A Long Desire PDF/EPUB Â A Long PDF/EPUB or


A Long Desire A fantastic collection of eleven essays by a vastly under appreciated writer, whose Son of the Morning Star, about the Battle of the Little Bighorn, remains one of my favorite books All of the essays in A Long Desire concern rumors, legends, theories, and fantasies, often of treasure, and the way they led to discoveries by obsessed travelers and explorers who were typically blind to the true wealth, not of gold but of knowledge, they imparted to the world A great many people and places are nam A fantastic collection of eleven essays by a vastly under appreciated writer, whose Son of the Morning Star, about the Battle of the Little Bighorn, remains one of my favorite books All of the essays in A Long Desire concern rumors, legends, theories, and fantasies, often of treasure, and the way they led to discoveries by obsessed travelers and explorers who were typically blind to the true wealth, not of gold but of knowledge, they imparted to the world A great many people and places are named in A Long Desire, which can occasionally make the book feel tedious, but keep going and you re sure to be rewarded, unlike some of Connell s tragically deluded subjects Everyone who loves to read history should own this book and its companion THE WHITE LANTERN Both are collections of historical essays dealing with a wide range of topics They are written with a joy of learning that cannot be hidden The author is a master of language who brings an ironic tone to these works He explores both big stories, like Antarctic explorations, and the Spanish conquest of Central and South America He also delves into the smaller stories, the ones often relegated to footn Everyone who loves to read history should own this book and its companion THE WHITE LANTERN Both are collections of historical essays dealing with a wide range of topics They are written with a joy of learning that cannot be hidden The author is a master of language who brings an ironic tone to these works He explores both big stories, like Antarctic explorations, and the Spanish conquest of Central and South America He also delves into the smaller stories, the ones often relegated to footnotes and asides, like the stories of the scholars who translated cuneiform and Minoan or the studies of the Alchemists.Thirty five years ago I bought these books on a whim from the Quality Paperback Book Club and have reread them often as the decades passed They have been a joy Treat yourselves to these treasures I read a review a while back that led me to believe I d enjoy this book I did not It was vaguely interesting, but rather dry and a bit of a slog I m not sure what I expected, but it wasn t what I found Perhaps my impressions of the book are coloured by my intense distaste for the sort of obsessions that drove many of the explorers whose accounts are included fanaticism over religion and gold at least towards the end of the book The research behind the accounts seems solid, and the writ I read a review a while back that led me to believe I d enjoy this book I did not It was vaguely interesting, but rather dry and a bit of a slog I m not sure what I expected, but it wasn t what I found Perhaps my impressions of the book are coloured by my intense distaste for the sort of obsessions that drove many of the explorers whose accounts are included fanaticism over religion and gold at least towards the end of the book The research behind the accounts seems solid, and the writer includes vaguely humorous comments throughout, but I was not entertained Previously on Writer Working, we ve seen Evan S Connell tackle the life of James Armstrong Custer in Son of The Morning Star and his novel, Mr Bridge The Custer book was a winner, Mr Bridge less so Prompted by friend relative Dan I took a peek at another of his non fiction ventures, A Long Desire, a collection of articles connected by theme of people obsessed with discovery, or at least with searching Connell s eclectic curiosity reminds me of one of my favorites, Bill Bryson, whose At Hom Previously on Writer Working, we ve seen Evan S Connell tackle the life of James Armstrong Custer in Son of The Morning Star and his novel, Mr Bridge The Custer book was a winner, Mr Bridge less so Prompted by friend relative Dan I took a peek at another of his non fiction ventures, A Long Desire, a collection of articles connected by theme of people obsessed with discovery, or at least with searching Connell s eclectic curiosity reminds me of one of my favorites, Bill Bryson, whose At Home I reviewed not too long ago He used his house and its individual history to delve into the history of houses everywhere, into the language connected with various rooms and uses, and somehow out of one small English country dwelling, one gets a good look at the history of an entire culture and language Similarly, Connell starts us off with the story of a young man determined to sail a Chinese Junk from Hong Kong to America He starts out, is forced to turn back and do some remodeling on his boat Then he starts out again Doesn t give up Turns out he should have From there, we re treated to the stories of a plethora of characters, historical and modern, but mostly historical, who travel by land and sea for purposes ranging from the search for gold or spices to the Northwest Passage, to the mythical Prester John that search went lasted for several centuries, off and on to a way to turn lead or something, anything into gold Thus, thanks to Connell, we have between two covers Richard Halliburton, Mary Kingsley, Marco Polo, Coronado, and various Popes and potentates all holding hands in the common yearning to reach beyond where they are toward another place Some times with a specific goal in mind Sometimes just because whatever s out there is out there and I m here and I can t stand to sit still Quite a feat A most wonderful book visiting historic voyages of many who helped open up the world so many years ago These are great and exciting tales of adventure and speak about fascinating historic expeditions around the world I loved learning about several female adventurers and will be seeking eveninformation about May French Sheldon and Mary Kinglsey Anyone who loves history and adventure should greatly enjoy this well crafted book. A collection of essays on exploration and the mysteries the world has to offer It introduced me to several historical figures I didn t hear about in school, and I still pick it up when I want to read about a folk figure like Prester John, or an explorer like Ibn Battuta Extremely readable. A Long Desire is about man s constant yearnings throughout legend and history to attain the unattainable Always grasping at the stars just out of reach, chasing the rainbow for that pot of gold, looking for that lost city that must be just over the next hill This is an excellent overview on some of the greatest obsessions that have possessed mankind over the centuries, which usually involved huge loss of life, genocide and the attempted attainment of vast personal wealth and celebrity, so sadly it can be said how little we have actually changed as a species. This is a re reading A great book, but hard to explain There are chapters on the Children s Crusade, Columbus, Atlantis, Prester John, ElDorado andConnell is a excellent stylist with an eye for the detail that ties the past to the present He also wrote an excellent biography of Custer called Son of the Morning Star An amazing book that changed my life I feel as though in reading it I inherited part of our world I hadn t even known existed.


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About the Author: Evan S. Connell

Evan S Connell, over the last half century, has published nineteen books of fiction, poetry, and essays, several of which including the best sellers Mrs Bridge and Mr Bridge, and the erudite, anecdotal, and totally unique nonfiction book Son of the Morning Star are American classics I ve admired his work for many years, since first reading Diary of a Rapist, and was happy for a chance to interview him for Bookforum I was told he doesn t, as a matter of principle, use a computer, so e mail was out of the question and he would prefer not to be bothered with phone calls from journalists and strangers So this interview proceeded the old fashioned way, complete with cordial, almost formal introductory letters via mail between my home in the mountains of Virginia and his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, during late August and early September Our dialogue my half written on a laptop, his on a 1950s typewriter he uses to write all of his work covered fiction, history, inspiration, his thoughts on the relationship between form and subject matter, America, hypocrisy, publishing, and writers he likes but does not admire.


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