Winding paths
in Anywhere out of the world
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It was originally intended that, having completed his studies at Marlborough, Bruce Chatwin would follow the well-worn path of Old Marlburians and progress to an Oxbridge college. Chatwin was a committed undergraduate at Edinburgh, engaging with the degree course with enthusiasm despite occasional bouts of self-doubt. Later in his career, and more confident in his autodidact identity, Chatwin, framed his departure from Edinburgh in grand terms, as an inspired crisis of confidence similar to that experienced in the Sudanese desert. Chatwin's chosen analogy demonstrates just how ambitious his vision was in constructing what would become the unpublished The Nomadic Alternative, consciously alluding to the gargantuan The Anatomy of Melancholy by the Renaissance scholar Robert Burton. The extant version of The Nomadic Alternative is testimony to the fact that, despite dedicating years of his life to the problem, Chatwin never succeeded in resolving the challenges that he described in his letters.

Anywhere out of the world

The work of Bruce Chatwin

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