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Dark Sun: Te Rapunga and The Quest of George Dibbern
by Erika Grundman
Paperback, 2004, 510pages, very good condition

Dark Sun is the remarkable story of self-confessed 'vagabond' George Dibbern. Following internment on Somes Island in Wellington Harbour in World War I, he returned to his native Germany where for ten years he struggled unsuccessfully to find employment and to adapt to the role of husband and father. In 1930, with his thirty-two foot ketch, Te Rapunga, he broke free from the impending scourge of Nazism, and the constraints and conventions of society.

He was to roam the Pacific for the next thirty years, interrupted only by a second internment on Somes Island in World War II, and died in Auckland in 1962 while preparing to return at last to his wife and three daughters in Germany.

'My life is one with the sea. We respect each other and I have no other master,' he once said. He also maintained he answered solely to his own conscience, whose judgement was stricter than any statute of law. 'If you live in harmony with life,' he wrote, 'life will take care of you.' His book Quest, describing the initial four-year sea voyage that led to these convictions, was published in 1941 (Norton, Allen Lane). It won the admiration of American author Henry Miller, who wrote to Dibbern 'as a brother', and whose compassion and support helped Dibbern's family to survive the devastation of Germany after World War II. Miller recognised in Dibbern a man, like himself, well ahead of his time.

Meticulously researched and told with the narrative tug of fiction, Dark Sun gives for the first time the full compelling story of the life of 'German George'. It is a timely and inspiring chronicle of what one man accomplished and endured (as well as the repercussions to his family) when, acting on his beliefs, he sailed under his own flag, created his own passport - and 'took his fun where he found it'.
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  • Seller location: North Shore, Auckland, NZ

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