peoples gives much of this book an elegiac quality. Wonderfully written with superb historical digressions and some outstanding descriptive writing about the landscapes, this is book is just a treat. The natural comparison is with the predecessor volume. I think this is the better of the two. This volume was published in the mid-80s with Leigh Fermor promising a sequel that would cover the final segment of the journey. Sadly, this has never been published and given Leigh Fermor's advanced age, it is unlikely to be completed. A real pity.
18 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Wonderful adventure through history and countryside 26 juin 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
I have recently re-read and completed this book (borrowed from the library!) after having lost my own copy on a plane in Europe over a decade ago. The writing is exquisite, often amusing, as this vigorous youthful traveler - mostly on foot but also on horse, the occasional car, and Danube steamship -- is brought back to life by his seasoned self 50 years later. And, though written in the 1980's, it is sometimes eerily relevant to 1999. A quote, "I stayed the night at a bargeman's tavern in Mohács in order to see the battlefield where Suleiman had overthrown King Lajos: one of history's most dark and shattering landmarks: a defeat as fatal to Hungary as Kossovo to the Serbs and Constantinople to the Greeks." Later, he refers to "the tragic region of Kossovo, where old Serbia, Macedonia, and Albania march." These passages are interspersed with playful romps with Hungarian aristocrats, parties, nights spent with Rumanian shephards, orthodox rabbis and their lumberjack families, and other unforgettable people whose lives were about to be forever changed by World War II and its aftermath. A gorgeous read as was the earlier Time of Gifts and hopefully the last volume through Rumania and Bulgaria to the Black Sea.
16 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Gar nichts! 7 avril 2007
Par Daniel Myers - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
The title above is German for "Absolutely nothing!", Fermor's droll reply to "What are you studying?" when visiting a scholar with his newfound Transylvanian friend Istvan, who laughs about such blasphemy all the way back from the visit. The polymathic Fermor had contemplated his answer a few moments before answering-"Languages? Art? Geography? Folklore? Literature? None of them seemed to fit." The truth is, of course, as anyone who has read of anything of Fermor's knows full well, that Fermor has been studying all of these things, but with his own assiduous, unacademic zeal. This time he spent in Transylvania (The country's name meaning, as any first year Latinist would know, "Across the Woods") is by far my favourite: His escapades with Istvan, the fleeting amour with Angela, the effortless historical erudition about the region all make it exemplary of the book as a whole - which is not to slight the rest of it at all!

I disagree profoundly with the reviewers who take umbrage at Fermor's "esoteric" use of language and historic allusion. For the armchair traveler, these qualities make the book just that much more fun - Diving into the OED and various encyclopedias to thresh out some of the references.

The overall effect of this book, as with A Time of Gifts, is best likened to a friendly punch in the gut by an old chum. It takes you at unawares but leaves you invigorated and happy to be alive in the world. Yes, there are sadnesses to the book, not the least of which is that the beautiful View of the Danube near Regensburg on the cover of the NYRB edition is now underwater, lost forever; But as Fermor contemplates as his time with Angela draws to a close, "There are hours in life worth more than diamonds." This book is full of them!

And all these youths chain-smoking cigarettes! Perhaps the Surgeon General should put a warning label on the book lest a youth of today discover the vibrant meaning of carpe diem!
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