Read Vorstoss ins Innere by Laurens van der Post Online


An account of a journey on foot across the mountains to the two lost worlds of Central Africa. Adventure, discovery, and tragedy teem in this famous account of a trek into the sinister, primeval heights of Mount Mlanje and the cloud veiled uplands of Nyika....

Title : Vorstoss ins Innere
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9783257228236
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 310 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Vorstoss ins Innere Reviews

  • Dlmrose
    2019-02-09 15:47


  • Amanda Nunn
    2019-01-25 10:54

    I was not far into the first part of this book when I started to feel suspicious. Laurens provides some context for his adventure in the form of family history, and what do you know? It's exciting on both sides. Maybe it's just the jealousy of someone whose pedigree can best be described as "peasants on both sides, all the way back" but this struck me as...possibly exaggerated. So I turned to trusty Google.Perhaps it's ignorance, but I'd never heard of Laurens van der Post before picking up this book. And as it turns out, the controversy surrounding this man is almost more interesting than the book itself. It's possible that he lied about or exaggerated many of his experiences. His account of his family history on his father's side is one of the areas in which he may not have been entirely truthful.Aside from his questionable honesty, it's not disputed that he treated women awfully. He had multiple affairs, abandoned his first wife and children, and took advantage of a 14 year old girl who was entrusted to his care, fathering a child with her and ruining her budding career as a dancer. Far from the wise and good man he portrays himself as in his writing.After the questionable family history, almost 100 pages of the book are occupied by his travel by aeroplane from England to Nyasaland (modern day Malawi). More specifically, they are occupied by his crotchety-old-man-complaining about this newfangled means of travel. It's a common problem in books from this era, air travel being so new that the author must spend many pages in excited wonderment or grouchy longing for the good old days of slow travel, each of which tend to confound the modern reader to whom it's simply a normal part of travel.If you can make your way through the tiresome air travel section, the narrative picks up from there and the book will become much more pleasant to read. Laurens, along with two white companions and an excessive amount of native bearers, explores mountain of Mlanje with its unique ecosystem and unpredictable weather. Here the tell-tale signs of untruth once again rear their head - Laurens in his great wisdom is able to pre-cognitively predict disaster and like Cassandra warns his companions against all mistakes, but alas! They don't listen. Disaster strikes but it is definitely super in no way saintly Laurens's fault!After Mlanje, Laurens moves on to the Nyika plateau in the north of Nyasaland. Some of his descriptions of the scenery and wildlife are very beautiful and evocative.The philosophical aspect which is supposed to be a big part of this book fell a bit flat with me. A lot of the philosophical asides seemed frankly nonsensical to me - they sounded deep on the surface but on examination it was impossible to figure out what Laurens was trying to say. One part that was clear, was that Laurens calls for peace and understanding between races, while in the same breath sexualising black people and romanticising their primitive, dark natures. Since the last book I read by a South African from this era was much more virulently racist, I guess Laurens gets a teensy tiny point for being a slightly less ridiculously racist?To conclude, the latter 200 pages of this book are entertaining, if perhaps not strictly factual. The main value I got from this book was a little more understanding of the history and geography of Africa.

  • Bettie☯
    2019-02-20 16:11

    Dedication: To Ingaret Giffardin order to defeat the latestof many separations.Part I THE JOURNEY IN TIME starts off by a snippet from Sir Thomas Browne:"We carry with us the wonderswe seek without us: there is allAfrica and her prodigies in us"Opening: Africa is my Mother's country.Read more on Malawi here: wiki_ The Nyika Plateau lies in northern Malawi, with a small portion in north eastern Zambia. Most of it lies at elevations of 2100 to 2200 m, the highest point being 2605m at Nganda Peak. It is roughly a diamond in shape, with a long north-south axis of about 90 km, and an east-west axis of about 50 km. It towers above Lake Malawi (elevation 475 m), and the towns of Livingstonia and Chilumba. Its well-defined north-west escarpment rises about 700 m above the north-eastern extremity of the Luangwa Valley, and its similarly prominent south-east escarpment rises about 1000 m above the South Rukuru River valley.It is known for its wildlife, including Burchell's Zebra, many birds and endemic butterflies, chameleons, frogs and toads, and also for its orchids. All of the plateau is protected, by Malawi's large Nyika National Park and the much smaller Nyika National Park, Zambia. The only settlement on the plateau is Chelinda, the headquarters and accommodation site for the Malawian park.

