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Zwischen Wäldern und Wasser (1986)

von Patrick Leigh Fermor

Weitere Autoren: Siehe Abschnitt Weitere Autoren.

Reihen: On Foot to Constantinople (2)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
1,2872811,365 (4.32)121
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.… (mehr)
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A long look back on an unforgettable and almost unique 1934 tramp in the Hungarian and Rumanian region of the Danube. Polyglot Fermor loves applying his wide vocabulary to passionately recalled arboreal vistas. Also some fun pastoral and urban romps. ( )
1 abstimmen quondame | Mar 27, 2021 |
When I was a student at University (longer ago than I’d like to think...) I decided to become a member of the Folio Society. My first order included a handsome set of fairytale collections, a few history and fiction titles, and the Society’s edition of Patrick Leigh Fermor’s [b:A Time of Gifts|4899673|A Time of Gifts|Patrick Leigh Fermor|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1223017864s/4899673.jpg|2636997]. I was no fan of travel writing. Nor had I ever heard of Leigh Fermor. But this was one of the more affordable books in the catalogue, one that didn’t unduly stretch my restricted budget.

The volume remained unopened on my shelves until, one fine day, driven by boredom and a vague curiosity, I immersed myself in its pages. It blew me away.

In 1933, aged “18 and three-quarters” Leigh Fermor set off on a daunting but enthralling voyage - a journey on foot across mainland Europe, from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. This exploit had a whiff of the Grand Old Tour about it, tinged with a gung-ho “Boys’ Own” sense of adventure. However, Leigh Fermor’s three-volume account of these travels (starting with “A Time of Gifts”) is anything but “boyish”. It is rich in evocative descriptions of sights, smells and sounds, which manage so admirably to capture a sense of place that one is quick to forgive the author’s occasional penchant for over-ripe metaphors. The text is sprinkled with erudite asides, giving insights into the history and culture of the countries which welcomed the young hiker.

There is another element which makes the book so poignant. Leigh Fermor wrote it decades after the events described. In the meantime, the Second World War – and middle age – had intervened, digging furrows in maps and complexion. Not surprisingly, the text is saturated with a feeling of nostalgia and loss. It often reads like an elegy to freedom and youth, and to a different way of life which had disappeared forever. The wide-eyed wonder of the teenage protagonist gives way to the more knowing narrative voice of the author’s older and wiser self.

“A Time of Gifts” describes the first leg of Leigh Fermor’s journey and leaves us with the traveller on a bridge crossing the Danube between Slovakia and Hungary. It is not just a great book – it is a special and memorable one, certainly a landmark in its genre.

Years passed before I rejoined Leigh Fermor on his journey which, in “Between the Woods and the Water” winds its way through Hungary, Transylvania and into Romania. But I must admit that after the initial elation at meeting an old friend again, I started to feel disappointed. The same youthful excitement leaps from the pages, the chapters are still illuminated by the erudition of its author. However, there were some things which bothered me. The narrative momentum is often held up by digressions into the political history of the area which, as the writer himself repeatedly admits, is complex and convoluted. Moreover, despite Leigh Fermor’s open-minded enthusiasm,he sometimes gives the impression that he has not shaken off a degree of class prejudice. Long stretches of the trek are spent in castles of aristocratic friends, fondly recalled during the rougher parts of the journey. And whilst peasants and shepherds are sympathetically described (especially if they are rustic beauties not averse to close encounters in haystacks), Gypsies almost invariably come across as dirty, scheming and dangerous.

Despite my reservations, as the last pages of the book approached, I found it increasingly difficult to put it away. Evidently, the magic of Leigh Fermor’s incredible journey has not yet worn off and I hope to rekindle it soon by reading [b:The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos|16240481|The Broken Road From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos|Patrick Leigh Fermor|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1364857799s/16240481.jpg|22245955], the trilogy’s posthumously published conclusion.

Ave atque vale, Paddy! ( )
1 abstimmen JosephCamilleri | Mar 5, 2021 |
More enjoyable than the first volume of the not-quite-trilogy, and gives me enough reason to pick up that cobbled-together third volume. I might be misremembering, but Fermor seems more self-conscious in this volume, and of course he's traveling lands less well-known to himself and to most Anglophone readers. ( )
1 abstimmen stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
When I was a student at University (longer ago than I’d like to think...) I decided to become a member of the Folio Society. My first order included a handsome set of fairytale collections, a few history and fiction titles, and the Society’s edition of Patrick Leigh Fermor’s [b:A Time of Gifts|4899673|A Time of Gifts|Patrick Leigh Fermor|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1223017864s/4899673.jpg|2636997]. I was no fan of travel writing. Nor had I ever heard of Leigh Fermor. But this was one of the more affordable books in the catalogue, one that didn’t unduly stretch my restricted budget.

The volume remained unopened on my shelves until, one fine day, driven by boredom and a vague curiosity, I immersed myself in its pages. It blew me away.

