Bruce Chatwin

Your home for news on Bruce Chatwin and literary travel.

Articles of Interest

Two articles of interest over the past week or so; the first questioning famous authors on significant postcards they have received. Nick Shakespeare cites a card sent to him by Bruce Chatwin:

“I have this postcard of a Tiepolo ceiling in Wurzburg, that I was sent in 1987 by the late travel writer Bruce Chatwin, whose biography I wrote. He had driven to Prague in his 2CV with his wife Elizabeth in order to gather more material for his last novel, Utz. His German publisher who saw the Chatwins at this time had the idea that "after all the battle of life they would be together ..." I had the impression of a wonderful couple like Ovid's Philomen and Baucis.” See the card itself here.

Another relevant piece of news in this morning’s Guardian, namely an interview with Francis Wyndham, who was both a great friend and something of a mentor to Chatwin. Asked about what sort of person Chatwin was, Wyndham responds in glowing terms:

'I absolutely loved him. I found him life-enhancing. You wouldn't see him for ages, then he would just turn up. He was a bit like Jean [Rhys]; he would talk about what he wanted to talk about. It was a monologue, but it was a monologue that I wanted to hear.'

Finally, continuing a series of programmes on travellers of the twentieth century, Benedict Allen presents a documentary on the life of another great friend of Chatwin’s, Patrick Leigh Fermor. The programme is well worth watching in its entirety, but Allen does discuss Chatwin at some length towards the end of the show. It has passed by on mainstream television, but can be found for two more days on BBC iPlayer.