Bruce Chatwin: The Songlines

(965 words)

This 1987 travelogue, Bruce Chatwin's most famous and hotly disputed text, is the autobiografictional fulfilment of a writerly dream which the author had been unable to pursue in the late 1960s and early 1970s. After he had ended his impressive career at Sotheby's London office (1959-66) because of a psychosomatic eye problem, Chatwin began to study archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. Several field trips to Africa and Afghanistan during his course of study launched his idea to write an all-encompassing, scientific theory of nomadology. With this extensive project he intended to prove that the human race, in the process of becoming human, had acquired a strong migratory drive or instinct to walk long distances through the seasons.…

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Utz, Richard. "The Songlines". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 March 2001
[, accessed 29 November 2015.]