Dervla Murphy, intrepid author of travel books, dies at 90

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Dervala Murphy, an Irish travel writer who started her The eccentric career with an epic solo cycling trip across Europe to India in 1963 and proceeded to explore vast parts of the developing world – defying the societal expectations of women along the way – on 22 May in Lismore, Ireland. Died at home. She was 90 years old.

His London publisher Elland Books announced the death. He had recently suffered a series of strokes.

Cheryl Strayed crossed the Pacific Crest Trail with little preparation and turned it into her best-selling memoir “Wild”, inspired by Ms. Murphy Taking generations of readers on one journey after another with minimal equipment, but abundant patience.

For Ms. Murphy, her grim journey began in her 30s after many years of caring for her disabled mother. Later, as a single mother, she supported herself and her daughter in her travel writing. He published a total of 26 books.

“She provided a role model for a whole generation of women, for freedom, for freedom of spirit, when there was no one else in Ireland,” said fellow travel writer Staging Magan in the 2016 documentary film. “Who is Darwalla Murphy?”

Most active from the 1960s to the 1990s, Ms. Murphy was drawn to parts of the world that were virtually untouched by industrialization, urbanization and consumer culture, where people lived without access to modern plumbing or electricity, the upcoming satellite TV and Not to mention cellphones.

At home in Lismore, where she lived in old stone rooms without central heat, she never learned to drive a car or use a computer. She avoided petty talk and regularly declined book tours and interviews. His first publisher, Jock Murray, said, “Interviewing Darwalla is like trying to open an oyster with a ticket to a wet bus.” once said.

When she traveled, she often slept in a tent and used toilets, and she admitted to being “impervious” to the discomfort. “It doesn’t matter to me whether I’m sleeping on the floor or on a mattress,” she said in the documentary. “I just don’t see the difference. And that’s a really big plus when you’re traveling.”

He also insisted that it was It is not right to call him brave. “You’re only courageous if you do something you’re afraid to do. I’m fearless when it comes to the physical and that’s a whole different thing.”

His first book,full force” (1965), was billed as a “journey from Ireland to India”, but more accurately was the story of a journey from Dunkirk, France to Delhi. She envisioned the trip after receiving a bicycle and an atlas for her 10th birthday, but kept her plan to herself, she wrote, “avoiding tolerable entertainment among my elders. I could not be comfortably convinced.” wished it was a passing fad because I firmly believed that one day I would like Cycle to India. ,

He embarked on a self-funded journey nearly two decades later, on January 14, 1963, on “Rose,” a 37-pound man’s bike removed from a three-speed derailleur and loaded with basic supplies, including empty Notebook and a compass were included. When she reached Delhi six months later, she had written thousands of words and covered a distance of about 3,000 miles. His total cost was £64.

Her Journey Begins in the Middle of a Blizzard – Will Go Down in the British as history 1963’s Big Freeze – When she was cycling on icy roads despite frostbite. The storm was so strong on the streets in Slovenia that it knocked him off his bike and when the snow began to melt, the fiery Morva River separated him from Rose.

She faced other threats: she was attacked by wolves in Bulgaria, a Serbian man who broke into her bedroom uninvited at night, and three men carrying spades by the side of a road near Tabriz, Iran, who Tried to steal everyday. In each case, he used a .25 pistol he had brought for the trip to defend himself, shooting a wolf through the skull and firing warning shots to scare away the men.

His The adventure took him to small villages, and he dedicated “full tilts” to his “hosts” in Afghanistan and Pakistan, who often accompanied him with warmth and food, despite his distaste for a woman undertaking such a trek. used to welcome them. She did not know their languages ​​but took time to learn about their customs, religions and governments. He also sold his pistol in Afghanistan, “becoming an arms dealer,” he joked in the documentary, and then carried a knife instead of a gun, which he feared would escalate the violence.

His following books, set in Tibet, Nepal, India, Ethiopia, Madagascar, and Peru, mixed food reviews, political and religious reporting, and romantic-poetic music of the sublime variety, for example when a mountain peak or the serenity of a glacial lake stunned him. crossed. But the writing never shied away from its main theme: the landscape and everyday encounters with its inhabitants, from rowdy children to pompous local officials to semi-domesticated animals.

