From the French Abbey of St Wandrille to the abandoned and awesome Rock Monasteries of Cappadocia in Turkey, the celebrated travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor studies the rigorous contemplative lives of the monks and the timeless beauty of their monastic surroundings. In his occasional retreats, the peaceful solitude and the calm enchantment of ...
From the French Abbey of St Wandrille to the abandoned and awesome Rock Monasteries of Cappadocia in Turkey, the celebrated travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor studies the rigorous contemplative lives of the monks and the timeless beauty of their monastic surroundings. In his occasional retreats, the peaceful solitude and the calm enchantment of the monasteries was passed on as a kind of 'supernatural windfall' which A Time to Keep Silence so effortlessly records.
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My first reading of Fermor. Beautifully written, escape-travel writing, Fermor's message seems to be that one can always adapt to new, even radically new, surroundings. I haven't been exposed to so many words I have never seen since reading the "standard" translation (Moncrieff, I think) of Proust's "In Search of Lost Time" or "Remembrance of Things Past," whichever title you like. If you want to understand the difference between Benedictine and Trappists Monks while expanding your vocabulary, this is the book for you.
Jan 27, 2011
Anyone who has not read Patrick Leigh Fermor has missed one of the best writers of the 20th Century. His travel books are superb, and this little spiritual quest is far beyong anything that I have read. It is a REAL self help book, not the nonsense that calls itself that today.
Apr 27, 2007
Fermor on Monasteries
Patrick Fermor is one of those outstanding, rugged individuals of the mid-20th Century who took life by the horns and drank hardily. This little book shows the inside of several monasteries in France, one in England, and a very curious one in the Middle East at mid-century. The beauty of the surroundings he describes is contrasted with the utter starkness of the prayerful life lived by the monks. The book is informative and gives very much pleasure in the beautiful language Mr. Fermor is capable of using. Enjoy!
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