Monday, February 10, 2014

Happy Endings

One of the biggest differences between Blum's recount of Annapurna and Herzog's is, in fact, the style of the conclusion. Just as she does throughout the book, Blum personalizes the adventure, she creates characters and explains the role each person has on the trek. Then, at the very end, devotes multiple pages to a brief description of what each member of the team has been up to since the climb In the next section, Blum presents readers with the effect the Annapurnan adventure had on many of the team members. What, then, do these additions bring the story that Herzog perhaps omitted for a reason? Personally, I enjoyed reading these two sections at the end because I felt as if Blum did, in fact, create these round characters throughout the story. However, I didn't necessarily believe that because this was not in Herzog’s account that his story was in any way incomplete. Rather, it left the reader questioning and/or perhaps wondering what became of many of the climbers on Herzog's team. It leaves me pondering why Herzog didn't include these short blurbs - or if he thought about their inclusion at all. Thus, the question I pose is this: is the synopsis of the lives of various members of the team post-Annapurna a relevant part of the adventure? Or does it simply "fit" with Blum's narration style because of the personable characters she creates throughout the narrative?


  1. That's such an interesting thing to have noticed! I can't help but think that Herzog's exclusion of the post-adventure synopsis aligns with the bigger motivations of the trip. They were climbing that mountain for France (rather than for the individual glory) why should he care what they did after the trip was over. Blum, on the other hand, was focused not only had greater focus on the individual, but the adventure was also about the empowerment of women climbers. It makes sense, then, to include a post script account of how that motivation transcended the expedition.

  2. I also thought this was interesting. I think that Blum creates full, complete characters, which extend into full lives and relationships- and since the climb was "for women" the reader therefore would like to hear about how these female's were empowered by the trip.

    Climbing for a country of people versus climbing for an entire gender seem to be pretty different tasks. But are they? You are still climbing to a prove a certain group of people worth. I'm not sure.

    But I think that for the purposes of empowering women it was necessary to look at the growth that these climbers experienced in order to evaluate the level of empowerment.

    Herzog seemed to want Annapurna to be an adventure narrative, separate and extreme in a stand-alone way, whereas the female ascent of Annapurna was told as a great adventure which was a milestone in the lives of these women.