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Bruce Chatwin

Anatomy of Restlessness

Anatomy of Restlessness is a collection of articles and short stories written by Bruce Chatwin, who died in 1989. During his life Chatwin pursued several careers including those of art critic and travel writer. This meant that he got a look into the collecting habits of the rich and famous, but he was also fascinated by the life of the nomad, with a minimum of possessions. This gave him a unique insight into the contrasts between the two, and in his article The Morality of Things he explores where our acquisitive tendencies originated.

The middle section of the book is called The Nomadic Alternative and represent the start of a book of that title. In a way it's understandable that this longer work was never finished, as much of Chatwin's writing in this book seems to show a rather brief - and indeed restless - style in which he rather dogmatically states what he sees as the facts, without the discussion which is needed to persuade the reader. (I need to read some of his full length books to see how he gets on when he has more space). But overall I felt that the book was a rewarding read, with much thought-provoking material.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 224 pages  
ISBN: 0140256989
Salesrank: 171537
Weight:0.79 lbs
Published: 1997 Penguin Books
Amazon price $12.87
Marketplace:New from $6.66:Used from $1.76
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Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 224 pages  
ISBN: 0140256989
Salesrank: 1121296
Weight:0.79 lbs
Published: 1998 Penguin Putnam Inc
Marketplace:New from £9.97:Used from £0.59
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Amazon.ca info
Paperback 224 pages  
ISBN: 0140256989
Salesrank: 1318395
Weight:0.79 lbs
Published: 1997 Penguin Books
Amazon price CDN$ 17.50
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 9.54:Used from CDN$ 0.01
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Product Description
Although he is best known for his luminous reports from the farthest-flung corners of the earth, Bruce Chatwin possessed a literary sensibility that reached beyond the travel narrative to span a world of topics—from art and antiques to archaeology and architecture. This spirited collection of previously neglected or unpublished essays, articles, short stories, travel sketches, and criticism represents every aspect and period of Chatwin’s career as it reveals an abiding theme in his work: his fascination with, and hunger for, the peripatetic existence. While Chatwin’s poignant search for a suitable place to “hang his hat,” his compelling arguments for the nomadic “alternative,” his revealing fictional accounts of exile and the exotic, and his wickedly en pointe social history of Capri prove him to be an excellent observer of social and cultural mores, Chatwin’s own restlessness, his yearning to be on the move, glimmers beneath every surface of this dazzling body of work.