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Jean Chistophe Rufin a suivi à pied sur plus de 800 km le « Chemin du Nord » jusu'à Saint Jacues de Compostelle Beaucoup moins fréuenté ue la voie habituelle des pèlerins cet itinéraire longe les côtes basue et cantabriue puis traverse les montagnes sauvages des Asturies et de Galice « Chaue fois ue l'on m’a posé la uestion « Pouruoi êtes vous allé à Santiago ? » j’ai été bien en peine de répondre Comment expliuer à ceux ui ne l'ont pas vécu ue le Chemin a pour effet sinon pour vertu de faire oublier les raisons ui ont amené à s'y engager ? On est parti voila tout »Galerie de portraits savoureux divertissement philosophiue sur le ton de Diderot exercice d'autodérision plein d'humour et d'émerveillement Immortelle randonnée se classe parmi les grands récits de voyage littéraires On y retrouvera l'élégance du style de l'auteur du Grand Coeur et l'acuité de regard d'un homme engagé porté par le goût des autres et de l'ailleurs

10 thoughts on “Immortelle randonnéeCompostelle malgré moi

  1. says:

    The author walked the Camino del Norte crossing into the Camino Primitivo which goes through the Basue country before following the coast and then curling inland to Compostella The book is a record of his impressions particularly of his changing state of mind as he walked through the 800 Km plus of the journey He can't really explain his motivations for doing so but he tells us that among pilgrims asking that uestion is not polite so we are duly warned He was not absolutely set on the pilgrimage to Santiago he was tempted also by a long distance trail through alongside? the Pyrenees in the end he feels the pilgrimage chose him which either makes sense to you or it doesn'tIt made sense to me so for me this was a very good if not a great book but then I did read The Songlines at an impressionable age also I was born and raised in the polluted air of South London so my opinion on books is probably affected by damage to the growing brain in my early yearsAnyway his state of mind is the principal concern first his concerns are physical and attuned to the world pain due to inappropriate footwear the sudden end of constipation when in a municipal garden with no designated facilities in sight Despite this he finds walking through the Basue country beautiful the pilgrimage is a form of marathon he thinks the struggle is just to continue then he reaches Cantabria and with apologises to all Cantabrians he does not like it there are long stretches walking alongside industrial buildings hillsides covered in housing developments abandoned on completion due to the financial crisis on the plus side navigation is easy since the sea remains on his right hand side in Cantabria he enters a religious phase stopping to attend church services in churches and monasteries only one of which is very peculiar then he takes a turning on to the Camino Primativo the route taken by his gracious majesty Afonso II in the eighth century to visit the newly discovered remains of StJames at Compostella The walking agrees with him and in time time he enters into his final phase emptiness as he puts it he expected nothing from his pilgrimage and nothing is what he found Compostella itself he finds anti climatic a scene of Catholic kitsch a city built around the pilgrimage to the shrine but with out the footsore pilgrims taken into account it is not pedestrian friendly irony intended?Rufin will have nothing to do with the Camino Frances a pilgrim motorway he thinks obliging me to recall Ralph Glauber on the popularity of pilgrimage around the year 1000view spoiler t this same time so innumerable a multitude began to to flock from all parts of the world to the sepulchre of our Saviour at Jerusalem as no man could before have expected; for the lower orders of people led the way after whom came those of middle rank and then all the greatest kings and counts and bishops; lastly a thing which had never come to pass before many noble ladies and poorer women journeyed thither For many purposed and desired to die before they should see their homes again hide spoiler

  2. says:

    Anything written about this well known pilgrimage to Santiago attracts me to read I was first drawn to this pilgrimage when I watched a movie The Way produced by the son of Martin Sheen and starring his father Martin among other well known actors Since then I have been drawn to every documentary and book that tells from a personal point of view of this fascinating pilgrimage which draws so many diverse people from so many diverse reasons as to why they made the pilgrimage A fascinating topic for me I only wish I had the youth and strength to tackle it myself

