Monday, April 7, 2014


After reading The Voyage of the Narwhal, we discussed the inability of Erasmus’ character to anchor the reader in the story. I think that In the Land of White Death took us to the opposite extreme by only really allowing the reader to become attached to Albanov himself. That being said, I think that it was difficult for me to feel connected to the story because we lacked the character development that the other novels allowed for. While reading it, I felt as the In the Land of White Death, was the closest we have come to reading the actual diary of one of the adventurers. It did not develop any backstory or discuss the motivations of the expedition, focusing instead on the immediate events. I was almost lost in the beginning because I felt like there was no contextual information for what I was reading. All of the novels we have read have followed a similar arc in their story, guiding the reader to some climax. This book, however, was written differently, and felt as though the author placed the reader in the midst of the climax from page one. It brings me back to the question of what makes an adventure narrative. I really appreciated the writing activity we did in class on Thursday because rather than focusing on the content of the story in order to make a judgment about whether or not I was reading an adventure narrative, I was looking for the writing tools we talked about to understand that even though the content was presented different, the fact remained that it was still employing many of the tools we agreed were necessary in the creation of an adventure narrative.

1 comment:

  1. I think part of the reason we both felt resistant to Albanov as an anchor was because we were not presented with the illusion of a choice. We had no choice other than to grasp to him. The ice would need quite a bit of personification to make it an acceptable anchor. The perpetual/lack of a climax has to do with the feel of the events. In Albanov's case, each moment was a struggle to survive and I imagine he had to segment each day just to survive and he seeks to portray this. With Erasmus, the adventure has larger purpose than portraying a struggle to survive. Sarah does put it nicely that not only to you feel plopped down into the story, you also feel plucked out of it at the end. In this instance it reminded me of 'Touching the Void.'