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As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (Anglais) Broché – 25 octobre 2012

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

A beautiful piece of writing (Observer)

The vivid sensitive, irresistibly readable story of what happened after he left home (Daily Mail)

A poet's book (Sunday Times)

He writes like an angel and conveys the pride and vitality of the humblest Spanish life with unfailing sharpness, zest and humour (Sunday Times)

There's a formidable, instant charm in the writing that genuinely makes it difficult to put the book down (New Statesman) --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Présentation de l'éditeur

It was 1934 and a young man walked to London from the security of the Cotswolds to make his fortune. He was to live by playing the violin and by labouring on a London building site. Then, knowing one Spanish phrase, he decided to see Spain. For a year he tramped through a country in which the signs of impending civil war were clearly visible. Thirty years later Laurie Lee captured the atmosphere of the Spain he saw with all the freshness and beauty of a young man's vision, creating a lyrical and lucid picture of the beautiful and violent country that was to involve him inextricably.

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 192 pages
  • Editeur : Penguin; Édition : New Ed (31 mai 1973)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0140033181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140033182
  • Dimensions du produit: 17,8 x 2,5 x 12,7 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 95.576 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Par Phil-Don TOP 500 COMMENTATEURS le 8 janvier 2014
Format: Broché
A 20 ans, Laurie Lee décide de quitter son village natal et de partir à l'aventure. Armé de son seul violon comme gagne-pain, il s'arrête d'abord à Londres avant de s'embarquer pour l'Espagne. Ce sont ses voyages, ses vagabondages, qu'il raconte ici, les endroits visités, ses rencontres et diverses anecdotes. L'aventure se termine avec son rapatriement vers l'Angleterre au début de la Guerre civile espagnole - mais il sera de retour pour s'engager auprès des Républicains (objet d'un autre livre).

Le livre est très agréable à lire et bien écrit. (Même si personnellement j'ai préféré 'Cider with Rosie' dans lequel il racontait son enfance dans un village anglais.)
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26 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
So Much He Loved Wandering 1 janvier 2003
Par Gussie Fink-Nottle - Publié sur
Format: Relié
"As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning" [1], author Laurie Lee recounted his first sojourn away from home. At age 19, our narrator-biographer, walked out of his village at Stroud, Gloucestershire, and headed toward London. As Lee himself recalled, he was 'still soft at the edges' when he said farewell to his mother (a poignant scene in the opening chapter). All he had with him that Sunday morning in June 1934 was 'a small rolled-up tent, a violin in a blanket, a change of clothes, a tin of treacle biscuits, and some cheese.'
After nearly a year of living and working in London as a cement laborer, Lee decided it was time to move on. He bought a one-way ticket and sailed to Spain. He settled for Spain because he had had an introduction to Spanish. All he could speak then, Lee admitted, was only one Spanish phrase: 'Will you please give me a glass of water?'

