Thin Paths: Journeys in and around an Italian Mountain Village

Thin Paths: Journeys in and around an Italian Mountain VillageYou Come Across The Shell Of A Ruined House It Could Be Anywhere In Southern Europe Where People Once Lived And Then Moved Away Because There Was No Work To Hold Them There You Might Find Things Scattered In The Empty Rooms A Bread Oven, A Broken Spade, Earthenware Jars That Still Hold The Pungent Scent Of Olive Oil Even Clothes Left Hanging In A Cupboard, A Silent Clock On A Shelf, A Picture Cut From A Newspaper Pinned On A Wall.The House Is Remote, But It Is Surrounded By A Tracery Of Thin Paths One Path Goes Steeply Down To A Village Others Zigzag Their Way To Scattered Huts And Stone Shelters, To Caves Where You Could Hide In Times Of Danger And To Unexpected Lookout Points From Where You Could Watch The Approach Of Animals Or Human Intruders.Julia Blackburn And Her Husband Moved To A Little House In The Mountains Of Northern Italy In 1999 She Arrived As A Stranger Speaking No Italian, But A Series Of Events Brought Her Close To The Old People Of The Village They Began To Tell Her Stories That Made The Landscape Come Alive, Repopulating It With Their Vivid Memories Until Quite Recently Most Of Them Had Been Mezzadri, Half People Who Were Trapped In An Archaic Feudal System And Owned By A Local Padrone Who Demanded His Share Of All They Had Even A Pretty Wife Or Daughter They Were Eager To Talk About The Old Way Of Life And About How Everything Changed With The Eruption Of The Second World War This Village Was At The Heart Of The Conflict Between The Fascists And The Partisans, So They Learnt A Lot About Death And Fear And Hunger And How Men And Women Could Hide Like Foxes In The Mountains Write It Down For Us, They Said, Because Otherwise It Will All Be Lost Thin Paths Is A Celebration Of The Songlines Of One Place That Could Be Many Places It Is Also A Celebration Of The Humour And Determination Of The Human Spirit. I love Julia Blackburn s work her memoir Daisy Bates in the Desert is one of my favourite books Add to that the fact that I live much of the year in an Italian mountain village not far from Julia s home in Liguria and you can see why this book was a must for me to read.My partner loves climbing mountains, so we ve been exploring the thin paths that spread like a spider s web over the slopes for several years now These paths are very old, some of them are paved and walled and date back to Etruscan or Roman times Often they lead to abandoned hamlets of stone houses high on the mountain side now ruined and overgrown, but which used to be inhabited every summer when livestock was brought up to the high summer pastures Some were permanently inhabited by people who lived, precariously, off the land Oddments of furniture still rot in rooms exposed to the elements, cattle chains and implements dangle from rusty hooks You get glimpses of an old way of life, gone for ever.There are also other, less pleasant, memorials here Crude metal crosses, shrines, stones roughly inscribed with names, that mark the places where men were killed
Tot ruim over de helft heb ik het gelezene als het ware voor kennisgeving aangenomen Ik werd niet echt geraakt, kon geen verbindingen leggen, kon de Italiaanse bewoners niet uit elkaar houden ondanks het handige lijstje voorin Maar gaandeweg werd ik in het zorgvuldig opgebouwde web gevangen Julia Blackburn weeft haar thin lines methodisch, kalm en onverstoorbaar tot je midden in de wereld bent die ze je wil laten zien De microwereld van alles wat kruipt, krioelt, zwemt, groeit, bloeit onder onze ogen, de wereld van de dieren van bos en lucht en berg En de mensenwereld met familieverbanden, hun huizen, hun dieren, hun werk en het voedsel dat ze toebereiden Hoe ver verwijderd van de bewoonde wereld de verzameling dorpen ook lijkt toch is die wereld niet zo ver weg Ook hier weer zoals in Treindromen en Hofstede wordt het verhaal verteld van een afgelegen wereld waar gaandeweg de twintigste eeuw tot ontwikkeling komt Een grote rol is in dit boek weggelegd voor de verschrikkingen van WO II maar ook de technische uitvindingen en vernieuwingen worden juichend binnengehaald dan wel betreurd Er kom
I read this book because I know the author and have a close knowledge of the subject of the book Whereas I take much of what I see in the Ligurian Alps at face value, Julia has the skill to scratch well below the surface and reproduce her research in an entertaining and revealing way I w
