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Sea and Sardinia Paperback – January 1, 1981

ISBN-13: 978-0140004656 ISBN-10: 0140004653

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (January 1, 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140004653
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140004656
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 1 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,188,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

..".very impressive to read..." Rocky Mountain News --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

Sea and Sardinia records Lawrence's journey to Sardinia and back in January 1921. It reveals his response to a new landscape and people and his ability to transmute the spirit of place into literary art. This 1997 edition restores censored passages and corrects corrupt textual readings. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By C. Ebeling on May 31, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In 1921, D.H. Lawrence joined the British literary tradition of writing a travelogue. He and wife Frieda, "the Queen Bee," were weary of Sicily where they were staying and selected Sardinia for its promise of unspoiled primitiveness and lack of "tourist-parasites." Though SEA AND SARDINIA follows many of the conventions of the travelogue genre of the time, playing to the market for a foreign experience, moments of wonder mixed with irony and nationalistic-centric sentiments, it is also a self-revealing journal in which Lawrence's passions, rages and perspectives get a frequent work-out.

As travelogues go, SEA AND SARDINIA may be found somewhat lacking in the description of landmarks. Lawrence focuses on encounters with the people, who presented a multi-layered lesson in the collision of the ancient with the 20th century and the recent war. In speaking to the audience back home, Lawrence often expresses himself in literary and historical allusion and his musings ring with a psychological resonance that is both intentional and unintentional. The result is an entertaining and informative experience that imparts much about post-war Europe and this particular traveler.

This is a fine critical edition. The annotations are discretely listed at the back of the book, with no disruptive footnotes blotting the page. There are also a good map, a glossary of Italian words and phrases and a brief bibliography following the text. A chronology of Lawrence's career precedes it, as does a critical introduction. Despite the quality of the introduction, I heartily recommend reading it AFTER you've enjoyed the text on your own terms, because it gives away some of the surprises (as critical introductions are wont to do).
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. Cadwallader on January 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
As described in the other reviews, and the accompanying comments within the book itself, this is DHL as non-fiction travel writer. Note that it was written after the completion of his major works, and what it says about his views, his relationships, and the immediate post-WWI period in portions of Italy. Particularly fascinating are the local/regional/national and continental attitudes. The more things change, the more they . . .
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Meks Librarian on March 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was captured by the beauty of its language from the start. Have a look at just a few lines from one of the first paragraphs, describing the Etna and the surroundings of Taormina, where David Herbert Lawrence and his wife Frieda von Richthofen (named Queen-Bee, or Q-B, throughout the book) lived at the time:
"Comes over one an absolute necessity to move. And what is more, to move in some particular direction. A double necessity then: to get on the move, and to know whither.
Why can't one sit still? Here in Sicily it is so pleasant: the sunny Ionian sea, the changing jewel of Calabria, like a fire-opal moved in the light; Italy and the panorama of Christmas clouds, night with the dog-star laying a long, luminous gleam across the sea, as if baying at us, Orion marching above; how the dog-star Sirius looks at one, looks at one! he is the hound of heaven, green, glamorous and fierce!--and then oh regal evening star, hung westward flaring over the jagged dark precipices of tall Sicily: then Etna, that wicked witch, resting her thick white snow under heaven, and slowly, slowly rolling her orange-coloured smoke. They called her the Pillar of Heaven, the Greeks. It seems wrong at first, for she trails up in a long, magical, flexible line from the sea's edge to her blunt cone, and does not seem tall. She seems rather low, under heaven. But as one knows her better, oh awe and wizardy! Remote under heaven, aloof, so near, yet never with us. The painters try to paint her, and the photographers to photograph her, in vain."

Lawrence and his wife travel to and from Sardinia by train and ship, and while on the island, they use the motor bus, still a novelty at that time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By niallsop on November 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
These few innocuous opening words are Lawrence's rationale for taking a short break which, in turn, became the genesis for an extraordinary travelogue.

Unlike others who read `Sea and Sardinia' as part of their academic studies, I did so voluntarily. I came across a reference to it in another book on Sardinia, tracked it down and then became intrigued by what one Lawrence biographer described as one of his two most `accessible' books. (I went on to become a little more than intrigued - others might say `obsessed' - and eventually retraced Lawrence's journey and wrote my own book.)

`Sea and Sardinia' is the story of a nine-day trip that Lawrence and his German wife Frieda made from their home in Taormina on the north-east coast of Sicily, to and through Sardinia and back to Sicily via mainland Italy. The historical setting is post-Great War Europe, a time of economic, political and cultural upheaval that every day was sowing the seeds of the Second World War.

The story, written throughout in the present tense, is no more than a traveller's remembered diary (apparently Lawrence took no notes) of his journey ... but then this particular traveller was an accomplished writer of fiction, an acute socio-political observer and an amateur psychoanalyst.

Generally it is a breathtaking read though, for some, his occasional lapses into tales of classical deities and their place as part of the story of ancient Sicily (once Greek), might be a bit tedious but it must be remembered that, like many independent travellers of the time, Lawrence was well-grounded in Classical themes and he would have expected his audience to share his knowledge, if not his interest.
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