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Encyclopedia > Bruce Chatwin
Bruce Chatwin as he appears on the cover of Nicholas Shakespeare's 2001 biography, Bruce Chatwin: a biography.
Bruce Chatwin as he appears on the cover of Nicholas Shakespeare's 2001 biography, Bruce Chatwin: a biography.

Bruce Charles Chatwin (May 13, 1940 - January 18, 1989) was a British novelist and travel writer. He was the most famous endorser of Moleskine notebooks, which he used extensively throughout his travels. Image File history File linksMetadata Chatwincover. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Chatwincover. ... May 13 is the 133rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (134th in leap years). ... 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1940 calendar). ... January 18 is the 18th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Inside view of a Moleskine ruled notebook; the elastic band is visible on the right, as is the bookmark in the center. ...

Contents

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Education

Chatwin was born on May 13, 1940 in Sheffield, Yorkshire. He spent his early childhood living in West Heath in Birmingham (then in Warwickshire), where his father had a Law practice. He was educated at Marlborough College, in Wiltshire and later at Edinburgh. For other uses, see Sheffield (disambiguation). ... Look up Yorkshire in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The city from above Centenary Square. ... A detailed map Stratford-upon-Avon Kenilworth Castle Warwickshire (pronounced /ˈwɒɹɪkˌʃə/, /ˈwɔːɹɪkˌʃə/, or /ˈwɔːɹɪkˌʃɪə/) is a landlocked non-metropolitan county in central England. ... English barrister 16th century painting of a civil law notary, by Flemish painter Quentin Massys. ... Marlborough College is a British boarding school in the county of Wiltshire, founded in 1843 for the education of the sons of Church of England clergy, although it now accepts both boys and girls of all beliefs. ... Wiltshire (abbreviated Wilts) is a large southern English county. ... The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is a renowned centre for teaching and research in Edinburgh, Scotland. ...

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Art and archaeology

In 1958, Chatwin joined the London art auction house Sotheby's. Thanks to his sharp visual acuity, he quickly became Sotheby's impressionism expert. He later became a director of the company. However, he began to suffer from problems with his sight, which he attributed to the close analysis of artwork entailed by his job. An ophthalmologist assured him that nothing was seriously wrong, but suggested that he might stop looking so closely at painting and turn his attention to "horizons"; Chatwin, needing little excuse, headed for the Sudan. On his return, Chatwin quickly became disenchanted with the art world, and turned his interest instead to archaeology, quitting his post at Sotheby's in June 1966. 1958 (MCMLVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... PR shot of Sothebys New York, from auditions for The Apprentice 2 Sothebys is an auction house. ... See also Impressionist (entertainment): A girl with a watering can by Renoir, 1876 Impressionism was a 19th century art movement, which began as a private association of Paris-based artists who exhibited publicly in 1874. ... Ophthalmology is the branch of medicine which deals with the diseases of the eye and their treatment. ... 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ...


Chatwin enrolled at the University of Edinburgh to study archaeology in October of the same year. However, despite winning the Wardrop Prize for the best first year's work, he found the rigour of academic archaeology tiresome, and spent only two years in the city, leaving without taking a degree.

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Literary career

In 1972, Chatwin was hired by the Sunday Times Magazine as an adviser on art and architecture. His association with the magazine cultivated his narrative skills and he traveled on many international assignments, writing on such subjects as Algerian migrant workers and the Great Wall of China, and interviewing such diverse people as AndrĂ© Malraux, in France, and Nadezhda Mandelstam, in the Soviet Union. 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... The Great Wall in the winter The Great Wall of China (Traditional Chinese: , Simplified Chinese: , pinyin: Wànlǐ Chángchéng; literally 10,000 Li (里)¹ long wall) is a Chinese fortification built from the 14th century until the beginning of the 17th century, in order to protect the various dynasties... André Malraux, French author, adventurer, and statesman André Malraux (November 3, 1901 - November 23, 1976) was a French author, adventurer and statesman preeminent in the world of French politics and culture during his lifetime. ... Nadezhda Mandelstam Nadezhda Yakovlevna Mandelstam (Russian: , neé Hazin; 18 October 1899 — 29 December 1980) was a Russian writer and a wife of poet Osip Mandelstam. ...


Chatwin interviewed the 93-year-old architect and designer Eileen Gray in her Paris salon, where he noticed a map of Patagonia which she had painted. "I've always wanted to go there," Bruce told her. "So have I," she replied. "Go there for me." He set out almost immediately for South America and when he got there severed himself from the newspaper with a telegram: "Have gone to Patagonia". Bibendum chair by Eileen Gray E1027 table by Eileen Gray Eileen Gray (August 9, 1878 РOctober 31, 1976) was an Irish lacquer artist, furniture designer, and architect now well-known for incorporating luxurious lacquer work into the stark International Style aesthetic. ... Part of the Paris skyline with from left to right: Montparnasse Tower, Eiffel Tower, and in the background, towers of neighboring La D̩fense. ... In orange the area most commonly defined as Patagonia. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... Telegraphy (from the Greek words tele = far away and grapho = write) is the long distance transmission of written messages without physical transport of letters, originally over wire. ...


