Front cover image for A time to keep silence

A time to keep silence

Patrick Leigh Fermor set off as a teenager to make his way across Europe, as recorded in his classic memoirs, A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water. Later he fought with local partisans against the Nazi occupiers of Crete. A Time to Keep Silence stands out among Leigh Fermor s various tales of travel and adventure because it is more an inward than an outward voyage. Here Leigh Fermor chronicles his several sojourns in some of Europe s oldest and most celebrated monasteries. He stays at the Abbey of Wandrille, a great repository of art and learning; at Solesmes, famous for its revival of Gregorian chant; and at the deeply ascetic Trappist monastery of La Grande Trappe, where monks take a vow of silence. Finally, he visits the rock monasteries of Cappadocia, hewn from the stony spires of a moonlike landscape, where he seeks some trace of the life of the earliest Christian anchorites. This beautiful short book is a meditation on the meaning of silence and solitude for modern life. Leigh Fermor writes, In the seclusion of a cell--an existence whose quietness is only varied by the silent meals, the solemnity of ritual, and long solitary walks in the woods--the troubled waters of the mind grow still and clear, and much that is hidden away and all that clouds it floats to the surface and can be skimmed away; and after a time one reaches a state of peace that is unthought of in the ordinary world
Print Book, English, ©2007
New York Review Books, New York, ©2007
xxii, 96 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm.
9781590172445, 1590172442
The Abbey of St. Wandrille de Fontanelle
From Solesmes to la Grande Trappe
The rock monasteries of Cappadocia
Originally published: London : Queen Anne Press, 1953