Terra Incognita is a meditation on the landscape, myths and history of one of the remotest parts of the globe, as well as an encounter with the international temporary residents of the region living in close confinement despite the surrounding acres of white space and the mechanics of day to day life in extraordinary conditions Through Sara Wheeler, the Antarctic is revealed, in all its seductive mystery....
|Title||:||Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica (Roman)|
|Format Type||:||Kindle Edition|
|Publisher||:||Vintage Auflage New Ed 4 September 1997|
|Number of Pages||:||320 Seiten|
|File Size||:||692 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica (Roman) Reviews
I'm not an aficianado of the literature of Antartica. I do, however, have an interest in the place and especially the epics that have taken place there - Scott, Shackleton, etc..I've enjoyed the tales of these epics immensely in my reading.Perhaps this background was a setup for disaster in my reading of Terra Incognita by Sara Wheeler. I hoped to find an account of yet another journey through this strange and remarkable landscape peppered with the history of the place and the unique adaptations necessary for survival there.Indeed, I did find this account in Wheeler's book, except it fell far short of my expectations. Wheeler tends to write as much about her friends she makes along the way as she does about her impressions/travels on the continent. It's all very superficial and without purpose as she wanders from place to place searching for new friends, recent friends, new boyfriend, etc......It seems more a compilation of tidbits and snapshot glimpses of the places and people she encounters than a profound or meaningful exploration of this unique world.The low point of the book for me was Wheeler's arrival on the continent with the members of the British scientific team (about 2/3rds through the book). She breaks down and cries shortly after her arrival. Why the emotional break? Was it the weather? The intensity of the hardship as she chugs beer in each hidden bar along the journey? Or perhaps the suffering through all that trail mix?.....Nope, she cries because people aren't being very nice to her -- just not as chummy as the kiwis and the Americans she discovers.Cherry-Gerrard said we'd accomplish our "winters journeys" as long as all we wished was "a penguin's egg." Wheeler has no interest in penguin eggs or the passions of discovery that motivated so many of Antarctica's authors. Instead, she wanders the continent seemingly in search of herself.......good luck.
Sometimes I think I must have been an Eskimo in a prior life, because I love books about the frozen north. When I came upon this book, subtitled "Travels in Antarctica", by Sara Wheeler, my imagination was immediately captured as I realized this was a whole new territory for me to explore in my reading experience.Ms. Wheeler is a young British travel writer who spent 7 months in Antarctica in 1995 as a writer-in-residence with the U.S. National Science Foundation. What a great gig!A lot of research went into the writing of this book. And a lot of love. She mixes all the historical details of the early explorations of Shackleton, Amundson and Scott with her own modern and female perspective of the places she goes, the people she meets and the emotional effect all this has on her as she explores the coldest, windiest and driest continent in the world.As Antarctic explorations go, hers has a certain degree of comfort. She is helicoptered around to various bases, and even though there are periods of time that she spends in a tent or igloo or prefab shelter, she has radio contact with the base and always has a supply of food. But this, of course, is what it is like to travel to Antarctica these days, and she is fortunate indeed to have the experience of going there. This is not a tourist destination after all. And virtually everybody there is a scientist of some sort.She describes her experiences well and I loved he sense of humor, especially when describing the differences between the bases manned by different nationalities. The Italians have the best food. The Brits are completely male, bonded in their background of English private schools and given to bawdy toilet humor and practical jokes. And the American staff is approximately 25% female.The book was a slow read, especially the parts which go into detail about the fascinating history, but I didn't mind. Also, the pace of the book tended to remain the same throughout as she traveled from base to base making her observations. The bases might have been isolated, but even in 1995, she was able to get e-mail there.The concluding chapters were the most interesting. Perhaps it is because by then the reader has absorbed all the history and first impressions. During these last chapters, Ms. Wheeler spends several months with an American woman artist in a prefabricated cabin out on the ice. The artist paints. The writer writes. They develop a deep friendship as they prepare meals and grapple with the environment amidst the startling beauty of their surroundings, watching the long polar nights welcome the sun.I was sorry to see the book end because during the time I was reading it, I was transported to a very real part of the world that I will probably never have the opportunity to visit myself. So for all my fellow armchair travelers, I definitely recommend this book.
This is a wonderfully woven tale of travel to Antarctica in the past and present. It's not just Scott and Shackleton, but Seismic Man (a scientist there today), told in an engaging style. Nor is it just about travel to a physical place (albeit the most extreme on earth). Wheeler also describes the inner journey that travelers to Antarctica inevitably make. Antarctica is now on my destination list. But regardless of whether I ever make it there, after reading Terra Incognita, I think I understand the lure of the ice. The maps are good as is the ending recipe for the Antarctic version of Bread-and-Butter Pudding. My only regret is that she didn't include an appendix with the chronology of early Antarctic explorations. Terra Incognita is even better than Travels in a Thin Country, Wheeler's earlier account of travel in Chile.
Living in a city known for it's balmy and mild climate, I picked up this book because it seemed so different from everything I had been used to. After the first chapter, I became too involved to put it down. While I was not a big fan of Antartica before the read, I soon became one. Miss Wheeler captivated me with her descriptions of this huge blue/white continent. I am unfortunately(?) obsessed now with the south polar region. I have been reading every book I can find about the area, and this would not have happened without Sara Wheeler's beautifully written account of her 7 months stay at the various bases which dot the continent. I highly encourage anyone, whether you are interested in the region or not, to buy this book and sit back for a most enjoyable experience. You will not be disapointed.