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Anatomy of Restlessness: Selected Writings, 1969-1989

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  527 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
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 This spirited collection of previously neglected or unpublished essays, articles, short stories, travel sketc ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published August 1st 1997 by Penguin Books (first published 1996)
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Oct 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
It is always fascinating to read the minor works of someone whose majo works one loves. After having finished Anatomy of Restlessness: Selected Writings, 1969-1989, I have only two more works of Bruce Chatwin to tackle: On the Black Hill and his collected letters, both of which I have on my shelves.

There are some things that draw me to Chatwin, and others that repel me. On the one hand, he had this mania for travel that has been part of my life after since I broke free of my parents; and, as a f
rated it really liked it
Jan 04, 2016
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uk, non-fiction
It left me lukewarm, compared to Chatwin's collected letters, which are more informative and consistently rather amusing.

The first section, Horreur du domicile, is OK; the second, Stories, quite unremarkable; the third, The Nomadic Alternative, quite redundant if you know the letters; Reviews - might be useful to some, but not many; and the final section, Art and the Image-breaker forms an interesting analysis of Chatwin's attitude to art, possessions, and nomadism.
Robert DeMayo
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
During my heavy travel years I read Chatwin religiously. His stories brought me to places I'd never known of or even thought of going to, but made me see them with all the unique details he tended to collect. I thought I'd read everything when I stumbled upon Anatomy of Restlessness in a box in my storage bin. This collection may have seemed dull to a 20-something on the road, but as an older man with a tired body I have to say it's priceless.
Oct 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Best intro to Chatwin's marvelous work.
Josie Shagwert
Apr 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
These essays are maybe even a bit more developed than the ones in What Am I Doing Here? Really pleasurable to read.
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Two words: editor needed.
Clinton Carter
Dec 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Certainly the best title for a travel book.
Sep 24, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
One of my favorite book titles EVER.
Barbara von der Osten
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book was my first encounter with Mr. Chatwin. As I was reading it, I kept asking myself “why have I not read Chatwin before?” This particular book is a compilation of what the editors refer to as “neglected and unpublished Chatwin pieces,” which includes short stories, travel sketches, essays, articles and criticism. If you like any of Chatwin’s other works, by all means pick this book up. If you’ve never ready any of Chatwin’s books before, by all means, pick this book up.
Nov 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, they certainly chose a catchy title...

This book is a collection of previously unpublished essays and other writings of Bruce Chatwin that was released after his death. I've said it before (and since I like to repeat myself, I'll probably say it agaiN): I really really loved Chatwin for a while. And I still like him very much. So yes, of course I'd buy this book, I mean, it's not like the man has written all that much. I'd be a fool not to read everything he wrote.

Personally, I read post-de
Paul Blaney
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fans of Chatwin will find all his usual subjects in this slim miscellany. Nomads and the art world, psychologizing and minimalist stories. Nothing new then, but lots to like--his prose style and his fearless manhandling of big, bold ideas in particular.

I enjoyed the final essay, The Morality of Things, and will likely enjoy it again when we come to move house in the next few months. The travel vignettes and the 'stories' are always rewarding. And I hadn't encountered some of his book reviews; t
con alcune punte magistrali.
in molte parti non l'ho capito, forse per come scrive Chatwin, forse perché pur amando l'idea del viaggio non sono abbastanza "folle" per poterlo concepire come "motivo di una vita".
se il viaggio è "evasione" allora lo sia per un determinato tempo e non come obiettivo di un'intera vita.
e forse è solo che sono irrequieta e quindi non riesco ad applicarmi a sufficienza.

jules verne non mi è mai piaciuto, essendo io convinto che il reale è sempre più fantastico del fanta

