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Ariel/Sycorax Pine

Wow. That is monastic life stunningly evoke. Maybe I too need a retreat....

Ariel/Sycorax Pine

("Evoked," that is. I think I *do* need a retreat.)

Danielle

Ariel/Sycorax Pine--Yes, he does a brilliant job writing about it. Really, he seems the perfect person since he is very introspective. I think I would also benefit from a retreat as well!

Caroline

I am looking forward to reading this. Retreats are great but many couldn't handle it. They need constant noise and movement and talk. I do agree with you, there is too much noise everywhere.
This is a very nice teaser.

litlove

Oh I love this part of the book! Made me want to rush off to a retreat immediately. I so enjoyed this when I read it and I quite agree that Leigh Fermor's writing is not to be rushed!

Danielle

Caroline--I think you are right--imagine turning off the cell phone and not checking the facebook page and no TV or computer (I might struggle just a little with that last one myself)! :) But I really like quiet and solitude so it might be a really good experience. I sometimes feel a little too connected to things--does that sound strange?
Litlove--Isn't this a lovely little book? I admit when he went into so much detail about the abbey it was interesting but every little thing seemed to go in one ear and out the other. I've had to go back and skim parts to keep it all straight even though its such a slight book. These are the parts I am going to really enjoy--like my teaser.

Kathy

I agree--it sounds blissful. To be free of "automatic drains" on your energy would be so great! Maybe that's why I enjoy a day spent alone in my own home so much. Someday I'm going on a retreat where I don't have to talk to anyone, etc.

Rebecca

Sounds wonderful! Definitely one to savour and read slowly, I think. I have come across a few mentions of this book recently in various places and every review I read just makes me want it even more.

jenclair

I can see why you wouldn't read this too quickly. His prose engages a part of the brain that we don't always employ. It also physically slows your reading, as well as giving you thoughts to ponder. Thanks for including this quote and for recommending a book that I would probably never have known about!

Rachel

This sounds wonderful. I only know of Leigh Fermor through his association with the Mitfords, and I am so surprised by how wonderful his prose is. I shall have to seek him out.

I love retreats. To be alone on an empty windswept beach is my idea of bliss. I agree - there is entirely too much noise in the world, along with distractions of types we really don't need. If only I wasn't so addicted to my emails and my phone my world would be a much more chilled out place!

Stefanie

I too think there is too much noise in the world. The passage makes me want to pack my bags for a long vacation at an Abbey. I can feel the stress melting away already.

Tiina

I love reading books about religious life. This definitely sounds interesting!

Greetings,
Tiina

Iris

This sounds perfect for my NYRB classics project!

iliana

What a neat book and I'm with you it does sound blissful. I also think there is too much noise in the world and I think it's because a lot of people don't want or fear being alone with their thoughts.

Danielle

Kathy--I'd like to try this as well. Just think he wrote this in the 1950s when there weren't cell phones and computers and all the noise we have now! It seems all the more attractive for that fact.
Rebacca--One to reread as well! I keep flipping back and skimming. I read one of his other books earlier this year, loved it so much I wanted to read more of his books and this is the one I chose to read next. I will read more of his travel narratives as well.
Jenclair--He is definitely worth seeking out! His prose is gorgeous but also the sort I find I have to think about and not rush. That's okay since this book is all about slowing down anyway.
Rachel--I discovered him through is travel writing, and only later saw the book of letters that was recently published between PLF and Deborah of Devonshire. It's interesting that they have been such close friends. I have the book of letters at home and hope to be able to dip into it when I am reading Deborah's autobiography. A quiet beach sounds wonderful to me, too. When I think of what sort of vacation I could use it often includes a nice little cottage on the coast with no TV and a view of the ocean! I don't have a cell phone, but I check my email far too often--so I understand that addiction! ;)
Stefanie--I could happily pack my bags as well. I'm glad I'm not the only one who prefers peace and solitude to all the stimuli the world has to offer.
Tiina--You might like this--he talks a lot (obviously) about the monks and their lifestyle--it's all very fascinating.
Iris--Yes, this is a lovely NYRB title and less than 100 pages. Still it is one that I can't seem to read quickly, I think I prefer a more sedate pace however. NYRB has published a number of Leigh Fermor's books. I do highly recommend his work.
Iliana--I think you're right--even in the library there is so much noise--I also wonder whether people don't like to let themselves just think for a while. I'd love to get away like he did, though he was actually working/writing.

Heather

Mm, this book sounds excellent. It is so nice sometimes to have the kind of reading where you both want and need to slow down to really absorb/enjoy it properly. It's a good counterpoint to exciting plot-driven books where it's tempting to keep reading faster to find out what happens next, even if one misses some details along the way.

This also makes me think of the film "Into Great Silence," which was a documentary about life at a Carthusian monastery - really really great.

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