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Sea and Sardinia

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3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  145 ratings  ·  22 reviews
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Kindle Edition, 192 pages
Published (first published 1921)
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Hal Brodsky
After reading this well written, quotable, but uneventful travelogue by D.H. Lawrence, I find myself wondering why British people travel. Here is Lawrence, 60 years before Paul Theroux (who I thought held the tittle of "Crankiest Travel Writer"), setting out on a whirlwind tour of Sardinia, and complaining about it every step of the way.

With no explanation or preamble, D.H. Lawrence and his wife (The "Queen Bee", who he criticizes relentlessly)set off for this remote island IN WINTER apparently
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Felice Picano
It's in his travel books that the real D.H. Lawrence reveals himself, and while his three books about traveling in Italy are almost a century old now, they hold up very well.
Naturally the writing is lovely, the descriptions wonderful. Has anyone have ever wielded a more sensitive or poetic pen or one more far ranging in its coloristic effects than Lawrence at the top of his game? And, at the same time, he is quite good about exactly where he went and how he went and how much time it took and ex
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Nick Sweeney
D H Lawrence and his wife Frieda (called the queen bee, or q-b in this book) up sticks from their home in Sicily to make a winter journey up and down Sardinia. They stay in lots of draughty inns that have no milk, or cheese (a recurring motif, for some odd reason, which seemed to take on a comic intensity the more it was mentioned) and are staffed by uncooperative people with dirty shirts and fingernails. They also travel on draughty trains and buses, which are also staffed by uncooperative peop ...more
Jenni
Not the most compelling narrative as far as travel writing goes. Lawrence's writing is fantastic, and he makes some very interesting observations about the people and politics of Sardinia. But he has a tendency to ramble and repeat himself quite a bit, which made it a very slow read.
T.P. Williams
I liked this book very much. Lawrence paints an extremely vivid picture of rural Italy on the eve of industrialization. You can almost see him with his backpack at the train stations, in a pensione, etc. A very natural manner of expression; conversational almost.
Lydia
Lawrence's prose is beautiful, absolutely stunning in this travel book. Far from being Baedeker, as he points out, his grumpy, yet fascinated description of his travels is somewhat reminiscent of Ernest Hemingway's account of hunting in Africa, at least in my opinion. His outraged descriptions of things, such as the shepherds' calls to their sheep ("the wildest and weirdest inhuman shepherd noise I have ever heard") made me laugh frequently. Despite his freethinking reputation, and denying being ...more
Heather
This was going to be my train book. Just something to have around in case of delay, or for those last few minutes rolling into my stop. I brought it with me because the first few pages contained delightful and poetic prose. Then, about 20 more pages, the caustic elitism came out. I'd read the other reviews, I knew people didn't respond well to this. So I thought, ok, it'll still be my train book, good thing it's not so interesting it calls to me from my backpack while I'm working...

And then abo
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Stuart Aken
Full of detail, contrasts, contradictions and signature Lawrencian repetitions, this travel memoir is a fascinating read. As regular readers of my book reviews will know, an important factor in my enjoyment of any work is how well written is the piece. This one does not disappoint. Lawrence uses language with a mix of expert observation and casual scholarship rooted in instinct. His descriptions of people and place are vital, complex, opinionated and full of character.
First published in 1923, w
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Linda

Sea and Sardinia is a record of a trip D. H. Lawrence took with his wife Frieda in 1921. The central character is Lawrence himself—a cranky but deeply intelligent observer of people and place. The book puts you right there—in an ancient bus lumbering through the bleak Sardinian countryside; at a fair in a small city where normal life has been cast aside for an ancient bacchanal; on a creaky boat with bad food, seasick as it makes a primeval crossing.

To be sure, there are also the all-too-famili
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Akemi
Feb 13, 2013 Akemi is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Some choice quotes...
"One realizes here that man-drapery and man-underwear is quite as important as woman's, if not more.

I, of course, in a rage."

"I confess my heart stood still. But is mere historical fact so strong, that what one learns in bits from books can move one so? Or does the very word call an echo out of the dark blood? It seems so to me. It seems to me from the darkest recesses of my blood comes a terrible echo at the name of Mount Eryx: something quite unaccountable."

"But the hatefu
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Riccardo
I really really liked this book! As a Sardinian I enjoyed to read the (accurate) descriptions of the places I know, it's been very interesting to read how Lawrence portrayed the city where I live.
In particular, I liked the way he described those aspects of ordinary life typical of a Sardinia which I never knew (a Sardinia of the first years of XX century), but it's curious how certain things are still the same like generosity, spontaneity and also the snobbish behaviour typical of the people of
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Danica
repetition:

a. bitch about poor service and bad food (rocks of bread, wormy cabbage, gruel, etc)
b. everyone who so much as sets foot into the same train as the writer deserves at least three pages of exposition minimum about his or her appearance, dress, and manner of speaking, in addition to any conversations had with said writer which themselves constitute whole chapters on end (..not rly but it sure feels like it.)
c. italians hate britain because of the pound/lira exchange rate. (they also hat
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Robert Black
Well, if you get past his endless obsessional descriptions of the hills and mountains you do sail into some pretty unique writing.

What I found fascinating about this book was that he was traveling in a time without electricity or communications, and very few cars and buses.

He takes the reader into various dark taverns, stressful traveling situations, and so on. And for anyone who has backpacked, you also realize not much has changed.

His observations on Italians, about the French, Germans and Eng
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Val
Lawrence was a very good travel writer and an excellent poet. Several of the characters in his novels do think about, talk about and indulge in sex, but that is not what he should be remembered for.
This was first published in 1921 and describes a visit David Herbert and Frieda Lawrence made to the island.
Tara
DHL's rather adorable relationship with Frieda (here, the "queen bee," or qb) manages to go some way towards silencing the critics convinced that DHL's admittedly bizarre obsession with Promethean violent/virile manhood (as evident here as ever) isn't a secret statement of misogyny...
Sharmila Mukherjee
As novelist Russell Banks has said recently, "it's all Lawrence all the time, no Sardinia."
Paul Bridgwater
A wonderful description of Lawrence's experiences traveling from Sicily to Sardinia, focusing on the people he meets and the boats, trains and omnibuses he and Frieda use rather than on landscapes and monuments. Sardinia has certainly changed since the 1920s!
Richard
I feel drugged Lawrence is the English Bunin and conversely Bunin is the Russian Lawrence: both write from nature not of it they are not sappy worshippers but profound detailed shamen; they see what we never will
Hummingbird Farms
This is a beautifully worded, descriptive travel log. It captures, Sicily & Sardinia mostly, the atmosphere of both the places & peoples.
Katia S.
Più interessante come reperto storico di un fugace viaggio dello scrittore inglese nella mia Sardegna che per il contenuto in sè.
Roger Housden
Unquestionably one of the very best travel books I have ever read. A look into a world that no longer exists.
Kenneth Aubrey
very good traveling book, the next one twilight in italy is rather difficult to get into though
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David Herbert Richards Lawrence was an English writer of the 20th century, whose prolific and diverse output included novels, short stories, poems, plays, essays, travel books, paintings, translations, literary criticism and personal letters. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialisation. In them, Lawrence confronts issues rel ...more
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“Messina between the volcanoes, Etna and Stromboli, having known the death-agony's terror. I always dread coming near the awful place, yet I have found the people kind, almost feverishly so, as if they knew the awful need for kindness.” 2 likes
“Lemon trees, like Italians, seem to be happiest when they are touching one another” 1 likes
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