The Songlines

Paperback | June 26, 2012

byBruce ChatwinIntroduction byRory Stewart

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For its twenty-fifth anniversary, a new edition of Bruce Chatwin's classic work with a new introduction by Rory Stewart

Part adventure, part novel of ideas, part spiritual autobiography, The Songlines is one of Bruce Chatwin's most famous books. Set in the desolate lands of the Australian Outback, it tells the story of Chatwin's search for the source and meaning of the ancient "dreaming tracks" of the Aborigines—the labyrinth of invisible pathways by which their ancestors "sang" the world into existence. This singular book, which was a New York Times bestseller when it was published in 1987, engages all of Chatwin's lifelong passions, including his obsession with travel, his interest in the nomadic way of life, and his hunger to understand man's origins and nature.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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From the Publisher

For its twenty-fifth anniversary, a new edition of Bruce Chatwin's classic work with a new introduction by Rory StewartPart adventure, part novel of ideas, part spiritual autobiography, The Songlines is one of Bruce Chatwin's most famous books. Set in the desolate lands of the Australian Outback, it tells the story of Chatwin's search ...

Bruce Chatwin (1940–1989) was the author of In Patagonia, The Viceroy of Ouidah, On the Black Hill, The Songlines, and Utz. His other books are What Am I Doing Here and Anatomy of Restlessness, posthumous anthologies of shorter works, and Far Journeys, a collection of his photographs that also includes selections from his travel notebo...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 7.73 × 5 × 0.54 inPublished:June 26, 2012Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0142422576

ISBN - 13:9780142422571

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Customer Reviews of The Songlines

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from A marvellous look at music, language and the world A wonderful book - connecting and interconnecting people throughout history and the world. A lovely analysis of how language, music, the nomadic way of life all work together to make us who we are. The book stays with me after many years - the premise is one which resonates with me daily. I can't recommend this highly enough.
Date published: 2007-10-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Extraordinary Chatwin! Bruce Chatwin's Songlines is his finest work of travel literature representing an extraordinary life as a traveller and writer. The story recounts his travels across Australia and the characters he encounters along the journey. As the master of modern travel literature, Chatwin weaves excerpts from his travel notebooks into his narrative. These excerpts themselves,stories within stories, are the real gems of Songlines. Together, they leave the reader with exquisite storytelling and a telling story of Chatwin's nomadic, well-travelled life..
Date published: 2006-06-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Songlines A tremendous tale about the Australian outback, combining elements of memoir, history, science and phiosophy. The Aboriginals of Australia speak of songlines as "dreaming tracks" and a "labyrinth of invisible pathways." Chatwin's discussion of the origins of humankind, communication, and the need to understand where we have come from and where we are all going, complement the central focus of the book - the instinctual human desire to wander.
Date published: 1999-03-09

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Editorial Reviews

"A blend of travelogue, memoir, history, philosophy, science, meditation, and commonplace book...Chatwin's astonishing style captures the metamorphoses of his own 'Walkabout'....He takes the travel genre beyond exoticism and the simple picturesque into the metaphysical."—The Boston GlobeThe riches of The Songlines are varied and artfully stashed. Chatwin's physical journey over Australia's parched hide corresponds to his intellectual excursions, which are full of surprising turns."—Time"No ordinary book ever issues from Bruce Chatwin. Each bears the imprint of a dazzingly original mind."—Newsday