Between 1921 and 1924, Knud Rasmussen led a small band of colleagues in a journey of investigation across the top of North America. The full scientific report of that 20,000-mile trek by dog sled from Greenland to Siberia, known to history as the Firth Thule Expedition, fills ten volumes. This single volume, Across Arctic America, is Rasmussen’s own reworking and condensation of his two-volume popular account written in Danish, and gives the essence of his experience of the Arctic and its people.
It was the people who most captivated the Greenland-born Rasmussen, who had become a virtual adopted son to the Eskimos of the far northern district still known by the name of the trading post he established there, Thule. His first four Thule Expeditions extended the limits of the known world in Greenland solely, but Rasmussen’s Fifth Thule Expedition demonstrated the unity of the Eskimo world from the Atlantic Ocean to the Chukchi Sea, proving the people all shared the same basic language and culture. As historian Terrence Cole notes in his introductory biography, “The intellectual and spiritual life of the people themselves were his primary interest, not simply geographical discovery, and thus even when following the tracks of previous explorers, he found uncharted territory. His basic principle was to first earn the trust of the local people by showing understanding and patience: living with the people and not apart from them, sharing their work and their food….” That was how Rasmussen approached the entire Arctic: he did not live apart from it, skimming over its surface like the fame-seeking polar explorers of the time such as Peary and Cook, but immersed himself in it—so successfully that a Canadian Inuit elder once marveled that he was “the first white man [he had ever seen] who was also an Eskimo.”
Of most significance to readers today, though, is that Rasmussen was also a noted writer. He wanted to share not just the observations he made but the feelings he experienced, and so in Across Arctic America offered what fellow arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson described as “not only a work of literary charm but also one of the deepest and soundest interpretations” of Eskimo life ever put into a book.
This volume, published in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the completion of the Fifth Thule Expedition, includes an introduction by Classic Reprint Series editor Terrance Cole and an index.
In this first general theory for the analysis of popular literary formulas, John G. Cawelti reveals the artistry that underlies the best in formulaic literature. Cawelti discusses such seemingly diverse works as Mario Puzo's The Godfather, Dorothy Sayers's The Nine Tailors, and Owen Wister's The Virginian in the light of his hypotheses about the cultural function of formula literature. He describes the most important artistic characteristics of popular formula stories and the differences between this literature and that commonly labeled "high" or "serious" literature. He also defines the archetypal patterns of adventure, mystery, romance, melodrama, and fantasy, and offers a tentative account of their basis in human psychology.
Though relatively unsung in the English-speaking world, Jean Rouch (1917–2004) was a towering figure of ethnographic cinema. Over the course of a fifty-year career, he completed over one hundred films, both documentary and fiction, and exerted an influence far beyond academia. Exhaustively researched yet elegantly written, The Adventure of the Real is the first comprehensive analysis of his practical filmmaking methods.
Rouch developed these methods while conducting anthropological research in West Africa in the 1940s–1950s. His innovative use of unscripted improvisation by his subjects had a profound impact on the French New Wave, Paul Henley reveals, while his documentary work launched the genre of cinema-vérité. In addition to tracking Rouch’s pioneering career, Henley examines the technical strategies, aesthetic considerations, and ethical positions that contribute to Rouch’s cinematographic legacy. Featuring over one hundred and fifty images, The Adventure of the Real is an essential introduction to Rouch’s work.
Why—against his mentor’s exhortations to publish—did Charles Darwin take twenty years to reveal his theory of evolution by natural selection? In Darwin’s Evolving Identity, Alistair Sponsel argues that Darwin adopted this cautious approach to atone for his provocative theorizing as a young author spurred by that mentor, the geologist Charles Lyell. While we might expect him to have been tormented by guilt about his private study of evolution, Darwin was most distressed by harsh reactions to his published work on coral reefs, volcanoes, and earthquakes, judging himself guilty of an authorial “sin of speculation.” It was the battle to defend himself against charges of overzealous theorizing as a geologist, rather than the prospect of broader public outcry over evolution, which made Darwin such a cautious author of Origin of Species.
Drawing on his own ambitious research in Darwin’s manuscripts and at the Beagle’s remotest ports of call, Sponsel takes us from the ocean to the Origin and beyond. He provides a vivid new picture of Darwin’s career as a voyaging naturalist and metropolitan author, and in doing so makes a bold argument about how we should understand the history of scientific theories.
Fifty Years Below Zero is an engrossing account by Charles Brower, the "King of the Arctic," of his life in the north. Brower shares his knowledge of whaling, pioneering, and Alaska Native life and customs before statehood, chronicling a period of important and rapid change in Alaska history with insight and humor. His story is also full of high adventure and rich with details about the many visitors who became his friends--explorers, whalers, traders, and missionaries. This volume is an excellent companion to the oral biography of Harry Brower, Jr., the son of Charles Brower, entitled The Whales, They Give Themselves (University of Alaska Press 2004).
