Research Blog Antarctica #15

Fiction film: Charles Sturridge: Shackleton (U.K. 2002) A fictional dramatization of the same Shackleton story featured in the documentary of the previous entry. It’s a story that became very fashionable especially in Britain during the turn-of-the-millennium craze for Antarctica. Scott had been discredited, so the British needed a new Antarctic Continue Reading

Research Blog Antarctica #11 – 14

Things’ve been piling up, and this time we’re further away from Antarctica than ever. First there’s an Antarctica movie, though: Documentary film: George Butler: the Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition (Sweden, U.K., Germany, U.S.A., 2000) I was very happy to see the movie because it features a large amount of Continue Reading

Research Blog Antarctica #10

Non-fiction: Douglas Mawson: the Home of the Blizzard (the 1930 abridged edition) Douglas Mawson is the least known of the larger-than-life era of Antarctic exploration. A contemporary of Scott, Amundsen and Shackleton, he’s the scientists’ explorer. While Shackleton was the great leader, Amundsen the great sportsman, and Scott the great Continue Reading

Research Blog Antarctica #9

Non-fiction: Anatoli Boukreev & G. Weston DeWalt: the Climb (St.Martin’s Press, 1997) This is one of those book-deal books, the ones where somebody makes the news and hires a journalist to help him write a book about it as fast as possible, to make some money. It’s hack work. Nevertheless, Continue Reading

Research Blog Antarctica #7 & 8

Non-fiction: Roland Huntford: Nansen (Gerald Duckworth & co., 1997) Another peripheral Antarctica book, this is the biography of Fridtjof Nansen, whom many regard as the greatest polar explorer of all time and who was the hero of the great explorers of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. Huntford’s book is Continue Reading

Research Blog Antarctica #6

Non-fiction: Maria Coffey: Where the Mountain Casts its Shadow (Hutchinson, 2003) After reading so much Antarctic literature, I started to feel that they all drew their inspiration from a very limited canon of sources, the same canon I’m going through now. The same references come up all the time. To Continue Reading

Research Blog Antarctica #5

Fiction: J.M. Coetzee: Elizabeth Costello (Secker & Warburg, 2003) I actually started to read this book to get a break from the endless procession of books about Antarctica. I was surprised, and somewhat dismayed, when it turns out that I can’t get out so easily; Antarctica is featured in this Continue Reading

Research Blog Antarctica #4

Non-fiction: Tom Avery: Pole Dance (Orion, 2004) First off, Avery’s book has a great name, a name that makes it stand above the rest in the cluttered field of Antarctic memoirs. It belongs to the genre of modern-day accounts of private expenditions to the South Pole, and describes how Avery Continue Reading

Research Blog Antarctica #3

Non-fiction: John C. Behrendt: Innocents on the Ice (University Press of Colorado, 1998) Finally a proper Antarctica book! The last two have been a bit peripheral on the subject, but this one tackles it straight on. It is the story of the Finn Ronne expedition of 1957, seen through the Continue Reading

Research Blog Antarctica #2

Non-fiction: Jenny Diski: Skating to Antarctica (Granta Books, 1997) There’s two distinct trends in the titles of books about Antarctica. One is featured in the title of Diski’s book, the X to Antarctica. Another example of this is a swimming biography called Swimming to Antarctica. The other big trend is Continue Reading