  • Katja Willemsen
    2019-02-15 08:53

    Colonial and written in a clunky style of the times, I nevertheless loved this book. Van der Post has been accused of elaborating/ expanding/ inventing (depends on the critic) his memories, but I didn't care. He was an adventurer, fascinated by cultural differences, and even if his attitude is occasionally superior, the stories he tells are rich, and deeply personal.

  • Cathy
    2019-02-20 08:50

    Another one the my stupid grammar school gave us to read and study. I was about 14 and understood nothing. It did me no good at all at the time.I remember my headmaster suggesting that I read The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat, or The Kontiki Expedition by Thor Heyerdahl. I began reading these in my mid-twenties and found Kontiki brilliant. I could never have read it earlier. I believe there's a right time to read a book, and don't buy the kids something that's far too old for them. You'll ruin it for them.Another lecture - but hopefully useful.

  • Stephen Hayes
    2019-02-02 10:15

    It is 50 years since I read this book, so I am reliant on my diary for what I thought. It was quite a thought-provoking book. When I read it, I had been in Britain for four months, I was living in digs in Streatham in South London, and driving buses for London Transport, and feeling homesick for South Africa, and rather alienated in Britain. That was why i bought the book and read it, and that coloured my attitude to the book. It provoked two thoughts in me: first, that Laurens van der Post, though born in Africa, wrote about Africa like a European. That annoyed me, particularly because of my own circumstances at the time. Secondly, he wrote about forgiveness in a way that may have been reflected in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa thirty years later. So this is what I wrote in my diary on 6 June 1966:I read more of Venture to the interior and came to the conclusion that van der Post is above all things a European. He may have been born in Africa, but to him Europe is home. He writes about and sees Africa through European eyes. Alan Paton is one South African writer I know who writes as an African, as a non-European. There may be others, but I haven't read them. Much of what van der Post says is true, though, particularly about air travel. There is something about an international airport that is unlocated, almost like the in-between land of pools in The magician's nephew. It is neither here nor there. It is not a part of the world at all. A strange unreality pervades it, and an atmosphere that both attracts and repels. One is no longer located in time and space. One is not anywhere, but everywhere is a possibility. The possibilities are exciting. It is a sort of cocoon transitional stage, only here, you feel, can you make the choice. I am nowhere - where shall I be? London? Nairobi? New York? Karachi? Paris? Entebbe? Johannesburg? Rome? Salisbury? All are possibilities. It bugs me, this European outlook, the assumption of European superiority. Even he, born in Africa, writes in terms of England as if England is the almighty bloody absolute from which everythingelse in the world is to be judged. It is understandable in an Englishman, who must describe new things in terms of what he already knows, but not in someone brought up on a Free State farm.He writes very well at times, but I can't help feeling that he is a traitor to the land of his birth. He has become an Englishman. And what is this England, this soft land, where the corners of everything are rubbed off? Where so many things are blurred and ill-defined? The climate and geography are strange to me.I have just been through an English spring, but it is completely different to spring back home. England in spring is like a great fat lazy cow chewing over the cud. It is not, as in South Africa, a sudden awakening. A fanfare of wattle blossoms to announce its arrival in August. Then silence. Then spring, when in a few weeks of September everything turns green. The azaleas and bougainvillias flower. The winter brown turns to summer green, and again there is silence for a space, and then a fanfare of jacarandas to announce that the process is completed -- summer is here. Not so in England. There is a blurring of the edges, a shading over from winter to summer. Nogrand dramatic displays and flourishes, but a little bit here, a little bit there. First this turns green, then that. One plant flowers, then another. Bushes blossom while the trees are still all dead. It is a much slower process, an unfolding, like a movie lap dissolve done very slowly, the new picture slowly emerging out of the old. In South Africa it is like a changing of lantern slides -- one disappears and the other takes its place. Both are beautiful, but I think I still prefer ours.6 Jun 1966 - Van der Post on forgivenessOne thing that struck me in the first couple of chapters was his father's forgiving the British after the Boer War. It has always been one of the more frightening ironies of Afrikaner life that people like my father, who with Smuts and Botha had fought and actually suffered in the war, could forgive and begin anew, whereas others, alive today, who were never in the heart of the conflict, can still find it so hard to forgive an injury that was not even done to them, and how can there be any real beginning without forgiveness?I noticed something similar in my experience with war crimes officers, who had neither suffered internment under the Japanese, nor even fought against them. They were more revengeful and bitter about our sufferings and our treatment than we were ourselves. I have so often noticed that the suffering which is most difficult, if not impossible to forgive, is unreal, imagined suffering. There is no power on earth like imagination, and the worst, most obstinate grievances are imagined ones.This seems to touch on the core of a rather big question of human behaviour, One is that we so often find it easier to forgive those who injure us than those who injure others; and this imagination business. Reading about life in Nazi Germany conjures up all sorts of horrors, but they are imaginary horrors, I have never experienced them. In South Africa there are probably the same horrors, but one gets used to them. This is why so many people emphatically deny that South Africa is a police state, because it does not fit their mental image of a police state. But Germans probably felt the same 30 years ago.I seem to recollect Trevor Huddleston in his book Naught for yourcomfort saying how much harder it was to forgive things done to other people, because one can only imagine how they feel. And ]those who questioned] the value of Liberal Party rural meetings, because you know that you go to encourage them in the face of SB intimidation, but by going you only encourage the SB to step up their campaign of intimidation. But it is a selfish martyrdom attitude -- a sort of "I alone can bear the suffering" kick. But they too must bear their share of suffering -- we are not the ones to deny it to them. It is their privilege as members of God's kingdom.

