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Vesper Flights (2020)

af Helen Macdonald

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2821469,916 (4.11)42
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Engelsk (12)  Spansk (1)  Alle sprog (13)
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“El ave del año viene con libro bajo el ala“, Jacinto Antón, El País 26.01.2021: https://elpais.com/cultura/2021-01-26/el-ave-del-ano-viene-con-libro-bajo-el-ala...
  Albertos | Jan 27, 2021 |
I know lots of people have already gushed about it. Let me just give a sample of her amazing writing and also say that I love her vocabulary and the insights into the life of birds!!

For example:

Anagnorisis -- is a moment in a play or other work when a character makes a critical discovery. Anagnorisis originally meant recognition in its Greek context, not only of a person but also of what that person stood for. Anagnorisis was the hero's sudden awareness of a real situation, the realisation of things as they stood, and finally, the hero's insight into a relationship with an often antagonistic character in Aristotelian tragedy.

Oneiric -- of, relating to, or suggestive of dreams. The notion of using the Greek noun oneiros (meaning "dream") to form the English adjective "oneiric" wasn't dreamed up until the mid-19th century. But back in the early 1600s, linguistic dreamers came up with a few "oneiros" spin-offs, giving English "oneirocriticism," "oneirocritical," and "oneirocritic" (each referring to dream interpreters or interpretation). The surge in "oneiros" derivatives at that time may have been fueled by the interest then among English-speaking scholars in Oneirocritica, a book about dream interpretation by 2nd-century Greek soothsayer Artemidorus Daldianus.

And did you know that swifts never descend to the ground? This from the chapter the book is named after.

And from page 135: "I'd swear, if I were of a more mystical persuasion, that a hunting peregrine changes the quality of the atmosphere it flies through, makes it heavier. Like thunder. Like slowed-down film in which the grain shows through. The Poolbeg site is about as far as you can get from a thriving natural ecosystem, but the act of watching a falcon chase its prey above the scarred and broken ground below feels like quiet resistance against despair. Matters of life and death and a sense of our place in the world tied fast together in a shiver of wings a cross a scrap of winter sky."

Beautiful. ( )
  Berly | Dec 22, 2020 |
Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald is a collection of about 40 essays - some previously published and some new - on a wide variety of topics. As with H is for Hawk, the writing is beautiful. My review of this book has unfortunately been impacted by the fact that the version I received is one contiguous block of text. Although the finished book is comprised of a set of essays, the version I received has no divisions or other marking between the essays. I am disappointed.

Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2020/04/vesper-flights.html

Reviewed for NetGalley. ( )
  njmom3 | Dec 15, 2020 |
I listened to H is for Hawk on audiobook, and I think that listening to her writing on audio is a better way to go. Her voice just adds a lot to the story. I didn't enjoy this book as much as I did the first. This one seems to lack focus and rambles around without a clear theme. But maybe that is the theme . . . ( )
  kerryp | Dec 7, 2020 |
I want everyone to read Vesper Flights. Helen Macdonald writes the kind of book I love, a book that speaks of nature and humanity and how they intersect. And how they don’t. And maybe how they should and shouldn’t.

I especially would love this book to be a part of school curriculum. But why stop there? I’d love for scientists, politicians, new age practitioners, tarot card readers, ornithologists, naturalists, shamans, falconers and wildlife rehabilitators to read Vesper Flights. To name a few groups of people! ;)

Macdonald weaves great stories around her personal experiences with birds, her thoughts and how those two worlds intersect. She does it beautifully, and I found myself rereading the last few paragraphs of each vignette, sometimes out loud, so I could let the words really sink in.

Vesper Flights also contains a sobering section about our planet and its future, that will likely serve as a jumping off point for some readers to research what they can do to help.

I often find that my mind and compassion expand when I read and this is definitely true of Vesper Flights. It’s a thoughtful, honest, beautiful and engaging collection.

Note: I received this book via Netgalley. These are my unbiased thoughts. ( )
  coffeefairy | Nov 21, 2020 |
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