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DaErez Davidiil 19 ottobre 2013 - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Magellan was a Portuguese explorer who led the first expedition to sail from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. He is the one who named the Pacific Ocean (“peaceful sea”) for the calmness of its water and the lack of wind. Although he wasn't alive to complete the entire journey himself after he was killed in a rather unnecessary battle with a local king in the Philippines, the expedition that he once led resulted in the first circumnavigation of the earth. Needless to say, the journey wasn't smooth and clear skies all along otherwise there would hardly be a reason to write a full book about this expedition. Magellan had to overcome the Portuguese king who tried to sabotage this voyage, the mutiny of his crew, hunger, thirst and very harsh weather. Oh, yeah, he also lost his life.
Zweig and his stirring prose style seem well suited for the task of writing about this dramatic expedition. Just consider this, for example: “His native country left him in the lurch; his ties with office and duty had been severed. So much the better, now he was free. As so often when a man seems to be at the mercy of the winds, he is in reality being blown back upon his own self.”
In his novels, Zweig tends to focus in the psychological aspects of his characters. What drove them and why they acted the way they did. This shows in his biography of Magellan. He portrays him as a quiet introvert and as a very calculated man who rarely made any decision without considering the long term; he was also fairly harsh (at least according to our standards today), but yet very fair.
Zweig doesn't dwell too much into to the details of each and every small thing that happened. Along with his dramatic and enjoyable prose style, "Magellan" reads more like one of Zweig’s novels.
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