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By James Attlee

“Nobody who has no longer taken you possibly can think the great thing about a stroll via Rome by way of complete moon,” wrote Goethe in 1787. unfortunately, the mind's eye is all we've got this day: in Rome, as in another sleek urban, moonlight has been banished, changed by means of the twenty-four-hour glow of streetlights in an international that by no means sleeps. Moonlight, for many folks, is not any more.

So James Attlee got down to locate it. Nocturne is the checklist of that trip, a traveler’s story that takes readers on a blinding evening trek that levels throughout continents, from prehistory to the current, and during either the actual international and the geographical regions of paintings and literature. Attlee attends a Buddhist full-moon rite in Japan, meets a moon jellyfish on a seashore in Northern France, takes a moonlit hike within the Arizona barren region, and studies a lunar eclipse on New Year’s Eve atop the snowbound Welsh hills. every one locale is illuminated not only by means of the moonlight he seeks, yet via the tradition and historical past that outline it. We know about Mussolini’s pathological worry of moonlight; hint the connections among Caspar David Friedrich, Rudolf Hess, and the Apollo area project; and meet the inventors of the Moonlight Collector within the American barren region, who objective to remedy all types of illnesses with targeted lunar rays. Svevo and Blake, Whistler and Hokusai, Li Po and Marinetti are all enlisted, as foils, acquaintances, or fellow tourists, on Attlee’s journey.

Pulled by way of the moon just like the tide, Attlee is firmly in a practice of wandering pilgrims that stretches from Basho to Sebald; like them, he offers our accepted international anew.

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Released 2011. published within the united states 20  19  18  17  sixteen  15  14  thirteen  12  11      1  2  three  four  five isbn-13: 978-0-226-03096-8 (cloth) isbn-10: 0-226-03096-2 (cloth) Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication information Attlee, James. Nocturne : a trip looking for moonlight / James Attlee. p. cm. isbn-13: 978-0-226-03096-8 (hardcover : alk. paper) isbn-10: 0-226-03096-2 (hardcover : alk. paper) 1. Moon. 2. Moon—In artwork. three. Moonlight in artwork. four. Moon—In literature. I. name. n8225. m59a85 2011 523. 3—dc22 2010049355 This paper meets the necessities of ansi/niso z39. 48-1992 (Permanence of Paper). For Rosemary and David Contents moonri se  Sky Maps and Ghost Ships three pa rt o ne : sy zi gy A Three-Dog evening by means of the River nine A Barefoot Galileo 14 Absorbed via Its Shadows 22 Earthshine 26 Eostre and a Paschal Moon 28 A White Horse and giant Bones 30 worry of the darkish 36 Darkness and the desolate tract: An Islamic Moon forty-one Mussolini, the Madonna and Moonlight forty six Extollagers within the Valley of imaginative and prescient: reminiscence, Moonlight and Samuel Palmer fifty six darkish Adaption and the attention of the Beholder sixty seven the trail of Totality eighty Adrift at the Iapetus Ocean eighty four August seashore Moon, Normandy 88 Immaculate Conceptions and obvious Moons ninety one viii Contents Let’s homicide the Moonlight! Futurists and the Moon The supplier of the evening ninety five a hundred pa rt t wo: t suk imi past the Gateless Gate: September Kyoto Moon 111 Cats’ Eyes and a McDonald’s Moon 132 pa rt th ree: vesuv io The Alarming Mountain: Naples, Vesuvius and the Moon 153 pa rt fou r : lunada From Vegas to Vega: American Moon 187 The Moon and the status humans 225 pa rt f iv e: mo ndsc he in Raking the Shadows: A Romantic Moon 237 pa rt s ix: thames is thru dead night Streets: The Thames and a London Moon 265 moo nse t  Blue Moon on Stonewall Hill 303 Acknowledgements 310 Permissions 311 Moonrise Sky Maps and Ghost Ships unusual certainly are the areas that supply delivery to the information that later, for larger or worse, locate actual shape as books. I first encountered my topic mendacity on my again in a dentist’s chair. with the intention to distract the minds of these present process therapy, the dentist in query had hooked up a wide photographic poster to the ceiling depicting the earth at evening, visible from area. it really is to this far-off but time-honored global that his sufferers solid their eyes, occasionally blurred by means of tears, occasionally pre-naturally sharpened by way of the hassle of ignoring their pain. What they study is that a lot of the planet we inhabit now not reports ‘night’ because it was understood. Ever-increasing swathes of it are bathed in man made mild twenty-four hours an afternoon and glitter like amber jewels whilst saw from the air; in simple terms the nice deserts and oceans provide huge components of darkness. these folks who inhabit those areas of everlasting day (most people, in different phrases) are more and more bring to an end from the hobbies of the silent satellite tv for pc that controls the tides, associated within the human brain for hundreds of years with love, depression and insanity.

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