A real treat this one, courtesy of the PLF blog which I dropped into the other day. It’s not just footage of Paddy, it’s footage of Paddy AND Nicolas Bouvier.
PLF may need no introduction, and the regular reader will have come across reference to Bouvier in these pages. If you haven’t yet read his brilliant The Way of the World, then you should, now. In the 50s he headed off in a Fiat Topolina, through Turkey, across Afghanistan, into Pakistan where he lost the notes from which he intended to write a book, before scrabbling across the council dump looking for scraps, of his notes that is.
This is the first footage I’ve seen of him – he died far too young. One drawback, it’s all in French. But you get to hear Paddy singing, the Cretan national anthem, and see him failing miserably with his microphone.
But back to Bouvier. More recently I read of his time in Sri Lanka, where he had arrived from Pakistan to recover his health and work on his book. The Scorpion-Fish has also recently been published by Eland, the work of the same brilliant translator, Robyn Marsack, as The Way of the World. His Japanese Chronicles is also on The Bedside Table, unread as yet.
I’m keeping an eye open for another Bouvier volume, which I don’t believe has yet been translated. He visited the Aran Islands, and wrote about them. I want to read that, if possible, to compare what he found with Synge, and others. And to read more of his prose, for there is not enough of that around.