In 1899, George Bird Grinnell journeyed to Alaska on the Harriman Expedition, a scientific cruise from Seattle to the North Pacific. Accompanied by explorer John Muir and photographer Edward S. Curtis, Grinnell spent two months chronicling the lives of the Natives of Alaska and Siberia.
A keen observer of his surroundings, Grinnell provides a unique perspective on northern life in the late nineteenth century. He documented hunting techniques and material culture of the Eskimo of Siberia, as well as the totem poles and architecture of the Tlingit of Southeast. As a pioneer conservationist, Grinnell was one of the first to express concern over the effects of trade and industry on Alaska's peoples and natural resources.
Illustrated with photos and drawings by Harriman Expedition members, including Edward S. Curtis, this volume makes the work of a passionate observer available to a new generation of readers.
For Lucy Jane Bledsoe, wilderness had always been a source of peace. But during one disastrous solo trip in the wintry High Sierra she came face to face with a crisis: the wilderness no longer felt like home. The Ice Cave recounts Bledsoe’s wilderness journeys as she recovers her connection with the wild and discovers the meanings of fear and grace.
These are Bledsoe’s gripping tales of fending off wolves in Alaska, encountering UFOs in the Colorado Desert, and searching for mountain lions in Berkeley. Her memorable story “The Breath of Seals” takes readers to Antarctica, the wildest continent on earth, where she camped out with geologists, biologists, and astrophysicists. These fresh and deeply personal narratives remind us what it means to be simply one member of one species, trying to find food and shelter—and moments of grace—on our planet.
In the late sixties, Gail Pool and her husband set off for an adventure in New Guinea. He was a graduate student in anthropology; she was an aspiring writer. They prepared, as academics do, by reading, practicing with language tapes, consulting with the nearest thing to experts, and then, excited and optimistic, off they went. But all their research could not prepare them for the reality of life in the jungle. As they warded off gargantuan insects, slogged through seemingly endless mud, and turned on each other in fatigue and frustration, they struggled to somehow connect with their enigmatic hosts, the Baining—a people who showed no desire to be studied.
Sixteen months later they returned home. Despite months of trying, they had not been able to make sense of the Baining’s culture. Worse yet, their lives no longer seemed to make sense. Pool put her journals away. Her husband abandoned the study of anthropology.
Decades later, Pool returned to her journals and found in her jumbled notes the understanding that had eluded her twenty-three–year-old self. Finally, she and her husband returned to New Guinea for a shorter visit and a warm reunion with the tribe that challenged them on so many levels and, Pool now realized, made their journey and lives deeper and richer.
The Medieval Risk-Reward Society offers a study of adventure and love in the European Middle Ages focused on the poetry of authors such as Marie de France, Chrétien de Troyes, Wolfram von Eschenbach, and Gottfried von Strassburg—showing how a society based on sacrifice becomes a society based on wagers and investments. Will Hasty’s sociological approach to medieval courtly literature, informed by the analytic tools of game theory, reveals the blossoming of a worldview in which outcomes are uncertain, such that the very self (of a character or an authorial persona) is contingent on success or failure in possessing the things it desires—and upon which its social identity and personal happiness depend. Drawing on a diverse selection of contrasting canonical works ranging from the Iliad to the biblical book of Joshua to High Medieval German political texts to the writings of Leibniz and Mark Twain, Hasty enables an appreciation of the distinctive contributions made in antiquity and the Middle Ages to the medieval emergence of a European society based on risks and rewards.
The Medieval Risk-Reward Society: Courts, Adventure, and Love in the European Middle Ages takes a descriptive approach to the competitions in religion, politics, and poetry that are constitutive of medieval culture. Culture is considered always to be happening, and to be happening on the cultural cutting edge as competitions for rewards involving the element of chance. This study finds adventure and love—the principal concerns of medieval European romance poetry—to be cultural game changers, and thereby endeavors to make a humanist contribution to the development of a cultural game theory.
Ornette Coleman’s career encompassed the glory years of jazz and the American avant-garde. Born in segregated Fort Worth, Texas, during the Great Depression, the African-American composer and musician was zeitgeist incarnate. Steeped in the Texas blues tradition, he and jazz grew up together, as the brassy blare of big band swing gave way to bebop—a faster music for a faster, postwar world. At the luminous dawn of the Space Age and New York’s 1960s counterculture, Coleman gave voice to the moment. Lauded by some, maligned by many, he forged a breakaway art sometimes called “the new thing” or “free jazz.” Featuring previously unpublished photographs of Coleman and his contemporaries, this book tells the compelling story of one of America’s most adventurous musicians and the sound of a changing world.
When Henry Hudson explored the Delaware River in 1609, he dubbed it “one of the finest, best, and pleasantest rivers in the world.” Today, those same qualities make the Delaware one of the most popular rivers for recreational use in the United States. Although in places a near-wilderness, the Delaware is easily accessible to millions of residents. On any summer day there may be thousands of people rushing down its exciting rapids or lazing through its serene eddies.
