Tuesday, April 9, 2013


As much as we like to glorify all of the amazing feats that the subjects of the various books we've read have done we seem to skirt the fact that they are really just tourists.  Though their activities are dangerous and extreme, unless they are career climbers, they there because they want to be.  That being said, Whymper is the only author to refer to him/herself or the subject of his/her book as a tourist.  This is extremely interesting that he talks about how he is a man in need of assistance and very aware of his situation.  I know for a fact that people will be feverishly discussing his use of war words when describing the mountain.  Yes it is old fashioned, yes he is an elitist white man so as we are taught in our increasingly liberal society that we need to hate him, but he is arguably the most composed author, in terms of awareness of self and situation, that we have read.  I find it quite liberating to read an author who is willing enough to simply say F*** you and not be overly worried about the sensitivities of others or his audience.

1 comment:

  1. I also could respect Whymper for not feeling the need to sound "politically correct". It seemed as if his text was more honest than many of the other texts we've read. I was one of those people that discussed his use of war words. Yes, he is an elitist white man. But in all likelihood, he is a product of his environment. It is the 19th century and it is Britain. It's at least very interesting to have a narrator of this background. I think that as a mountain climber you need to have that "F*** that" attitude in order to survive. This hardened mentality may not be the most attractive to convey, but it's the most honest. Fortunately or unfortunately, there is no morality on the mountain, but there is morality in writing.