He spent six months there, a trip which resulted in the book In Patagonia (1977), which established his reputation as a travel writer. Later, however, residents in the region came forward to contradict the events depicted in Chatwin's book. It was the first, but not the last time in his career, that conversations and characters that Chatwin reported as true, were alleged to be just fiction. In Patagonia is a travel book in the English language, written by Bruce Chatwin and published in 1977. ... For the album by Ash, see 1977 (album). ...


Later works included a fictionalised study of the slave trade, The Viceroy of Ouidah, which he researched with extended stays in the West African state of Benin. For The Songlines, Chatwin went to Australia to develop the thesis that the songs of the Aborigines are a cross between a creation myth, an atlas and an Aboriginal man's personal story. On the Black Hill was set closer to home, in the hill farms of the Welsh Borders, and focuses on the relationship between twin brothers, Lewis and Benjamin, who grow up isolated from the course of twentieth century history. Utz, his last book, was a fictional take on the obsession which leads people to collect. Set in Prague, the novel details the life and death of Joachim Utz, a man obsessed with the collection of Meissen porcelain. Chatwin was working on a number of new ideas for future novels at the time of his death in 1989, including a trans-continental epic, provisionally titled "Lydia Livingstone". This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... The Viceroy of Ouidah is a novel published in 1980 by Bruce Chatwin, about the life of a slave trader named Francisco Manoel da Silva, loosely based on the life of an historical Brazilian, Francisco Felix da Souza, who became a powerful personage in Wydah or Ouidah, the so-called... The Songlines is a 1987 book written by Bruce Chatwin, combining fiction and non-fiction. ... See also, List of Indigenous Australian group names Indigenous Australians are the first human inhabitants of the Australian continent and its nearby islands. ... Creation beliefs and stories describe how the universe, the Earth, life, and/or humanity came into being. ... An atlas is a collection of maps, traditionally bound into book form, but also found in multimedia formats. ... On the Black Hill is a novel similar to that of another novel, that of Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence. ... Prague (Czech: Praha (IPA: ), see also other names) is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. ... Old town of Meißen. ... It has been suggested that Porcelain tile be merged into this article or section. ...

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Style and influence

Chatwin is admired for his spare, lapidary style and his innate story-telling abilities. However, he has also been strongly criticized for his fictionalized anecdotes of real people, places, and events. Frequently, the people he wrote about recognized themselves and did not always appreciate his distortions of their culture and behaviour. Chatwin, however, was philosophical about what he saw as an unavoidable dilemma, arguing that his portrayals were not intended to be faithful representations; as Nicholas Shakespeare, his biographer, argues: 'He tells not a half truth, but a truth and a half.'

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Personal life

Much to the surprise of many of his friends, Chatwin at age twenty-five married Elizabeth Chanler whom he knew at Sotheby's. He was bisexual throughout his entire married life, a circumstance that Elizabeth knew and accepted. They had no children, and after fifteen years of marriage, she asked for a separation and sold their farmhouse in Gloucestershire. However, towards the end of his life they reconciled. Bisexual redirects here. ... FarmHouse Fraternity is an all-male international social fraternity founded at the University of Missouri in 1905. ... Gloucestershire (pronounced ; GLOSS-ter-sher) is a county in South West England. ...


Chatwin was known as a socialite in addition to being a famous travel author. His circle of friends extended far and wide and he was renowned for accepting hospitality and patronage from a powerful set of friends and allies. Penelope Betjeman - wife of the poet laureate John Betjeman - showed him the border country of Wales, and thereby helped to contribute to the gestation of the book that would become On the Black Hill. Tom Maschler, the publisher, was also a patron to Chatwin during this time, lending him his house in the area as a writing retreat. Later, he visited Patrick Leigh Fermor, in his house near Kardamyli, in the Peloponnese. A socialite is a person (male or female, but more often used for a woman) of social prominence who is considered to be an influential social figure. ... Sir John Betjeman CBE (28 August 1906–19 May 1984) was an English poet, writer and broadcaster who described himself in Whos Who as a poet and hack. He was born to a middle-class family in Edwardian London. ... Motto: (Welsh for Wales for ever) Anthem: Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau Capital Cardiff Largest city Cardiff Official language(s) English, Welsh Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister Tony Blair MP  - First Minister Rhodri Morgan AM Unification    - by Gruffudd ap Llywelyn 1056  Area    - Total 20,779 km² (3rd... On the Black Hill is a novel similar to that of another novel, that of Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence. ... Sir Patrick Michael Leigh Fermor, known as Paddy, (born 11 February 1915, London) is a British author, scholar and soldier, who played a prominent role behind the lines in the Battle of Crete during World War II. He is famous in the genre of travel literature. ... The Peloponnese or Peloponnesus (Greek: Πελοπόννησος Peloponnesos; see also List of traditional Greek place names) is a large peninsula in southern Greece, forming the part of the country south of the Gulf of Corinth. ...

