In Patagonia Quotes

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In Patagonia In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin
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In Patagonia Quotes Showing 1-16 of 16
“I pictured a low timber house with a shingled roof, caulked against storms, with blazing log fires inside and the walls lined with all the best books, somewhere to live when the rest of the world blew up.”
Bruce Chatwin, In Patagonia
“I climbed a path and from the top looked up-stream towards Chile. I could see the river, glinting and sliding through the bone-white cliffs with strips of emerald cultivation either side. Away from the cliffs was the desert. There was no sound but the wind, whirring through thorns and whistling through dead grass, and no other sign of life but a hawk, and a black beetle easing over white stones.”
Bruce Chatwin, In Patagonia
“In Patagonia, the isolation makes it easy to exaggerate the person you are: the drinker drinks; the devout prays; the lonely grows lonelier, sometimes fatally.”
Bruce Chatwin, In Patagonia
“You're saying that man "makes" his territory by naming the "things" in it?”
Bruce Chatwin, In Patagonia
“The playing was remarkable. I could not imagine a finer Pathétique further South. When he finished he said: ‘Now I play Chopin. Yes?’ and he replaced the bust of Beethoven with one of Chopin. ‘Do you wish waltzes or mazurkas?’ ‘Mazurkas.’ ‘I shall play my best favourite. It is the last music Chopin is writing.’ And he played the mazurka that Chopin dictated on his deathbed. The wind whistled in the street and the music ghosted from the piano as leaves over a headstone and you could imagine you were in the presence of genius.”
Bruce Chatwin, In Patagonia
“He panned the streams for gold. Some winters he stayed with John Evans at Trevelin and swapped dirty nuggets for flour. He was a crack shot. He shot trout from the rivers; a cigarette packet from the police commissioner’s mouth; and had the habit of picking off ladies’ high-heels.”
Bruce Chatwin, In Patagonia
“The plesiosaurus also lent its name to a tango and a brand of cigarettes.”
Bruce Chatwin, In Patagonia
“Albatrosses and penguins are the last birds I'd want to murder.”
Bruce Chatwin, In Patagonia
“Immediately after his ordination, Dowd startled his parents and the Fathers by riding past on his new racehorse, a brace of six-shooters strapped over his cassock. That night, in Sausalito, he had the pleasure—a pleasure he had long savoured—of giving last rites to the first man he shot.”
Bruce Chatwin, In Patagonia
“At dinner the waiter wore white gloves and served a lump of burnt lamb that bounced on the plate. Spread over the restaurant wall was an immense canvas of gauchos herding cattle into an orange sunset. An old-fashioned blonde gave up on the lamb and sat painting her nails. An Indian came in drunk and drank through three jugs of wine. His eyes were glittering slits in the red leather shield of his face. The jugs were of green plastic in the shape of penguins.”
Bruce Chatwin, In Patagonia
“The train started with two whistles and a jerk. Ostriches bounded off the track as we passed, their feathers billowing like smoke. The mountains were grey, flickering in the heat haze. Sometimes a truck smeared a dust-cloud along the horizon.”
Bruce Chatwin, In Patagonia
“They were close friends. He was full of vitality, but it was a borrowed vitality, for the Welshmen cheered up all who saw their bright and weatherbeaten faces.”
Bruce Chatwin, In Patagonia
“stopped raining and I came to leave. Bees hummed around the poet’s hives. His apricots were ripening the colour of a pale sun. Clouds of thistledown drifted across the view and in a field there were some fleecy white sheep.”
Bruce Chatwin, In Patagonia
“The city kept reminding me of Russia—the cars of the secret police bristling with aerials; women with splayed haunches licking ice-cream in dusty parks; the same bullying statues, the pie-crust architecture, the same avenues that were not quite straight, giving the illusion of endless space and leading out into nowhere. Tsarist rather than Soviet Russia. Bazarov could be an Argentine character, The Cherry Orchard is an Argentine situation. The Russia of greedy kulaks, corrupt officials, imported groceries and landowners asquint to Europe. I said as much to a friend. ‘Lots of people say that,’ he said. ‘Last year an old White émigrée came to our place in the country. She got terrifically excited and asked to see every room. We went up to the attics and she said: “Ah! I knew it! The smell of my childhood!”
Bruce Chatwin, In Patagonia
“Fifty years ago he found the dinosaur in the barranca. Now, toothless, hairless and in his middle eighties, he was one of the oldest flying pilots in the world. Each morning he put on his white canvas flying-suit, pottered down to the Aero Club in his Moskva and hurled himself and his antique monoplane to the gales. The risk merely increased his appetite for life. The wind had polished his nose and coloured it pale lilac. I found him at lunch ladling the bortsch into the ivory orb of his head. He had made his room cheerful, in the Baltic way, with flowered curtains, geraniums, diplomas for stunt flying and a signed photograph of Neil Armstrong.”
Bruce Chatwin, In Patagonia
“Underneath was a votive shrine with; offerings—a tin of Nestlé’s milk, a plaster model of a girl in bed, a nail dipped in grey paint, and some burned-out candles.”
Bruce Chatwin, In Patagonia