A Visit to Don Otavio

A Visit to Don Otavio Before returning to the Old World after World War II Sybille Bedford resolved to see something of the New I had a great longing to move she said to hear another language eat new food to be in a c

  • Title: A Visit to Don Otavio
  • Author: Sybille Bedford Bruce Chatwin
  • ISBN: 9781582431710
  • Page: 162
  • Format: Paperback
  • Before returning to the Old World after World War II, Sybille Bedford resolved to see something of the New I had a great longing to move, she said, to hear another language, eat new food, to be in a country with a long nasty history in the past and as little present history as possible And so she set out for Mexico and, incidentally, to write what Bruce Chatwin calBefore returning to the Old World after World War II, Sybille Bedford resolved to see something of the New I had a great longing to move, she said, to hear another language, eat new food, to be in a country with a long nasty history in the past and as little present history as possible And so she set out for Mexico and, incidentally, to write what Bruce Chatwin called the best travel book of the twentieth century, a book of marvels, to be read again and again and again.

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      Published :2019-01-06T14:33:04+00:00

    1 thought on “A Visit to Don Otavio”

    1. 4.5 starsOne of the great travelogues and in Bruce Chatwin’s opinion “the greatest travel book of the twentieth century”. It helps a great deal that Bedford can write well and has a gift for observation and description. Living from 1911 to 2006, Bedford had a long and colourful life and is not appreciated as a writer as she should be. Bedford had escaped from France in 1940 and spent the war in the US. After the war she decided that before returning to Europe she would travel for a while i [...]

    2. After açaí berries and recycling, travel’s one of the most overrated things around. It’s just one long pain in the ass. There’s the expense, the indignities of airport security, the further indignities of economy class, crowds, sand in your crotch, very large people with very small fanny packs, and Two and a Half Men dubbed into Portuguese. And what do you get out of all this? A gnawing sense of disappointment and the realization that there’s just no escaping yourself, that your saggin [...]

    3. This is a marvelous book. I only wish I had heard of Sybille Bedford sooner. Well, not "only." I wish too that I could have known her as a friend and travel companion, and been a part of the old-world graciousness that was life at gentle Don Otavio's hacienda. An old friend of mine recommended Sybille Bedford's writing to me, and cited this book in particular, telling me that he thought I would love it. Right he was. Sybille Bedford is erudite, witty, subtle, kind-hearted, and dedicated to her t [...]

    4. First of all, a travel writer of yesteryear who is entirely obsessed with food! A woman after my own heart.Second of all, a frequently laugh out loud book, even as you were learning quite a bit about Mexican history.Third, a wonderfully idiosyncratic and erudite look at a pre-mass tourism Mexico. A bit reminiscent of that English chap who tromped around Europe on the eve of World War II (Patrick Leigh Fermor, it took me a minute) but where Fermor felt show offy, Bedford just seems smart, wry and [...]

    5. enpedia/wiki/SybilleIn the book's beginning, Sybille and her friend are on a train traveling from New York to St Louis. "In the plains of Indiana, nature certainly has it. We have been going through the wheat fields for hours; miles upon miles of fat, yellow alien corn visibly ripening under a wide-awake sky. A spread of cruel wealth. Of human life and habitation there are few signs, no farm houses, no animals by the roadside. "What part does man play in the farming of these fields? Does he work [...]

    6. A VISIT TO DON OTAVIO: A Traveler’s Tale From Mexico. (1960). Sybille Bedford. ****. Ms. Bedford (1911-2005) was an interesting person of many talents. She was born in Berlin, Germany, as Freiin Sybille Aleid Elso von Schoenebeck. When she was fourteen, she went to live in Italy and later studied in England. In the 1920s, she and her mother settled in the south of France – living near Aldous Huxley. During that time, many German writers also settled in the area, including Thomas Mann and Ber [...]