A Paddler’s Guide to the Delaware River is an indispensable resource for anyone who wants to experience the Delaware River in a kayak, canoe, raft, or tube—or, for that matter, an automobile or an armchair. Reading the book is like travelling down the river with an experienced guide. It charts the non-tidal Delaware 200 miles from Hancock, New York, to Trenton, New Jersey, describing access points, rapids, natural features, villages, historical sites, campgrounds, outfitters, and restaurants. The Delaware comes alive as the author introduces some of the people, places, events, and controversies that have marked the river from earliest times to the present day.
Completely revised, the third edition offers:
An overview of the river including watershed, history, place names, paddlecraft, safety, and fishing.
The River Guide: ten sections that can each be paddled in one day (about 20 miles), with a mile-by-mile account of rapids, access, natural features, historic sites, and other features.
All new maps, with names for virtually every rapid, eddy, and other river feature, plus detailed diagrams for routes through even the most severe rapids.
Features in the River Guide highlight the people, events, natural history, and communities that define the river experience, such as Tom Quick, the infamous “avenger of the Delaware”; the mysterious migration of eels, the battle over Tocks Island Dam; and many others.
Appendices of Important Contacts, Outfitters and Campgrounds, River Trip Checklists, and more.
Whether you are a novice out for an afternoon float, a seasoned adventurer on an overnight expedition, or a resident fascinated by the lore of the Delaware Valley, this book is an invaluable guide.
The Sea and the Jungle
H.M. Tomlinson Northwestern University Press, 1996 Library of Congress F2546.T662 1996 | Dewey Decimal 828.91203
Considered a masterpiece of travel literature for nearly a century, The Sea and the Jungle is a wise and witty book of firsts: ostensibly a lighthearted story of a Londoner's first ocean voyage, it is also a carefully crafted journalistic account of the first successful ascent of the Amazon River and its tributary, the Madeira, by an English steamer. First published in 1912, The Sea and the Jungle remains one of the most popular accounts of a traveler's experience in Amazonia. As Peter Matthiessen observed fifty years later, " The Sea and the Jungle is one of the few level-headed works in the literature of this region. . . . accurate and difficult to improve upon."
A Story of Conquest and Adventure: The Large Farāmarznāme presents a poem from the Persian epic cycle dated to the late eleventh century in an English prose translation for the first time. The story tells how Farāmarz, a son of the famous Shāhnāme hero Rostam, conquers several provinces of India, before setting off on an extensive voyage over sea and land, leading his troops through a number of hazardous situations in various fictional countries. Finding love and battling men, demons, and various ferocious animals, the epic hero comes to life in this riveting translation.
In 1972, Eric Dinerstein was in film school at Northwestern University, with few thoughts of nature, let alone tiger-filled jungles at the base of the Himalayas or the antelope-studded Serengeti plain. Yet thanks to some inspiring teachers and the squawk of a little green heron that awakened him to nature's fundamental wonders, Dinerstein would ultimately become a leading conservation biologist, traveling to these and other remote corners of the world to protect creatures ranging from the striking snow leopard to the homely wrinkle-faced bat.
Tigerland and Other Unintended Destinations takes readers on Dinerstein's unlikely journey to conservation's frontiers, from early research in Nepal to recent expeditions as head of Conservation Science at the World Wildlife Fund. We are there as the author renews his resolve after being swept downstream on an elephant's back, tracks snow leopards in the mountains of Kashmir with a remarkable housewife turned zoologist, and finds unexpected grit in a Manhattanite donor he guides into the wildest reaches of the Orinoco River. At every turn, we meet professed and unprofessed ecologists who share Dinerstein's mission, a cast of free-spirited characters uncommonly committed to-and remarkably successful at-preserving slices of the world's natural heritage.
A simple sense of responsibility, one feels, shines through all of Dinerstein's experiences: not just to marvel at what we see, but to join in efforts sustain the planet's exquisite design. Tigerland's message is clear: individuals make all the difference; if we combine science, advocacy, and passion, ambitious visions for conservation can become reality-even against overwhelming odds.
WHEREABOUTS: STEPPING OUT OF PLACE is an anthology of the best nonfiction stories from OUTSIDE IN LITERARY & TRAVEL MAGAZINE, an online journal founded in 2011. Editor Brandi Dawn Henderson presents 38 emerging and established global storytellers who share stories discussing what it means to enter a new place; the kinds of worlds that exist to others that we, ourselves, do not experience; and how place and/or circumstance can affect who and how we are. Whether it is the story of a dog musher's girlfriend, a heavy-metal-loving Marine, an Inner Mongolian lover, or a Mormon missionary living in a dangerous land, this anthology explores the question: Why does anyone take the first step to anywhere he or she doesn't belong?