  3. says:

    I have a dream that one day I want to walk the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella and Francigena to Rome both over 800 kilometers long My wife already has told me she is not coming along on either walk which is nice but I never wanted to have any companion for either of those long walks I would like to do it on my own which perhaps fits me best for the person I amThe writer Rufin does tell about his experience of walking the Northern route his thought and experiences during this long walk It is not a day to day story but an helicopter view on his experiences which are something pretty personal and on other times feel a bit cautious in him not showing his real insight in some of his observations But overal it was an easy book to read and an interesting insight into the soul of such an undertaking This book made me yearn for the moment I get to undertake this pilgrimage long walk I did enjoy the book a lot so thank you Mr Rufin

  4. says:

    A great read despite the sometimes difficult French at least for this reader Jean Christophe Rufin is a medical doctor one of the founders of Medecins Sans Frontieres a Goncourt Prize winning novelist and since 2008 a member of the Académie Francaise This is an account of his pilgrimmage from Hendaye near the France Spain border to Compostelle a walk in which he follows the footsteps of countless pilgrims since the early Middle Age His account is both extremely humorous and also philosophically insightful as he ruminates about what it is he is feeling as he walks through suburbs along the sea through fields and mountains following highways and sometimes freeways for eight hundred or so kilometers All this to arrive at the sacred place where the bones of Saint Jacues were supposedly discovered and enshrined long long before Of course that sacred place Compostelle like so many other sacred places I think of the Mont Saint Michel that I love so much is now so overrun with tourists and Catholic Kitsch as Rufin appropriately calls it that his destination does not return him to the Middle Ages at all but to the twenty first century with all its urban sprawl and bad taste And of course there are the other pilgrims encountered along the way eccentrics young people looking for sexual connections devoted Catholics and just odd adventurers all described in ways that keep the reader smiling I confess to having dreamed myself of undertaking the long walk to Compostelle at least since encountering pilgrims in the Pyrenees not far from Saint Jean de Luz where I occasionally vacation But arthritic knees will never allow me to pursue that adventure so Jean Christophe Rufin's account is probably as close as I can get to experiencing the real thing

  5. says:

    With every book I read about the Camino the urge to go gets stronger and stronger

  6. says:

    Although I am a great fan of Rufin in the sense that I've read every book of fiction he's ever published I was rather disappointed by this sober and level headed account of his pilgrimage to Santiago I can't uite put my finger on why This is a straightforward narrative of his journey full of humorous observations about the changes within himself as well as the scenery and interesting characters he meets along the way I have no bone to pick about anything with this book but I didn't find it terribly deep or even informative One useful thing he highlights is that a lot of the time you have to walk through industrial zones and along motorways Maybe my reaction is due to the fact that I'd been toying with the idea of undertaking this pilgrimage and after reading this book I've pretty much dropped the idea

  7. says:

    The book had potentialI was hoping for a soul searching pilgrimAfter 50% the writing deflated like a cheese souffléThe descriptions became repetitive enter city barking dogs welcome the walker industrial parks are the first glimpse on the horizonlouche BB's noisy dormitories in hostels and greasy spoon cafés with waiterwaitresses displaying a 'Je m'en fiche' attitudeNo this was a disappointment

  8. says:

    I was recommended this book by a fellow pilgrim when walking the camino in May 2016 It was a great reflection on the camino and the pilgrimage but I would be wary of letting those who have not walked the camino to read this His descriptions may color someone else’s first experience For a “seasoned” pilgrim there is always time to reminisce about the time walking so it was lovely to take time and reflect on his experience and my own

  9. says:

    An entirely personal account of the author's journey along the Way to Santiago de Compostela along the Northern route Most accounts of the pilgrimage describe the popular Route Frances this account is refreshing in its description of the Route less travelled

  10. says:

    A witty and thoughtful account of the Camino which I will be doing in the Autumn Great to read the different experiences people had