Apr 7, 2008

My Sailing Trilogy

I am reading three books related to sailing in and around Iceland, in the following order:

1. Rockwell Kent's N by E. 1930. Relationship to Iceland tangential; just finished reading this one. Purchased at Chop Suey Books, Richmond.

2. Lord Dufferin's Letters from High Latitudes. 1857. Wikipedia describes this as "the prototype of the comic travelogue." Obtained by BookMooch from the UK.

3. Tim Moore's Frost on My Moustache. 1999. Purchased at Second Story Books in Washington, DC.

A tidy packet, if I do say so.

For my chicken-loving pals (you know who you are), here is the following aperitif from High Latitudes. On board the Foam, headed for Iceland; fowl on deck:

Shortly after this, a very melancholy occurrence took place. I had observed for some days past, as we proceeded north, and the nights became shorter, that the cock...became quite bewildered on the subject of that meteorological phenomenon called the Dawn of Day. In fact, I doubt whether he ever slept for more than five minutes at a stretch, without waking up in a state of nervous agitation, lest it should be cock-crow. At last, when night ceased altogether, his constitution could no longer stand the shock. He crowed once or twice sarcastically, then went melancholy mad: finally, taking a calenture, he cackled lowly (probably of green fields), and leaping overboard, drowned himself. The mysterious manner in which every day a fresh member of his harem used to disappear, may also have preyed upon his spirits.

woodcut used with kind permission of Scottish artist Alice Strange. Take a look at her
web page to see some really lovely pieces that reflect her interest in the natural beauty of Scotland, New Zealand, and much more.

Anyone who discovers what the artwork of Alice Strange has in common with the Lord Dufferin book might achieve lasting fame in a future blog post.


Karen said...

Strange quotes Picasso about her art as "a receptacle for the emotions that come from all over the place..." and her work depicts life in Oban (sort of an art blog) and Dufferin wrote an olden travel blog?

Rose said...

You're getting warm, Karen! Especially regarding Oban...here's the story.
1. I'm reading Dufferin. 2. I google for a chicken woodblock picture. 3. I find Alice's. 4. I peruse Alice's web site, and notice that some of her prints are of Oban. I think...that sounds familiar??? 5. I look back at Dufferin, and lo! I had just read where he sailed from Oban on his way to Iceland. Talk about "strange" coincidences!
It's not as if you exactly asked, but I was dying to tell...
Also, this is what I would have liked to get you for your bday: one of Alice Strange's Scotland prints ;-) By the time you read this, it's probably time to say: Happy Bday!

Anonymous said...

There's ALWAYS an Icelandic connection! Also, Lord Dufferin is of Scottish heritage, as is Strange.