In “eight feet in the andes“(1983), she travels far off the grid with her 9-year-old daughter, Rachel, and her carrying mule, Juana (hence the “eight” feet). A good part of her search is for Juana to find alfalfa or oats. In “Cameron with Egbert” (1990), the most memorable of the near-biblical trial of disasters—including clouds of biting flies, thunderstorms and hailstorms, malaria, mountain paths that suddenly precipitated , end up in lack of food and lack of shelter – That’s when their trusted packhorse, Egbert, is stolen.

Over time, Ms. Murphy’s writings became more politically explicit. He traveled to Northern Ireland in the midst of decades of sectarian violence known as “The Troubles” to better understand the militant Irish Republican Army. Later books focused on the Rwandan genocide, the turmoil in the Balkans, the legacy of the Vietnam War in Laos, and the cycle of violence in the Gaza Strip.

Some readers criticized his later books as polemics, preferring the colorful travelogue entries to his anti-capitalist and sometimes anti-American diatribe., but This was difficult To separate her deeply held environmentalist beliefs and opposition to globalization from her joyous pursuit of some of the world’s most remote places.

As she wrote in “At Feet in the Andes”: “There is much more to such experiences than visual beauty; there is also another kind of beauty, which is essential to mankind, yet to be expressed in words. This is the beauty of freedom: freedom from an ugly, artificial, inhuman, dissatisfied world in which man has lost his bearing.”

Ms Murphy began her long journey from Dublin after the death of her parents, Irish Catholics. The day they married, the couple moved to Lismore so that their father could take a job as a county librarian. Dervala Murphy—their only child, officially named Dervala Maria Murphy, to please a priest who mistook her first name as a pagan—was born on November 28, 1931.

His mother was suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis. “By my first birthday she couldn’t walk without the aid of a stick, and by my second birthday she couldn’t walk at all,” Ms. Murphy wrote in her 1979 memoir, “Wheels with Wheels.” After attending secondary school at Ursuline Convent in Waterford, she At the age of 14, he left his studies to take care of his mother. She did so for the next decade, until her father died of complications from influenza in 1961 and her mother suffered kidney failure in 1962.

While her mother’s immobility helped inspire her journey, so did some maternal advice. “She was the first person who suggested me to travel on my bike,” Murphy noted in the documentary. “She thought it would be a substitute for the education I had missed.”

In the mid-1960s, Murphy was romantically involved with Terrence de Vere White, the then literary editor of the Irish Times, who was married with children. He was Rachel’s biological father, but was not involved in her upbringing by mutual consent, and kept her paternity a secret for years.

Ms. Murphy is survived by her daughter and three granddaughters.

As she grew older, Ms. Murphy began to be mistaken for a man during the journey. Her voice was deep, her hair was short, and she was so stubborn that knocking her down on the table first, or taking a swing at someone, was enough to disperse potential attackers.

By the time she was 55 and traveled to West Africa with Rachel when she was 18, “Cameron with Egbert“The locals were enamored of his manhood. Many assumed that he and Rachel were husband and wife.

He guessed that this wrong gender was not only because of his physique but also because of the idea of ​​women walking alone in the countryside was unimaginable. He tried to correct the misconception with limited success, until In the middle of the Cameroon trip he tried another method: at the first sign of misunderstanding, he began to unbutton his shirt in public. It was clear and persuasive, like his literary voice.


‘या लेखात समाविष्ट असलेल्या कोणत्याही माहिती/सामग्री/गणनाची अचूकता किंवा विश्वसनीयता हमी नाही. ही माहिती विविध माध्यमे / ज्योतिषी / पंचांग / प्रवचन / विश्वास / धर्मग्रंथांमधून गोळा करून तुमच्यासाठी आणली गेली आहे. आमचा हेतू फक्त माहिती पोहोचवणे आहे, त्याच्या वापरकर्त्यांनी ती फक्त माहिती म्हणून घ्यावी. याव्यतिरिक्त, त्याचा कोणताही वापर वापरकर्त्याची स्वतःची जबाबदारी असेल. ‘

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