- Taschenbuch: 288 Seiten
- Verlag: National Geographic; Auflage: Revised. (1. September 2004)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0792268369
- ISBN-13: 978-0792268369
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,1 x 1,7 x 22,8 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 566.343 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
End of the Earth: Voyaging to Antarctica (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. September 2004
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Now in a paperback edition, America's greatest literary naturalist takes readers on the ultimate wildlife safari: a true back-of-beyond voyage to the world's most unforgiving land, the islands off Antarctica's northern ice shelf, and to that second most remote place on earth, South Georgia Island, "the last outpost in a great emptiness of ocean." Matthiessen has once again lit upon a subject profoundly fitted to his creative genius. He is simply the ultimate lyricist of loss, a writer brilliantly attentive to the way vanishings are braided into even the most exquisite moments of our lives. He agonizes over what is passing away, but does so in a manner that increases our appreciation of what remains. In "End of the Earth," Matthiessen joins the crew of the Akademik - a 384-foot research vessel bound for wild and storied South Georgia Island and Antarctica. Along the way we are treated to a patented Matthiessen brew: lyricism and emotion applied to the sharp-eyed evaluations of a seasoned naturalist. Brilliant and instructive observations of the creatures inhabiting this far-flung region are sprinkled with eloquent disquisition on the history of the region (Shackleton, Captain Cook,
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Winner of the National Book Award and the American Book Award, Peter Matthiessen is the author of over fifteen books of fiction and nonfiction, including "The Snow Leopard " (1978), "At Play in the Fields of the Lord" (1965), "Far Tortuga" (1975), "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse" (1992), and "Bone by Bone" (1999). Ilan Stavans teaches at Amherst College. He is the author of "The Hispanic Condition" (1995), "Art and Anger" (1996), and "The Riddle of Cantinflas" (1998), and editor of "The Oxford Book of Latin American Essays" (1997).
Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities as well as one of National Geographic's Explorers-in-Residence, is credited with such monumental discoveries as the tombs of the Giza pyramid builders and the Valley of the Golden Mummies, which inspired a best-selling book. He has been a consultant for film, television, and magazines, and he lectures throughout the world. In 2000, Hawass received the Distinguished Scholar award from the Association of Egyptian American Scholars.
Kenneth Garrett, a specialist in archaeology, paleontology, and ancient cultures, has photographed archaeological sites and subjects worldwide on assignment for National Geographic. His work has also been featured in many books, including two of Dr. Hawass's previous works.
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However, the book has no real direction. It reads like a journal, albeit a well-written one with a greater-than-average literacy quotient. The author makes little attempt to introduce any of his fellow-travelers or to show a personal journey of the mind to mirror the Antarctic voyages. Eventually, it just stops, rather than ends. He digresses from accounts of his voyage to describe the adventures of early polar explorers, or to comment on issues such as global warming and whaling. Although these asides are interesting and well-reasoned, there are better sources for each topic.
Birders and armchair travelers may enjoy the descriptions of his wildlife encounters, however.
After hearing so much about Mr. Matthiessen in the wake of his recent death I wanted to read something by him, and went searching for the Snow Leopard, apparently his best work. Unfortunately, at a local second hand bookstore I came across "End of the Earth" and picked it up instead.
I was expecting an artful description of Matthiessen's journeys to Antarctica, beautiful depictions of the land and flora and fauna, and some philosophic discussions about the greater meaning of a place like this and the men who, over the centuries, felt compelled to journey there again and again on missions of discovery and plunder. For what? Glory? Riches? To expand man's knowledge? To test their own metal? I did not know, and I was hopeful when I picked up this work to see how Matthiessen would take on the great "nothingness" of Antarctica, and some big picture ruminations about what it all means and how we fit in.
Unfortunately, I did not find that here. What I found was one man's travel log, and it was reminiscent of old jokes about the bland suburbs where neighbors pull out slides of their recent vacations. The writing was good, but nothing exceptional or truly distinctive. The descriptions of animals and the land were ok, but go google some pictures of Antarctica and you'll get more than you can out of any page of text here. While Matthiessen touches on the explorers who went before him, he does so in sketchy thumbnails that do no raise any greater questions about what drove them or the meaning of it all, or what drove him to go south.
I was expecting philosophy, and I ended up with Herb and Mabel talking about their last vacation over fondue in the burbs.
Indeed, this is a journal - I commend it to those with an interest in Antarctic travel and global conservation. For you, I would rate it four stars; for me, six if such were possible.
A great read if you want to know what it might be like to actually take such a trip.
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