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Pleasures and Landscapes

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3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  32 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Sybille Bedford once wrote that travel writing is inseparable from the writer's tastes, idiosyncrasies, and general temperament--it is what happens to him when he is confronted with a column, a bird, a sage, a cheat, a riot; wine, fruit, dirt; the delay in the dirt, the failing airplane. Pleasures and Landscapes is what happened to Mrs. Bedford when, at the peak of her lit ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 26th 2003 by Counterpoint
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Essential Italy Reading
32nd out of 46 books — 6 voters
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428th out of 613 books — 246 voters


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Sophia Stuart
Nov 30, 2013 Sophia Stuart rated it it was amazing
Sybille Bedford (whenever I talk about Sanary Sur Mer, it is in appreciation of Sybille) wrote exquisitely about food in all of her novels, but most particularly in her collection of journalism for Vogue, Esquire and Encounter magazine, Pleasures and Landscapes - here’s a taste:

A back room attached to a kitchen, bare communal tables, benches, cool scowls for welcome, crowded to overflowing, but no queue. No diamonds, no foreigners, no Giuliettas. The customers: Florentine aristocracy and workmen
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Miriam
Nov 11, 2014 Miriam marked it as to-read
Shelves: travel
The cover implies that food will be a prominent part of this travelogue.
Lesley
Sep 28, 2014 Lesley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delightful set of essays about travels in Europe 1940s-70s. Points for liking comfort, efficiency, etc rather than the picturesquely primitive and quaint!
Rachel
Jun 02, 2014 Rachel rated it really liked it
Loving, breezy account of European travels - mostly 50s and 60s - post rebuilding.
Carol
Apr 18, 2010 Carol rated it it was amazing
Two huge pluses: the book is gorgeously written; almost lyrical in some of the author's impressions. Also, most all the material was written decades ago e.g., Yugoslavia by car in 1965, which makes it even more enjoyable, and informative to read. I especially enjoyed Bedford's description of the Swiss and the Danes, people who're often characterized as bland or even smug---she goes beneath that to discussion of national characteristics in terms of relationship to geography and to a region's hist ...more
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Sybille Bedford, OBE (16 March 1911 – 17 February 2006) was a German-born English writer. Many of her works are partly autobiographical. Julia Neuberger proclaimed her "the finest woman writer of the 20th century" while Bruce Chatwin saw her as "one of the most dazzling practitioners of modern English prose.

Works

The Sudden View: a Mexican Journey - 1953 - (republished as A Visit to Don Otavio: a T
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“Architecture without pain, art looked at in undiluted pleasure, enjoyment without anxiety, compunction, heartache: there is no beggar woman in the church door, no ragged child or sore animal in the square. The water is safe and the wallet is inside the pocket. There will be no missed plane connection. We are in a country where the curable ills are taken care of. We are in a country where the mechanics of living from transport to domestic heating (alack, poor Britain!) function imaginatively and well; where it goes without saying that the sick are looked after and secure and the young well educated and well trained; where ingenuity is used to heal delinquents and to mitigate at least the physical dependence of old age; where there is work for all and some individual seizure, and men and women have not been entirely alienated yet from their natural environment; where there is care for freedom and where the country as a whole has rounded the drive to power and prestige beyond its borders and where the will to peace is not eroded by doctrine, national self-love, and unmanageable fears; where people are kindly, honest, helpful, sane, reliable, resourceful, and cool-headed; where stranger–shyly–smiles to stranger. "Portrait Sketch of a Country: Denmark 1962” 0 likes
“War and the threat of war begin when all is not well at home. Countries that solve their own problems are no problem to others. How did it all come about; how did the Danes get that way? Why are they what they are? Was the country particularly favored? Did they try to keep the peace in the past? Did they practice religious tolerance? The answers are no. Is it then all hit or miss? As People holding a territory poor rather than rich, with a history as long, mixed, and disturbed as the next country's–are these facts that must be fed into the computer, and what might the computer's answer be? Portugal? Switzerland? Prussia? – "Portrait Sketch of a Country" (Denmark 1962)” 0 likes
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