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… that great writing is mysterious and rare and always worth revisiting.

This is Jan Morris, fifty years ago, describing La Paz at night.

The scene is shadowy and cluttered, and you cannot always make out the detail as you push through the crowd; but the impression it leaves is one of ceaseless, tireless energy, a blur of strange faces and sinewy limbs, a haze of ill-understood intentions, a laugh from a small Mongol in dungarees, a sudden stink from an open drain, a cavalcade of tilted bowlers in the candlelight — and above it all, so clear, so close that you confuse the galaxies with the street lamps, the wide blue bowl of the Bolivian sky and the brilliant cloudless stars of the south.

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3 Responses to “New Year Greetings from Scathing Online Schoolmarm, who reminds you…”

  1. Polish Peter Says:

    Thanks, UD, for the pointer to this book by Jan Morris, which I’m looking forward to exploring. Morris also wrote introductions to two remarkable books by Patrick Leigh Fermor that described his journey across Europe in the years right before World War II, usually on foot but sometimes by horse or with ride from acquaintances: A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water . Fascinating observations of a world that disappeared soon afterward.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    You’re welcome, Polish Peter. And thanks in return for the mention of the Fermor books.

  3. University Diaries » Best. Writer. Ever. Says:

    […] Jan Morris. Here’s a brief post I wrote about her a couple of years […]

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