A Time to Keep Silence
I am moody and reflective and still a bit drunk so I caution readers now that this is going to be one of those reviews; the kind you write on dark nights when the windows can still be opened and the wind is strong and the leaves are giving up their hold on reality. I walked back from the T (that's the subway to those not in the Boston-know) after finishing these three essays on monasticism and monasteries. It's...more
(Man, that guy needs to get a job, or else our new Lord Governor might not let him back int...more
Fortunately for us he did write, and write beautifully. Known as a travel writer, he was far more - his works are full of not only travel, but history, philosophy, art and an overflowing evanescence of language.
A time to keep silence is a co...more
I was taken by the cover photo of Cappadocia in central Turkey. The landscape was well known before the Christian era, described both by Herodotus and Xenophon, according to the Blue Guide to Turkey.
As a visitor to the area in the 1960's and 70's I was unaware of the use of the caves as monasteries rather th...more
In church there was a kind of minstrels' gallery from which the guests, like Moslem ladies in a zenana, gazed down at the Trappists. The Victorian Gothic ar...more
This piece on NPR made me want to add this book to the To Read list - and go to a monastery - and it's a nice, short book too.
...I stopped to see a friend, and when he heard the purpose of my trip — to step outside the daily round of distraction and obligation — he pulled a book off his shelf and suggested I might want to take it along for the journey. It was called A Time to Keep Silence by Patrick Leigh Fermor, and I quickly fell under its spell.
At a mere 95 pages, it is a short read, yet no
Fermor's stay in St. Wandrille was his first exposure to monastic life and the experience was quite raw and a bi...more
Then I decided to add silence to my day for Lent. I have not been keeping up with my journal and I am hoping that adding a bit of silence before writing will enco...more
Also, if you have great expectations, leave...more
Initially hostile to the "odour of sanctity" he finds, Fermor comes to have a great respect for the communities he describes and there is even a hint of jealousy in his prose. Whether or not I am correct in that, his respect for "the anonymous well-wishers who red...more
The description of the stone spaces at Cappadocia was very intriquing. I'd like to learn more about them and find out if th...more
Fermor visited two Benedictine monasteries in France and wrote about his
experiences there. He gives a detailed portrayal of their daily offices and
activities as well as architectural and historical information. Although it
was a somewhat difficult transition at first what with the silence vows, Fermor
adjusts and finds himself some peace. He also writes of the ruins of a church
in Cappadocia in Turkey. It was carved out o...more
Be warned: many of the reviews describe this as a meditation on the meaning of silence in contempo...more
For a full review, please visit my blog http://cornishamy.blogspot.com/2011/0...
This is a beautifully written, descriptive piece of travel writing about Patrick Leigh Fermor's time spent in retreat as a guest in monasteries. This short book is a collection of three pieces. The first piece deals with a stay at a Benedictine monastery, the Abbey of St Wandrille de Fontanelle, the second with a brief sojourn at Solesmes and a longer stay at Cistercian abbey La Grande Trappe and the final, shorter,...more
The book also supplied me with one of my favorite stories about sleep. The author spent the first several days in the monestery sleeping (there was nothing else to do). Afterwards, he felt rejuvinated and was able to work on a b...more
WWhen I read a book by a favourite author I read very slowly, sometimes aloud, savouring the flow of words, and teasing out the meaning. In this account of an unusual ascetic retreat the cadence of Fermor's fine prose echos the simplicity of the plainchant; the great silence is not empty, but resonant with the free flow of thought. It is unsurprising then, that Fermor, war hero,great romantic and generous lover who "everyone fell in love with" should seek the sanctuary of the monastery to write...more
Fermor provided historical information about each of the "monasteries" he visited, including leaders/abbots and church events. I was unfamiliar with them and would have learned more if he delved more rather than running through an outline.
This guy has an incredible vocabulary, challenging my ability to understand via context.
At the age of 18, Leigh Fermor decided to walk the length of Europe, from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. He set off on 8 December 1933, after Hitler ha...more