In July 1935, Laurie Lee landed in northwestern Spain. For many months he roamed the exotic and history-filled landscape, living off his music and the kindness of the people he came to love. From Vigo, he wandered southward through the New Castile region (Segovia, Madrid, Toledo). By December, he came to the coastal region of Andalusia (Cordova, Seville, Granada). There, Lee holed up at a Castillo hotel until the outbreak of the civil war in July 1936.
This author's second autobiographical sketch could have been subtitled "From Spain With Love." His inimitable poetic description of the Spanish landscape and its inhabitants is sensual as it is lyrical. The warmth and beauty of this passage [no pun], for example, undulates this reviewer's reveries, not of memories but of what has never been: 'When twilight came I slept where I was, on the shore or some rock-strewn headland, and woke to the copper glow of the rising sun coming slowly across the sea. Mornings were pure resurrection, which I could watch sitting up, still wrapped like a corpse in my blanket, seeing the blood-warm light soak back into the Sierras, slowing re-animating their ash-grey cheeks, and feeling the cold of the ground drain away beneath me as the sunrise reached my body.'
Lee's "As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning" and its third autobiograhy "A Moment In War" have had a farther reach than any of his other celebrated works. These writings have been adapted to music to which Charles Baudelaire could only spoke of metaphorically. In June of 2002, the Allegri String Quartet in The Salisbury Festival (UK) premiered "A Walk Into War." A musical piece which the quartet had commissioned based on the two latter biographies.
The author once wrote that autobiography is 'a celebration of life and an attempt to hoard its sensations...trophies snatched from the dark... to praise the life I'd had and so preserve it, and to live again both the good and the bad'. By all measures he had not done badly. He was and is the one modern author whose memoirs have transcended into the realms of music and visual arts ('Cider With Rosie', a 1998 film by John Mortimer).
1] Laurie Lee's autobiographical trilogy - Book 1:"Cider with Rosie" (1959); Book 2:"As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning" (1969); and Book 3: "A Moment of War" (1991).
15 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Magical. 10 mars 2000
Par Sarah Reid - Publié sur
Format: Relié
His admirers have commented, variously, that Laurie Lee 'writes like an angel', a 'poet, whose prose is quick and bright as a snake'. For another writer such praise might seem lavish but not for Laurie Lee. He writes beautifully, producing books that electrify and enchant, exhilarate and mesmerise. 'As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning' is the second volume of a marvellous trilogy. Part autobiography, part evocation of all the bewilderment and uncertainty of the 1930's, it is characterized by the lyricism of its poet author. Leaving his home in the Cotswolds, the young Lee walks to London in 'high, sulky Summer' with high hopes of making his fortune. He settles, happily enough, in a London boarding house with an engagingly eccentric Irish Cockney family, and supports himself by labouring on a building site and by playing the violin. In a life of opposites, we are treated to a first-hand account of the ugliness and tension of the disputes between employees and unions. In the dawn of the first, disquieting signs of dissatisfaction - a feeling in the 30's that led inexorably to the policy of Appeasement, and thus to war - we see through the eyes of a naive adolescent. It is this naivete, coupled with the glorious spontaneity that floods this book, which leads him to Spain. Knowing approximately one Spanish phrase, Lee decides to see Spain and so begins the love affair wtih a country that was to obsess him for the rest of his life. Never has Spain been so vividly painted. From the scorching heat and vivid, voluptous women of Vigo, to the false glamour and dilapidation of Madrid, Laurie Lee writes with a passion to match his captivation. An absolutely unforgettable book with a host of sharply drawn characters. From the sexily confident child, Patsy, to beautiful Cleo, Philip with his 'fine hungry face and a shock of thick obsidian curls' Lee sketches the myriad individuals he meets with a lucidity that stamps them in our minds forever. Who can read this novel and not dream wistfully of the days when cars were a rarity in our country. Or of a Spain unscarred by war, where the laundered, lacy dolls modestly avert their eyes from the gaze of the young men 'pocket dandies, carefully buttoned in spite of the heat.' Truly a book to treasure forever.
12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Memorable 2 janvier 2002
Par C. Ebeling - Publié sur
Format: Broché
It's a shame that this fine book is not in print. Those going after used editions--and you should--are encouraged to look for the 1985 reprint stunningly illustrated with classic paintings of Spanish life. But back to why you want to read this: in 1934, a young, naive Englishman who had never been out of his rural neighborhood packed up his violin and went walking, first to London, a hundred miles east and then via boat to Spain where he walked from Vigo in the north down to the southern coast. I'm having trouble shelving the book: is it a straight memoir? Certainly it is very much about the writer's encounter with the world at a historically significant time and about his own growth process. Or is it a travelogue? It is a very accurate account of the unique Spanish culture and countryside. Although written more than 30 years after the actual experience, Lee's account conveys a fresh sense of wonder and discovery and resists overlaying too much foreshadowing and hindsight. His style is lyrical, vivid as the blue Spanish sky and honest. He is refreshingly free of nationalism and prejudice.
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Beautiful, evocative writing that will stay with you 20 novembre 1999
Par Helen Grant - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Laurie Lee's writing is beautiful, simple and elegant: down-to-earth but poetic. I first read this book when I was 14. Twelve years later, it's still in my all-time top three. It is incredibly evocative of Spain before the Civil War - it describes a place and a moment in history seen through the excited eyes of a youth. It is nostalgic but not unrealistic. Read it. You won't regret it!
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
No connection, just language 10 décembre 2011
Par Chapman - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I had heard of Laurie Lee before, but I don't believe that I had ever read anything of his. I would imagine that reading some of his work is essential to say one has lived in Gloucestershire, right? I am glad that I read this book, as the descriptions were some of the most vivid that I have seen - one might say poetic, actually!

I did read a few bios of Lee, as I was curious to know how this experience fit into his life. I found that he wrote "Walked out" about 30 years after the events occurred, though they do say that he kept notes of his experiences. I wondered if Lee had written this book close after the events depicted because he describes his mother in the first pages as if she is an old crone. Now, I know that young people tend to view anyone over thirty as hopelessly old, but his mum was only 55 when he left, and I question that description. It does make me wonder if perhaps this book was written more with the eyes and heart of a fifty year old than of a under 30 chap.

The descriptions of places and people were second to none. I could envision what Lee saw and heard. He wasn't as successful at conveying his emotions, though. Perhaps he doesn't remember what he felt, and why he did what he did, and that's fair enough. I just find it hard to believe that he would go off to Spain for no particular reason, and then wander about with no particular goal. In fact, he gives himself sunstroke twice by pushing on toward no particular goal. I know that the Y chromosome is a dangerous thing, but this seems excessively stupid. If I had a bit more insight into his character perhaps it would make some sense. Lee seems to intentionally keep his emotions away from the reader. Perhaps that is because of the era or his style of writing, but the result was that I thought he was a cold fish.

I thought there was going to be an emotional revelation when he said (p 121):
"Crossing the Sierra...was one of those sudden jerky advances in life which, once made, close the past forever. ...not till I'd passed it did I feel really involved in Spain."
And then nothing, no evidence of emotional involvement until he sympathises with the Republicans around page 215.

I didn't care for Lee's view of women. They were either mothers to take care of him or hot young things to ogle or bed. Again, perhaps that was the time. The other annoyance was the fact that he changed the names of places. For instance, why not call Almunecar by its proper name instead of calling it Castillo? Lee rarely expressed gratitude for all the many kindnesses that he was shown. He seems to take it for granted that people are going to save him from sunstroke, and extend hospitality to him. Did anyone else think that the people seemed to be rather disgusting looking by and large? Maybe they were, or maybe he made more notes about the peculiarities of appearance, so thirty years on they figure rather larger than they might.

My overall impression of the book was a series of elegantly drawn pictures of what Lee was doing and seeing. I didn't feel that I understood his motivations, or got an insight into the feelings of the characters. His return to Spain was just the last incomprehensible act - he describes it as an hallucination of honour brought on by falling in love. Huh? What do you mean by that? What did he actually feel? As a result, the book didn't involve me deeply. I couldn't care about the characters because Lee didn't flesh them - including himself - out. All the same, it was an interesting read. Perhaps the poems would touch me more.
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