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Death at an early age

In the late 1980s, Chatwin developed AIDS. He was one of the first high-profile sufferers of the disease in Britain and although he hid the illness - passing off his symptoms as fungal infections or the effects of the bite of a Chinese bat, a typically exotic cover story - it was a poorly-kept secret. He did not respond well to AZT, and with his condition deteriorating rapidly, Chatwin and his wife went to live in the South of France at the house that belonged to the mother of his one-time lover, Jasper Conran. There, during his final months, Chatwin was nursed by both his wife and Shirley Conran. He died in Nice in 1989 at age 48. The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS or Aids) is a collection of symptoms and infections in humans resulting from the specific damage to the immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). ... toes infection brown with white markings ... Suborders Megachiroptera Microchiroptera See text for families. ... Zidovudine (INN) or azidothymidine (abbreviated to AZT) is an anti-retroviral drug, the first antiviral treatment to be approved for use against HIV. It is also sold under the names Retrovir and Retrovis, and as an ingredient in Combivir and Trizivir. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Lady Shirley Conran is the ex-wife of British designer, restaurateur, retailer and writer Sir Terence Conran. ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: [1] (Latin: Nice the city) Coordinates : , Time Zone : CET (GMT +1) Administration Département Alpes-Maritimes (06) Région Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur Mayor Jacques Peyrat (UMP) (since 1995) Intercommunality Community of Agglomeration Nice Côte dAzur City (commune) Characteristics...


A memorial was held in the Greek Orthodox Church in West London on the same day that a fatwa was announced on Salman Rushdie, a close friend of Chatwin's who was in attendance. Paul Theroux, Chatwin's one-time friend and fellow-writer, wrote about this event in an issue of Granta, condemning Chatwin, also, for failing to acknowledge that the disease he was dying of, was AIDS. Greek Orthodox Church can refer to any of several hierarchical churches within the larger group of mutually recognizing Eastern Orthodox churches: the Orthodox Church of Constantinople, headed by the Patriarch of Constantinople, who is also the first among equals of the Eastern Orthodox Communion. ... A fatwa (Arabic: ) plural fatāwa , is a legal pronouncement in Islam, issued by a religious law specialist on a specific issue. ... Salman Rushdie Salman Rushdie (born Ahmed Salman Rushdie, Urdu: , Hindi: on June 19, 1947, in Bombay, India) is a British-Indian essayist and author of fiction, most of which is set on the Indian subcontinent. ... Paul Edward Theroux (born April 10, 1941) is an American travel writer and novelist, whose best known work is The Great Railway Bazaar (1975), a travelogue about a trip he made by train from Great Britain through Europe and South Asia, then South-East Asia, up through East Asia, as... Granta 37, published September 1991 Granta is a literary magazine which publishes new writing — fiction, personal history, reportage and investigative journalism — four times a year. ...


His ashes were scattered by a Byzantine chapel above Kardamyli in the Peloponnese near to the home of one of his many mentors, Patrick Leigh-Fermor. Byzantine Empire (native Greek name: - Basileia tōn Romaiōn) is the term conventionally used since the 19th century to describe the Greek-speaking Roman Empire of the Middle Ages, centered at its capital in Constantinople. ... Sir Patrick Michael Leigh Fermor, known as Paddy, (born 11 February 1915, London) is a British author, scholar and soldier, who played a prominent role behind the lines in the Battle of Crete during World War II. He is famous in the genre of travel literature. ...

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Works

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In Patagonia is a travel book in the English language, written by Bruce Chatwin and published in 1977. ... For the album by Ash, see 1977 (album). ... The Viceroy of Ouidah is a novel published in 1980 by Bruce Chatwin, about the life of a slave trader named Francisco Manoel da Silva, loosely based on the life of an historical Brazilian, Francisco Felix da Souza, who became a powerful personage in Wydah or Ouidah, the so-called... 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday. ... On the Black Hill is a novel similar to that of another novel, that of Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence. ... 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Songlines is a 1987 book written by Bruce Chatwin, combining fiction and non-fiction. ... 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ... 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ...

Further reading

  • Susannah Clapp, With Chatwin: Portrait of a Writer ISBN 0-09-973371-4
  • Nicholas Shakespeare, Bruce Chatwin, Vintage (2000) ISBN 1-86046-544-7
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Born in 1957 to a diplomat Shakespeare grew up in the far east and in South America. ... This article is about the year 2000. ...

Documentaries

  • Paul Yule, In The Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin (2x60 mins) BBC, 1999
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Paul Harris Yule (born 22 June 1956) is an accomplished documentary maker. ...

External links

  • In Search Of The Miraculous Nick Clapson on the enduring enigma of Bruce Chatwin's travel writing
  • [1] Bruce Chatwin mailing list on Yahoo! Groups.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Bruce Chatwin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1166 words)
Chatwin was born on May 13, 1940 in Sheffield, Yorkshire.
Chatwin interviewed the ninety-three-year-old architect and designer Eileen Gray in her Paris salon, where he noticed a map of Patagonia which she had painted.
Chatwin was known as a socialite in addition to being a famous travel author.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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