In 1933, aged “18 and three-quarters” Leigh Fermor set off on a daunting but enthralling voyage - a journey on foot across mainland Europe, from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. This exploit had a whiff of the Grand Old Tour about it, tinged with a gung-ho “Boys’ Own” sense of adventure. However, Leigh Fermor’s three-volume account of these travels (starting with “A Time of Gifts”) is anything but “boyish”. It is rich in evocative descriptions of sights, smells and sounds, which manage so admirably to capture a sense of place that one is quick to forgive the author’s occasional penchant for over-ripe metaphors. The text is sprinkled with erudite asides, giving insights into the history and culture of the countries which welcomed the young hiker.

There is another element which makes the book so poignant. Leigh Fermor wrote it decades after the events described. In the meantime, the Second World War – and middle age – had intervened, digging furrows in maps and complexion. Not surprisingly, the text is saturated with a feeling of nostalgia and loss. It often reads like an elegy to freedom and youth, and to a different way of life which had disappeared forever. The wide-eyed wonder of the teenage protagonist gives way to the more knowing narrative voice of the author’s older and wiser self.

“A Time of Gifts” describes the first leg of Leigh Fermor’s journey and leaves us with the traveller on a bridge crossing the Danube between Slovakia and Hungary. It is not just a great book – it is a special and memorable one, certainly a landmark in its genre.

Years passed before I rejoined Leigh Fermor on his journey which, in “Between the Woods and the Water” winds its way through Hungary, Transylvania and into Romania. But I must admit that after the initial elation at meeting an old friend again, I started to feel disappointed. The same youthful excitement leaps from the pages, the chapters are still illuminated by the erudition of its author. However, there were some things which bothered me. The narrative momentum is often held up by digressions into the political history of the area which, as the writer himself repeatedly admits, is complex and convoluted. Moreover, despite Leigh Fermor’s open-minded enthusiasm,he sometimes gives the impression that he has not shaken off a degree of class prejudice. Long stretches of the trek are spent in castles of aristocratic friends, fondly recalled during the rougher parts of the journey. And whilst peasants and shepherds are sympathetically described (especially if they are rustic beauties not averse to close encounters in haystacks), Gypsies almost invariably come across as dirty, scheming and dangerous.

Despite my reservations, as the last pages of the book approached, I found it increasingly difficult to put it away. Evidently, the magic of Leigh Fermor’s incredible journey has not yet worn off and I hope to rekindle it soon by reading [b:The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos|16240481|The Broken Road From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos|Patrick Leigh Fermor|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1364857799s/16240481.jpg|22245955], the trilogy’s posthumously published conclusion.

Ave atque vale, Paddy! ( )
1 abstimmen JosephCamilleri | Sep 12, 2020 |
This was nearly as lovely as A Time of Gifts. The writing’s still excellent, the descriptions of the land and the people still bring them to life in my mind, the adventures Fermor had are wonderful and like something out of fiction. I know there’s a healthy dose of nostalgia for Old Europe there, but still. I felt like perhaps he delved more into historical contexts in this one, bringing up past kingdoms and nobles and that sort of thing, but it’s interesting to read that, all the same. Heroes riding out of the mists of time and over the landscape, and so on.

I don’t think I felt as connected to this book as A Time of Gifts, though. I’m blaming my lack of personal familiarity with eastern Europe—in the last book, he was seeing things I or my family had seen, not so much in this one—and the fact that he stays largely with wealthy families instead of average people, and see the warning please. I’m inclined to forgive him somewhat for that, since he was writing thirty-odd years ago and capturing the mindset of eighty years ago and he presents the Romani as people without over-romanticizing or getting nasty, but … he’s pretty good about calling his past self out for other uncool things and doesn’t do as great of a job here.

Other than that, this was an enjoyable and educational read, with enough adventure and nature and history to satisfy. I’m looking forward to reading the third installment at some point.

Warnings: Anti-Romani racism, mostly reported stereotypes and warnings but also persistent use of the g-slur, one fearful moment born of believing said stereotypes, and the occasional unsavory mention of skin colour; one or two uses of “oriental” to refer to Asians …and to possibly Asian-descended Europeans; a page and a half summarizing historic antisemitism.

7/10 ( )
  NinjaMuse | Jul 26, 2020 |
Unhurried and receptive, endlessly curious and with, as Philip Toynbee has said, ''a rapturous historical imagination,'' Mr. Leigh Fermor, who is in his 70's, was, and remains, an ideal witness to what is now a vanished world.
hinzugefügt von John_Vaughan | bearbeitenNY Times, Graeme Gibson (Jul 15, 1987)
 

» Andere Autoren hinzufügen (7 möglich)

AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Leigh Fermor, PatrickHauptautoralle Ausgabenbestätigt
Morris, JanEinführungCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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Völker verrauschen,

Namen verklingen

Finstre Vergessenheit

Breitet die dunkelnachtenden Schwingen

Über ganzen Geschlechtern aus

Schiller

from Die Braut von Messina
Ours is a great wild country:

If you climb to our castle's top,

I don't see where your eye can stop;

For when you've passed the corn-field country,

Where vineyards leave off, flocks are packed,

And sheep-range leads to cattle-tract,

And cattle-tract to open-chase,

And open-chase to the very base

Of the mountain, where, at a funeral pace,

Round about, solemn and slow,

One by one, row by row,

Up and up the pine trees go,

So, like black priests up, and so

Down the other side again

To another greater, wilder country.

Robert Browing

from The Flight of the Duchess
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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.

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