A beautiful and delicate evocation of a specific region, its landscape, wildlife and people Over the course of a decade living there, Blackburn integrates herself into the community and gently explores the lives, past and present, of its inhabitabts She mostly reserves any judgment and just lets them tell their own stories, hinting at past trauma and suffering during World War II The n
Fantastic book, far from the making pesto with the natives sort of book that Englishmen write about Italy and the south of France Blackburn reunites with her 60s boyfriend at the beginning of middle age when he, a Dutchman, has bought a wreck of a house in the moutains behind San Remo near the French border, whose inhabitants seem to have been indentured to their landlords until WWII in a way untouched by Napoleonic Liberal 19th century reform They called themselves half people, because they were in a state of permanant sharecropperhood, where half of everything went to the landlord, and there was no escape Blackburn learns Italian, and finds that the local women are not only willing but eager to tell them their stories and the stories of their families I don t want all these memories to die, one tells her They are of the generation who were small children in WWII, but big enough to remember it well born around 1935 Their stories are h
Ik moest lange tijd wennen aan het genre , iets tussen fictie en non fictie in Alsof de schrijfster niet kon kiezen wat het moest worden Waardoor ik mij bijvoorbeeld afvroeg waarom ze in n adem ging samenwonen met Herman in Itali , zonder te vertellen waarom, hoe ze elkaar weer hadden gevonden en wat voor gevoel daar bij kwam Ergens werd zelfs nog gesuggereerd dat ze zelf nog kinderen had De keuze om vanuit de ik vorm te schrijven, vanuit haarzelf begrijp ik dus niet want feitelijk was er geen ik personage, ze beschreef de dingen min of meer zoals een gemiddelde non fictie schrijver dit zou doen Goed, ik las braaf door en had het best naar mijn zin, maar ik denk dat het beter was geweest om helemaal te gaan voor het een of het ander.De beschrijvingen van de natuur en de mensen waren aardig, niet spectaculair of origineel Ik bleef me ervan bewust dat er geschreven was, dat er een schrijver was, het waren geen hele rake zinnen over het algemeen De vinger die een lijn trok over de heuvel
Smalle paden meandert als een smal weggeltje langs een heuvelflank vol geschiedenis en herinnering In de ene bocht ontmoet je de oude bewoners van een vergeten dorpje, achter een volgende bocht schuilt het verleden van de partizanen Blackburn gidst je over het pad, met stevige maar warme tred Haar enthousiasme en nieuwsgierigheid springen als vonkjes op je over Maar nergens laat ze je toe het pad te verlaten, om een klein plantje of voorwerp ui
De vierde ster is er n voor de herkenbaarheid het volgen van een waterbuis op de hellingen van Liguri in de hoop zo terug in de bewoonde wereld te belanden, de zee die je enkel als een driehoek in de verte ziet, de oude watermolen waar de olijve
I got this book as a Christmas present in 2013 or 2014 I read the first few chapters and then the book just lay there for years until I picked it up again this January to give it another go My first impressions of this book was of a self indulgent, British, middle class lady who moved to Italy and wrote about little than thrushes flying in the sky, ants walking in a straight line on the ground and similar drivel This is what made me stop reading it When I picked it up again it morphed into an oral history of the villages in the North West of Italy during the second world war These stories are personal, intimate and would not be recorded if it were no
Quite interesting read as I live in the castle like village nearby now Some good leads to follow up on with research and oftentimes I had been asking if I didnt actually see this already while on one of my hikes Gave me a quite good idea how life probably was here in older times and the characters wh

➺ Thin Paths: Journeys in and around an Italian Mountain Village Free ➰ Author Julia Blackburn – Rarefishingbooks.co.uk
  • Hardcover
  • 272 pages
  • Thin Paths: Journeys in and around an Italian Mountain Village
  • Julia Blackburn
  • English
  • 05 August 2017
  • 9780224090681