  • Liz Wager
    2019-02-17 13:00

    I read this on a trip to Malawi but I'm afraid it only served to remind me that van der Post is not my favourite travel writer. I enjoy his descriptions (and it was interesting to read about Blantyre in the 1940s when I was there) but I can't take his pompous philosophising ...

  • Eimear
    2019-01-29 13:08

    DNF at 50/250 pages I have absolutely no ambition to read this right now, so.. byee

  • Susan Armstrong
    2019-02-09 12:10

    This remains one of my favourite books by one of my favourite authors. On the surface this book is about a true, post WWII adventure and exploration -- philosopher Sir Laurens van der Post's incredible and dramatic journey into the interior of Africa to survey certain areas for the colonial British government. However as always with van der Post's writing his meaning is deeper and is woven so beautifuly throughout the text. As the title eludes, this is a bold and grand venture into the interior of our human selves.In the Preface he sets up this venture when he refers to 'an unresolved conflict between two fundamental elements in my make-up; conscious and unconscious, male and female, masculine and feminine...On one side, under the heading "Africa", I would group unconscious, female, feminine, mother; and under "Europe" on the other: conscious, male, masculine, father'. And further in the text he states for example: 'For this unreality starts in an incomplete awareness of ourselves... out of this dark gorge... between the two halves of ourselves, out of this division between the Europe and the Africa in us, unreality rises up to overwhelm us... The human being... is strangled in his own lack of self-awareness.' And again, ''The problem is ours; it is in us, in our split and divided hearts... We hate the native in ourselves; we scorn and despise the night in which we have our being ...before we can close our split natures we must forgive ourselves. We must, we must forgive our European selves for what we have done to the Africa within us.'This is a highly-recommended prophetic book prompting much-needed reflection on our human condition; that we do indeed all suffer from this split personality and that a deeper awareness of it is critical to our future. In terms of a solution, van der Post laments in the book '...could there be... some magic somewhere, some medicine that could redeem all?' In other words can our split natures be reconciled?? Is there something out there that can reconcile these depressingly dividied 'African' and 'European' selves? Unbelievably, there is. An Australian biologist -- who himself frequently draws upon the work of Sir Laurens van der Post, including 'Venture To the Interior' -- Jeremy Griffith has produced a biological explanation of the human condition that does just that. Our human condition is logically explained in first principle terms and the outcome is truly wonderous and transforming for the entire human race. A breakthrough of monumental significance.

