At the age of eighteen, Patrick Leigh Fermor set off from the heart of London on an epic journey—to walk to Constantinople. A Time of Gifts is the rich account of. A Time of Gifts Patrick Leigh Fermor John Murray £, pp One of the most romantic books of the twentieth century, Patrick Leigh Fermor’s. At the age of eighteen, Patrick Leigh Fermor set off from the heart of London on an epic journey—to walk to Constantinople. A Time of Gifts is.

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His literary technique here is to slow the moment down through excess description as if to savor it. Keep me patric, in on this computer. And when not prompted into reverie by the landscapes around him, he turned inward to the rich body of literature that he had committed to memory. Published years after the event, init still perfectly captures the wonder of his extraordinary journey and the many fascinating people he met on the way.

So why does this dude sound like he just rode in on a hansom cab from the Congress of Vienna? We want youth to realize that the world is theirsbut they must first learn to navigate just a little, and prepare to be on their own.

Then, reinforced by the Drava, it turns east again, invades Yugoslavia, swallows up the Sava under the battlements of Belgrade, and sweeps on imperturbably to storm the Iron Gates. In late DecemberPatrick Leigh Fermor set out on foot for Constantinople as he anachronistically termed it. There’s his passport, “crammed with the visas of vanished kingdoms. Not college, but high school. What about his finger-waggi “All horsepower corrupts.

Arches flew in broad hoops from capital to capital; crossing in diagonals, they leigj the barrel-vaults that hung dimly above the smoke. Including infinity and blue strata and iron dumb-bells in a simple bar scene is too much. The lanes opened on the Boomjes, a long quay lined with trees and capstans, and this in its turn gave on a tume arm of the Maas and an infinity of dim ships. True Stories from Around the World. Not a Member Yet? In any event, in none of the instances does Fermor appear to use it properly, but rather as a simple euphemism for ride, which is really just bad writing all around.


A few minutes later, he was opening the door of the car with a flourish of his cockaded cap before the door of the hotel and after fake farewells, I strolled about the hall of the Graf Zeppelin for a last puff on the ogre [his host’s] cigar.

A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor

yb This comes out most clearly in his architectural passages: And there fermod a great deal here that any backpacker, even those of us in this dull and benighted and progress-throttled modern age, can appreciate. A Time of Gifts Discussion. Apr 16, Ann rated it it was amazing.

Here is an example of his writing: You do run into the rumblings of the approaching war, but that is not the central focus.

I would have lingered, had I known.

Romantic journey

It was still a couple of hours till dawn when we gifst anchor in the Hook of Holland. Triangular lecterns display graduals and antiphonals and Books of Hours and coloured scenes encrust the capitals on the buckled parchment; block-notes and lozenges climb and fall on four-letter Georgian staves where Carolingian uncials and blackletter spell out the responses.

Grand architecture to wax poetic about in a sensory-overloaded, vertigo-inducing manner. A Time of Gifts, He is able to section off a moment and a place and rope it away from the world and declare it Divine. Following the white parallelograms the lines of the willow dwindled as insubstantially as trails of vapour. To protect the girls’ reputation he must tell the host he’s staying at a nearby hotel, when of course he’s sleeping on their sofa: And, in one of his many asides, Fermor alludes to it when telling the story of how he would patrivk play a role in capturing a Nazi officer in Crete.


From encounters with the curious black redstart, which winters on our rocky coasts, to the tiny green snowdrop shoots that are the first sign that spring might be round the corner. He did keep a travel diary though he lost the first one, when he left his backpack at a youth hostel in Munich for a day, after having met a pair of schoolgirls who took him in so vermor It took me a long time to comprehend history as a palimpsest.

A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor | : Books

Many years after his travel, Leigh Fermor’s diary of the Danubian leg of his journey was found in a castle in Romania and returned to him. It was beginning to change, turning now, under my clouding glance, into the scenery for some terrible Germanic saga, where snow vanished under the breath of dragons whose red-hot blood thawed sword-blades like icicles. I’ll take the latter, thank you, and that’s where Fermor focuses his attention, too, with the intricate wood carvings, the beer steins, the pipes, the Schnapps, and the Guten Tags!

Leading Alex Ferguson with Michael Moritz. It is in the end like a cloying, too rich desert.

This is just the first spate of very rich description that one gets ferrmor. Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. A brilliant array of skills, which touches everything from the pillars of the colonnade to the twirl of a latch, links the most brittle and transient-seeming details to the most magnificent and enduring spoils of the forests and quarries. We also get details of the Danube’s history, its flora and fauna including a predacious foot catfish known as the Wels.

But it is also about experimenting with literary forms, with the past and with the Self.