À la recherche du Brontosaurus ~ In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin

In my grandmother’s dining-room there was a glass-fronted cabinet and in the cabinet a piece of skin. It was a small piece only, but thick and leathery, with strands of coarse, reddish hair.  It was stuck to a card with a rusty pin. On the card was some writing in faded black ink, but I was too young then to read.

“What’s that?”

“A piece of brontosaurus.”


Never in my life have I wanted anything as I wanted that piece of skin. My grandmother said I should have it one day, perhaps. And when she died I said: ‘Now I can have the piece of brontosaurus,’ but my mother said: ‘Oh, that thing! I’m afraid we threw it away.’

So begins Bruce Chatwin’s novel In Patagonia (1977)–the somewhat fictionalized account of his journey to Patagonia where he set off to replace his grandmother’s misplaced bit of dinosaur. Thanks to this glorious two-part documentary, written and narrated by Chatwin’s biographer–Nicholas Shakespeare–and produced by the BBC (1999), Chatwin, writing, travel and dinosaur fans can follow in the footsteps of the brilliant, controversial author around the world—from Patagonia to Africa.

A delightful mediation on writing, art, nomadism, journeys, and wonder, In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin, is filled with interviews with the author as well as with his friends, family members, and the people he met on his travels who eventually became characters in his novels. A must for fans and all those interested in writing, living, or in search of something–be it meaning or a furry piece of prehistoric skin.

Episode I

(via  on YouTube, published Dec 12, 2011)


Episode II

(via  on YouTube, published Dec 12, 2011)

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