May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chatwin
É stato il primo libro di Chatwin che ho letto, forse avrei dovuto iniziare con qualcos'altro, ma nonostante ciò mi ha fatto davvero una bella impressione.
Mi é piaciuto fin da subito a partire dal modo stupendo e curioso di come scrive ai vari racconti mistici e buffi delle sue avventure. Si é anche rivelato un attento osservatore e un buon critico senza troppi filtri. A volte dilungava abbastanza con argomenti un po' tirati ma non troppo, in sostanza mi é piaciuto abbastanza.
Sep 16, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, travel
Chatwin fits the stereotype of the poncy English autodidact who preferred the world when it was still governed by Queen Victoria. That said, his non-fiction - in particular, his writing about nomads and wanderings - is observant and intelligent, the kind of thing to read while alone at a bar or a railroad station. His fiction, however, seems as if it was rescued from the scrapbook of his boarding school days, and is best ignored completely.
Nov 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing
É um livro heterogéneo, composto por relatos de viagens, ensaios sobre o nomadismo, críticas literárias... Gostei muitos de uns e pouco ou mais ou menos de outros mas no geral foi um livro que gostei de ler, o primeiro deste autor em que peguei, e me fez ficar com vontade de ler mais.
Lido através do BookCrossing (obrigada, cometa54!)
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The strange, angelic Chatwin was the master craftsman of British writing in the 1980s. This odd selection shows both the depth and breadth of his work but is probably a better read for those who already know Chatwin's books: start with Songlines, On The Black Hill and Utz.
I really enjoyed the autobiographical essays and reviews, but even I could tell that the section on nomadism is just one giant [citation needed] disaster, and I don't even know all that much about nomads.
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Bruce Chatwin's short stories are just magic. His sense of place and quiet but engrossing descriptions take you and place you in the rooms, walk you through the landscapes and at times take your breath away.
Emiliano Bussolo
Non mi ero mai deciso a leggere Chatwin perché con tutti i suoi viaggi e le sue patagonie pensavo si trattasse di lettura banale; poi, niente, ho preso in mano questo "Anatomia Dell'Irrequietezza" e - bang - fulminato. Bellissimo.
Dec 17, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: travel
As a child whose family wandered all over the world, the title just resonates.
Sep 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
Chatwin's best IMO.
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, ebook

"il viaggio non soltanto allarga la mente: le dà forma"
Emerson Grossmith
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Quite good--enjoyed the section on nomads
Kyle Miller
Sep 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Chatwin was a championship bullshitter. This is a collection of his half-truths, his confabulations, and his outright lies (and there's even some fiction in here, too!). Wonderful.
Melissa McAfee
Mar 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Magical and marvelous!
Mar 23, 2009 added it
beautiful pictures; shows chatwin's superb qaulities as photographer.
Jul 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Chatwin is amongst the first rank of travel writers, and the contents of this book (albeit not all being travel-related, strictly speaking) attest to that status clearly.
Dec 10, 2007 rated it liked it
Not my favorite collection of Chatwin's, but it has its gems. Notable are the treatises on nomads and walking, his specialty, in my mind.
Elisabeth Millenaar
rated it it was amazing
Nov 14, 2014
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Charles Bruce Chatwin was an English novelist and travel writer. He won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel On the Black Hill (1982). In 1972, Chatwin interviewed the 93-year-old architect and designer Eileen Gray in her Paris salon, where he noticed a map of the area of South America called Patagonia, which she had painted. "I've always wanted to go there," Bruce told her. "So have ...more
More about Bruce Chatwin...
“[...] I will go to France, to Yugoslavia, to China and continue my profession.'
'As sanitary engineer?'
'No, Monsieur. As adventurer. I will see all the peoples and all the countries in the world.”
“Gradually the idea for a book began to take shape. It was to be a wildly ambitious and intolerant work, a kind of 'Anatomy of Restlessness' that would enlarge on Pascal's dictum about the man sitting quietly in a room. The argument, roughly, was as follows: that in becoming human, man had acquired, together with his straight legs and striding walk, a migratory 'drive' or instinct to walk long distances through the seasons; that this 'drive' was inseparable from his central nervous system; and, that, when warped in conditions of settlement, it found outlets in violence, greed, status-seeking or a mania for the new. This would explain why mobile societies such as the gypsies were egalitarian, thing-free and resistant to change; also why, to re-establish the harmony of the First State, all the great teachers - Buddha, Lao-tse, St Francis - had set the perpetual pilgrimage at the heart of their message and told their disciples, literally, to follow The Way.” 4 likes
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