Books: BOOK OF A LIFETIME ; DUINO ELEGIES RAINER MARIA RILKE
Jamie, Kathleen, The Independent (London, England)
Somewhere in Northern Israel, near the Lebanese border, is a steep- sided wadi, arid and remote. High on one side lies a large cave which runs back into the rock, and on a terrace in front of the cave are the archaeological remains of a workshop which was in use many thousands of years ago. Stone implements were made there, but how and when was what we were trying to establish. I spent a month there working as a 'digger' in an archaeological team. I was 18, with a notion to become an archaeologist myself.
The team was a mixed bunch from all over Europe, working under a French director. At noon we'd quit the tedious scraping of dust and retreat into the cool cave to eat and rest. It was eerie in there and dark and it smelled of bat-dung.
Sometimes the Israeli air force sent fighter jets down this wadi, and the screaming planes would panic the many bats which lived deep in the cave, so the bats would scream too " a terrible sound. I was homesick, but full of youthful adventure, and the cave of screaming bats, the fighter- jets, the workshop of the ancients, the pan- European mix of strangers I was working with, all heightened my own emotional atmosphere. Once a scorpion crept into a digger's bucket, and though we Northerners, who'd never seen one before, pleaded for its life saying 'it's just a poor animal' the director was scared silly and stoned it to death.
As chance would have it, I'd brought just one book …
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Publication information: Article title: Books: BOOK OF A LIFETIME ; DUINO ELEGIES RAINER MARIA RILKE. Contributors: Jamie, Kathleen - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: June 1, 2005. Page number: 31. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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