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A Time to Keep Silence by Patrick Leigh…

A Time to Keep Silence (1957)

by Patrick Leigh Fermor

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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5892524,969 (3.95)71

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Beautiful, contemplative, descriptive writing. I had thought it might be too religious for me, but it's just enough. Read this when you want to think deep thoughts, or feel removed from the hurly burly modern world. ( )
  camelama | Dec 30, 2016 |
I ( )
  RealLifeReading | Jan 19, 2016 |
Not sure I would have been so taken with this very slim volume if I wasn't so taken with PLF himself, really. ( )
  Litotes | Aug 27, 2015 |
  OberlinSWAP | Aug 1, 2015 |
A Time to Keep Silence is about Patrick Leigh Fermor's travels to four monasteries: three in France and one in ruins in Turkey. At the first one, Abbey of St. Wandrille de Fontanelle, Fermor, at first, finds it difficult to cope with the startling silence. He feels loneliness and depression. He is self-medicating with alcohol. However, Fermor grows used to it, so much so, that when he leaves and returns to the outside world, he generalizes it as a world full of debauchary, crooks, sluts.

The second monastery, Solesmes, Fermor learns more of the Gregorian chant. The third, La Grande Trappe, where he learned more about the isolated and highly repentive Trappist community. The fourth, the rock monasteries of Cappadocia, Fermor seeks to find traces of the beginnings of Christian monasteries.

Thank Goodness for my art history class and my semester of French I or else I would be totally lost. My only complaint would be that it would have been nice if Fermor provided translations for the near paragraphs in French. Besides from that, I really enjoyed this book.

Most of all, I loved learning about the Trappist community in La Grande Trappe. It was the most interesting. The book was a history lesson. I learned an immense amount about Christian monasteries. I was surprised that they have such interesting and colorful backstories. ( )
2 vote Y2Ash | Apr 16, 2014 |
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More than a history or travel journal, however, this beautiful short book is a meditation on the meaning of silence and solitude for modern life.

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patrick Leigh Fermorprimary authorall editionscalculated
Armstrong, KarenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eyres-Monsell, JoanPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my mother.
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With curiosity and misgiving I walked up the hill from the Rouen-Yvetot road towards the Abbey of St. Wandrille.
In the seclusion of a cell . . . the troubled waters of the mind grow still and clear, and much that is hidden away and all that clouds it floats to the surface and can be skimmed away; and after a time one reaches a state of peace that is unthought of in the ordinary world.
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Patrick Leigh Fermor reflects on his journeys across Europe, focusing on his explorations of the continent's oldest monasteries, where he learned the meaning of silence and solitude.

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