Many fine pieces make up this Granta issue. There's Thomas Kern's photo journal of Sarajevo, and Ivan Klima's childhood in Terezin. And then there's Bruce Chatwin and his moleskin journals. From one of them comes a selection titled "The Road to Ouidah," starting 2 January 1971 in Niamey, Niger, and ending 9 February in Cotonou en route to Ouidah. Personal travel sketches not meant for publication, they ring with the familiar barbed clarity of Chatwin's published perceptions. But it's Paul Theroux's "Chatwin Revisited" that is the most touching. He recalls Chatwin's rapid, intense speechifying ("Chatter, chatter, chatter, Chatwin" they called him), his perfect mimicry, and audacious boastfulness. He recollects Chatwin's secretive nature, his writer's motto: "I don't believe in coming clean." But in the end, it's his sudden departures his friends remember. Theroux says that Chatwin's death was like that--like he was all of a sudden off on another journey. "It seems strange, but not unlike him," writes Theroux in 1993, "that he has been gone so long."
Literature-Fiction, Anthologies-Literary-Collections, General,