I think that this desire to name things using the names of the people who first discovered them is specific to the horizontal adventure. Yes, we have the Hillary Step on Everest, but we don't have the Herzog Glacier, or the Hornbein/Unsoeld Ridge or the Simpson Crevasse (too much?). I think Zeke's desire to embark on an expedition with the desire to discover something new to put his name on it points to the different mentalities of vertical and horizontal adventures. In vertical adventures, there is so much teamwork required to reach the summit that naming a first ascent after one person would be disrespectful to the entire team. In a horizontal adventure, yes a crew is involved but there is a clear hierarchy of commander, captain and others and the achievements are much more individual. This individuality gives expedition leaders the confidence and arrogance to name new discoveries after themselves.
Monday, March 31, 2014
Recognizing the Work vs Recognizing the Author
On page 190, Dr. Boerhaave and Erasmus discuss their goals for their work and their personal ambitions. Dr. Boerhaave states that "It matters to me that I contribute my bit to our knowledge of the natural world. But not that people recognize me." Erasmus responds, "I'd like my work to be admired, but I hate my self to be singled out."I think this shows some of the fracture that has developed between Zeke and the rest of the crew. Zeke makes it clear that he has set out on this expedition to put his name on something and achieve personal glory. On the other end of the spectrum, both Dr. Boerhaave and Erasmus, the co-seconds in command, have joined the expedition to contribute to the understanding of the natural world, regardless of whether their names are attached to the findings.