  • Nick
    2019-01-23 08:53

    I liked this book as I like all of Van der Post's work. It is easy to put him down. His perspective is not ours (part British African Colonial, part Boer, part Dutch), some of what he writes probably belongs in the realms of tall stories, he can be somewhat arrogant and multiple references to 'natives' grate on modern sensibilities. Despite that his writing is fresh, clear, often with a poetic quality to it as well as a ring of honesty.This book is as much about an inner journey as an outer, geographical one, although the inner journey only really gets a few intense passages at the core locations of Mlanje and Nyika. It is worth reading for the outer journey alone, which takes place in 1949 in a bygone world sandwiched between the Second World War and the decolonisation of Africa. The author flies from Heath Row to Blantyre "7,000 miles in 72 hours" stopping several times (but always under the British flag) in Tripoli (Castel Benito (!)), Khartoum, Nairobi, Lusaka, Salisbury (now Harare) and Blantyre. His depictions of the British in what was then Nyasaland are poignant, maintaining a caricature of "Home"; and there is the occasional glimpse of what that part of the world was like 'before Government came'. Despite his dated, Jan Smuts-like politics, Van der Post's vision of the future of Africa is one where the gap between black and white is bridged. Arguably, that has not yet come true even now.

  • Peer
    2019-02-06 15:52

    Read half of it. Couldn't get over the complacent writing style. The story is too much focused on the writer himself. Maybe nice for his family. But I'm no family...

  • Andrew Bentley-Steed
    2019-01-25 13:55

    To be honest, I had to push myself to keep reading in places as I was never a fan of empire or the vapid mindset which goes with being a loyal subject. Though the author doesn't share the racist views of his peers - and certainly of that period of history - the book has not dated well, serving only as an insight into how people of our grandparent's generation viewed the world.

  • Christopher
    2019-02-11 15:51

    Brilliant book. Moves effortlessly between deep personal recollections, musings and insight to vivid descriptions of a wild environment around him. Interesting views of the (Colonial) White-Black relationship with some fairly progressive views for 1952.Made me want to go to Nyasaland and find similar stimulus.

  • Duana Ogden
    2019-02-19 10:57

    I found a really old copy of this book and it was fun to hear his impressions on Africa post ww II, still under colonial power, pre apartied. This author sounds like a very interesting man and his views on Africa are not popular with his times. I would like to read more.

  • Miriam
    2019-01-28 10:54

    I had a dream one night. I saw a stone wall with big slabs of stone and on one of them was written L v d P. Later I found this book in the bookshelf of my mother and remembered the initials from my dream. I read the book. One of my absolute favorites.

  • Lee Belbin
    2019-02-12 11:04

    A good insight into South Africa

  • Caroline
    2019-01-24 14:50

    The most boring and soporific of the textbooks I had to read for the GCE -- a view shared by almost everyone in my class.

  • Mariana
    2019-02-13 13:57

    I've started reading Laurens Van der Post in order from the beginning because he is a valuable writer who cares about people.

  • Kasiek
    2019-02-16 09:58