Wednesday, February 12, 2014

One Mountain, Two Writing Styles

     Arlene Blum’s writing style in Annapurna: A Woman’s Place contrasts with Herzog’s narrative. Although both Herzog and Blum describe the organizational difficulties that they encountered during their ascent of Annapurna, I felt that Blum’s narrative put more emphasis on her emotional involvement with her teammates. She approaches the expedition from an emotional standpoint as she describes her interaction as a team leader with the rest of the group, “the expedition needed a strong leader but not a dictator.” (29) Her narrative demonstrates her insecurities as a team leader and contrasts with Herzog’s imperialistic narrative. Meanwhile she constantly seems to question her leadership skills, Herzog’s narrative demonstrates his confidence as a leader.

     Blum’s narrative is more accessible to the armchair adventurer. She details the woman’s expedition systematically. She continuously details how the team’s involvement both organizational and emotional made the expedition successful. Herzog on the contrary doesn’t find it necessary to share extensive details about the group and describes the ascent from a much more individualistic perspective.  

     Although Blum’s writing style seems directed to a universal reader, I found Herzog’s Annapurna to be a more engaging story. Herzog, through his almost nauseating descriptions, manages to transmit the harsh conditions that his team encountered in the Annapurna. 

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