    7. I first read this book years ago,and on reading it again I still enjoyed it. Certainly Sybille Bedford came from a privileged class, but I find so many of her 'complaints' about Mexico to be very tongue in cheek and funny, proving beyond doubt that the disasters of travelling make for the most entertaining anecdotes. More than this, though, her travels were done in a time that was just ending completely. When most people still crossed the Atlantic by liner, and continents by train. A time before [...]

    8. Deliciously entertaining, funny, intelligent travel book about Bedford's adventures in Mexico. Her style here is as perfect as in her novels, and she describes the country she discovers with a fascination that is compelling. It actually reads like a novel - her description of the landscapes and the culture, the characters she meets, the places she goes, the adventures and misadventures she encounters: everything makes for a terrific read, and it makes you wish you had been travelling with her.

    9. I'm reading this for the second time and it is still a delight. This is the best travel book I've ever read. Sybille Bedford is incredibly intelligent, extremely witty, and really GOT Mexico. Her insights are as true today as they were in the 40's when she visited Mexico and wrote this book. A must-read for anyone who loves Mexico.

    10. How to describe this book? A history of Mexico? A travel book? A novel? A biography? First published in 1953 and reissued in 1986 with an introduction by Bruce Chatwin, it's been called all those things. I will call it a comedy of manners because that suits the sections I liked best.The writer Sybille Bedford was a great traveler. Born in Germany before WW I, she lived in many countries. The book, which she playfully called a novel, recounts her travels through Mexico with an American friend in [...]

    11. "В тридцати милях южнее Гвадалахары в сумерках мы остановились на обочине и вышли, чтобы перекусить в патио, где для нас накрыли столы, а вернувшись, обнаружили довольно романтическую группу, возившуюся с багажными веревками: три-четыре человека, в изящных шляпах, платках, [...]

    12. utterly funny, informative, historical, picaresque travelogue of two women traveling alone in mexico in 1953. it is sybille bedford's debut and she never looked back don't thinkey start by boarding the train in nyc, training and busing to DF, then by train, plane, bus, taxi, foot and car sweating freezing biting and getting bitten to central highlands, over to colima to acapulco and lake chapala (where they spend many months in idyll and near death) to oxaca to pueblo back to chapaladisasters an [...]

    13. I think Noel Coward really wrote this.Sybille and her friend "E" act like they're in a drawing room comedy. I couldn't read the conversations without hearing the plummy tones of upper crust Brits, usually something I would enjoy. I really expected to like this, but found them difficult to travel with.

    14. I had higher hopes for this one. Two privileged women go to a 3rd world country and complain about everything except their stay at Don Otavio's, where they are treated like queens. They don't like the food, they don't like the traveling, they aren't interested in the lives of the people. Sorry, I'm not impressed!

    15. It is an account of a journey of about one year by two women in Mexico. A house at the qiite big lake Chapalas a smalm community of people finds together. A microcosmos community in a part of the world that has hardly ever been mentioned in literarture. Apart from this the travellers visit various well known places , they encounter dangerous, shockung, and funny situations, taste and describe food in Mexico and report on the pre-Diaz history. & Lawrence stay, in particular also tell the dram [...]

    16. A witty, entertaining, and fascinating book about two women -- one European, the other from the US -- who head to Mexico after World War 2 to explore their southern neighbor. They see a lot of the central highlands and make comical attempts at visiting the coasts, ending up informal members of an eccentric Mexican family. The author interweaves travelogue, history, and observational comedy to great effect, although surprisingly you may need to check Google translate for the plentiful bits of Fre [...]

    17. Just read this for book group. What a lovely travel book of Mexico, written in the 50's in a style that no one writes in any longer. Descriptive, witty, observant and sometimes hilarious. For anyone living in Mexico or having traveled in Mexico extensively, particularly years ago before Interjet and ADO, this book was a hoot. Bedford really dishes out the best travel book I've read, about a country I love.

