a race of tony danzas, shakespeare on chatwin

I’m back in the states. The last thing I saw on Morelian soil was a poster advertising Los Gigantes de la Danza. Some sort of dance troupe, but of course I couldn’t get the image of a malignant race of giant Tony Danzas, roaming the countryside with strangely plastic features, out of my head. Fe, fi, fo, foss / That’s right, I’m your boss.
One of my first tasks in Dallas was to pick up a copy of Nick Shakespeare’s bio of Bruce Chatwin, topic of several recent posts here. Flipping through, it looks like Shakespeare makes the same point I did about Chatwin’s self-excision from his writing:
“He is perceived to be the most glamorous example of a genre in which so-called ‘travel writing’ began to embrace a wider range: autobiography, philosophy, history, belles lettres, romantic fiction. But unlike Colin Thubron, Jonathan Raban, Redmond O’Hanlon, Paul Theroux, Andrew harvey, he does not put his travelling self at the centre. His stance is unflappable, detached, discreet — ‘a pose rather than a subject,’ writes Manfred Pfister, the result of a ‘brilliant self-stylization rather than the self-reflective depth and emotional richness of subjectivity.’ Bruce’s lack of introspection is old-fashioned, but his style is contemporary. This unusual blend accounts for his distinctive voice.”
Looking at Shakespeare’s 600 pages, it may be a while before I report back on the bio at length. (I still haven’t written up the Garcia Marquez and Graham Greene novels I rolled through in Mexico. I think my novel count in 2005 is probably already ahead of 2004’s.)

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