    18. Reread and thoroughly enjoyed againThis is Bedford at her best. Her keen observations and dry sense of humor make this a very pleasurable read.

    19. Sybille Bedford's 1953 tale of travel to and about Mexico with a female friend, E, is magnificent and funny as anything. All of the glory, squalor and mystery of Mexico is revealed as S and E travel by train, bus, auto and cart to cities, country palaces and the coastal areas. Their sense of wonder and newness is everywhere, at every stop.Before hoards of tourists and the commercial development they bring, S and E are quite alone and independent in their wanderings, sometimes without food or wat [...]

    20. Wanting to get into a Mexican state of mind, I chose this as my plane read to Mexico City. Unsurprisingly, my Mexico City was much more cosmopolitan than her post-WWII Mexico City yet her account left me with a strong desire to follow her into the Mexican countryside, especially if I had the opportunity to be hosted by such a hospitable country gentleman on his vast family compound of villas. I will say I did experience the same high level of hospitality while in Mexico but I didn’t get to vis [...]

    21. I love Sybille Bedford. The reader feels as if you are travelling along with her. This book is full of her dry wit, love of exploring a new place, and humorous situations.

    22. Non Fiction, Mexican travel diaryAnother "if only I'd read it before visiting Mexico!!!!"Just loved it! It is so hard not to be boring and cliched and write that this was "charming" but it charmed the socks off me. Her observations were unaffected and personal, sometimes insightful, sometimes naive.This was travel writing at it's best. You visit Mexico (early 1950's) through her eyes and see the colour, taste the food, feel the hospitality and become immersed in the history. And all with a laug [...]

    23. Interesting book…even in the memoir style it's written a little disjointed and there are certain passages that could be used as a textbook for info-dumping (middle of an account of a train ride to a particular city and you get 4 pages of the history since Spanish conquest of that area inserted into the text and then boom you're back into the train ride). But a very amusing account of travel during, one must assume, the late 40s (it's never specifically stated), but the original version was pub [...]

    24. A Mexican travelogue. Bedford, who died three years ago at 94, was an aristocrat in the best sense of the word. Her prose is delicious, her eye is keener than a jeweler's, and her sensibility sublimely comprehensive. Tragedy or comedy, outrage or sympathy, she misses nothing and she feels everything. Her many other books are also wonderfully entertaining, but this one stands out. A masterpiece of the genre.

    25. eu não queria que este livro acabasse, mas ele acabou. bem que a Sybille podia ter escrito volume após volume sobre aventuras no México, ou mesmo noutras paragens da América do Sul, que eu leria tudo com o maior gosto e satisfação. a prosa dela é tão perfeita que nem se nota diferença de tom entre os acontecimentos rocambolescos da sua viagem e a história igualmente rocambolesca do México. fiquei fã. Viva México.

    26. I happened upon this book in the library in San Miguel de Allende, and I was immediately unavailable for anything but reading. I loved the feisty narrator, the world she traveled through, and her insights. Much has changed in Mexico, but, then again, much remains very much as she describes it. I want to read more of Sybille Bedford!

    27. What Mexico was like in 1953 only 4 million people in Mexico City having to cut through jungle trails to reach the undeveloped beaches in the south Eerie similarities in a foreigner's impression of Mexico in 1953 compared to today.Enjoyed the writer's ironic view of the world and character descriptions.

    28. A trip to Mexico in the late 40's related by a continental chef's daughter and fine writer, with a British attitude. Always entertaining. Some Mexican history is summarized in an off-hand way. The introduction by Bruce Chatwin in my edition states that Ms. Bedford is neither ironic nor facetious. Either I misunderstand or he did.

    29. An amusing, understated account of the author's travels in Mexico with friend E after WWII. The funniest bits are the deadpan conversations about absurdities of foreign travel encountered like train and bus rides and schedules. I skipped over some of the history toward the end, and it all went on a little long, but altogether is was enjoyable.

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