read This Cold Heaven epub Æ Seven Seasons in Greenland ↠ gretel ehrlich

book This Cold Heaven

read This Cold Heaven epub Æ Seven Seasons in Greenland ↠ gretel ehrlich ☆ For the last decade Gretel Ehrlich has been obsessed by an island a terrain a culture and the treacherous beauty of a world that is defined by ice In This Cold Heaven she combines the story of her travels with history anEar hunter and comes to agree with the great Danish Inuit explorer Knud Rasmussen that “all true wisdom is only to be found far from the dwellings of man in great solitudes” This Cold Heaven is at once a thrilling adventure story and a meditation on the clarity of life at the extreme edge of the worl After spending seven seasons in Greenland Gretel Erhlich imparts her experience and the history of this icy island in This Cold Heaven I am torn with this review Ehrlich is definitely a gifted writer We flew up the sleeve of the 106 mile long Kangerlussua Fjord The water was black and the mountains were brown ending in broken snow covered peaks Streams threaded through the creases in three billion year old rock the result of roiling magma that cooled into grayI would be carried away by her beautiful prose thinking Yes I could see myself in Greenland only to remind myself that 1 it is nothing but snow and ice 2 the temperature is 25 below zero and 3 there is no sun at all for nine months of year And despite all the lovely verse Erhlich doesn't really share any charming or funny stories of her time there Nearly half the book is about the early 20th century explorer Knud Rasmussen taken from his journals and stories about this Greenlandic legend from natives I don't mind learning about Rasmussen but the level of her exposition should have been left towell a book about Knud RasmussenI learned a few things about Greenland that I didn't know It's population reflects the Danish settlement and it's Inuit natives Dogsled is a major mode of transportation and the dogs are indigenous to Greenland other breeds being banned from its shores Greenlanders eat a lot of seal meat The most humorous part of the book is the story of naming Greenland itself the early Viking explorer Eric the Red named this island of ice and snow Greenland in the hopes of encouraging settlers Imagine the horror in 985 when the first colonists arrived after a dangerous and harrowing journey to discover the fraud that had been perpetrated against themI'm glad I read this book because it's always good to learn something new Unfortunately I didn't particularly enjoy this book Maybe you need to be an anthropologist or snow and ice lover to truly appreciate it

Gretel Ehrlich ì This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland mobi

Hrlich unlocks the secrets of this severe land and those who live there; a hardy people who still travel by dogsled and kayak and prefer the mystical four months a year of endless darkness to the gentler summers without night She discovers the twenty three words the Inuit have for ice befriends a polar b My first reaction is an emotional one a feeling of sadness at the loss of the traditional Eskimo culture although I appreciate that there is an effort to keep the old ways alive and to teach these ways to the young generations The author does not ignore the difficult aspects of the traditional life of subsistence hunters which if the hunting is not good can mean starvation Starvation can lead to the deaths of those who contribute the least and need the most the children and old people eating the dogs and even eating the people who have died I don't know the extent to which the violence domestic abuse and sexual abuse which the author tells us are all too common today in the Inuit villages existed in the time before the culture started to change due to alcohol and the introduction to modern life The traditional life wasn't an easy life that is without uestion but it had beauty organization purpose and history Now much of that is lost through a kind of purposelessness As the author's friend Hans Holm statesIt is easier to be a loser now because they have exchanged some of the old ways for the Internet the snow scooter and of course the booze So if you aren't technically trained or have only enough money for beer then you have an excuse to fail That was not possible before Failure meant certain death Now too many people are not living in the old ways making it with just a knife and a string and only eating sealOn the other side of the emotional spectrum I find myself wishing to go to Greenland to see and experience it to ride a dogsled as the author did I don't know about eating raw seal apart from the kashrut issue I would imagine that takes some serious getting used to I could see myself having some problems; I'm too cold there are seal guts and dog shit everywhere actually the pictures of northern Greenland Inuit villages are very attractive THAT'S the toilet I can't understand a word anyone is saying Nevertheless my brain and heart are responding in a positive way to the idea of going to the northern Eskimo villages of Greenland The author's descriptions created a longing in me for this And looking at pictures on line made it even soThere is so much to this book; politics uestions about the future for the Eskimo people global warming's effect on the Arctic the animal populations global pollution The writing is poetically beautiful but it also historically sociologically and politically interestingRecommended

ebook ã Seven Seasons in Greenland ì Gretel Ehrlich

This Cold Heaven Seven Seasons in GreenlandFor the last decade Gretel Ehrlich has been obsessed by an island a terrain a culture and the treacherous beauty of a world that is defined by ice In This Cold Heaven she combines the story of her travels with history and cultural anthropology to reveal a Greenland that few of us could otherwise imagineE I never want to go to Greenland English winters are uite dark and cold enough for me and I don’t know if I could stomach seal meat at all let alone for most meals and often raw But that’s okay I don’t need to book a flight to aanaa because through reading this I’ve already been in Greenland in every season I’ve huddled onto a sled pulled by 20 dogs; I’ve gone hunting for polar bears; I’ve had a terrifying crash through thin ice I’ve met Danes and Greenlanders of all ages and heard their legends and learned of their struggles to adapt to modern life It’s a place that lends itself to silence and solitude but also reuires loyal partnerships between people and between people and dogs I thoroughly enjoyed my armchair trek across this frigid island nation in the company of Gretel Ehrlich who traveled here repeatedly between 1995 and 2001 and intersperses her journeys with those of her historical model Inuit–Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen whose seven Arctic expeditions took in the west coast of Greenland and the far north of the North American continentOnce a year or so I encounter a book that’s so flawlessly written you could pick out just about any sentence and marvel at its construction A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor is another one that springs to mind That’s certainly the case here Ehrlich is always describing the same sorts of scenery and yet every time she finds a fresh way to write about ice and sun glare and frigid temperatures For the most part she absents herself becoming just a photographic lens for transmitting the people and places she encounters But we also get personal glimpses of the privations this kind of travel involves missing the last plane of the season not changing clothes for weeks going hungry if a hunt fails and the shock of blood on the snow when she steps off a sled to relieve herself and realizes her period has arrived I’ll be looking into her other books for sureFavorite lines“The ice cap itself was a siren singing me back to Greenland its walls of blue sapphire and sheer immensity always beguiling Part jewel part eye part lighthouse part recumbent monolith the ice is a bright spot on the upper tier of the globe where the world’s purse strings have been pulled tight nudging the tops of three continents together Summers it burns in the sun and in the dark it hoards moonlight”“So much in the Arctic attempts to obstruct vision fog snow darkness ice But each element has its built in clarity an opaue shine”“We who were tiny dots riding a wooden splinter across infinity”Further reading on Greenland A Wilder Time Notes from a Geologist at the Edge of the Greenland Ice by William E Glassley see my Foreword review and The Prophets of Eternal Fjord by Kim Leine an epic novel about an unconventional priest set in late eighteenth century Denmark and Greenland Also Sinéad Morrissey’s multi part poem “Whitelessness” You can read the first stanza of it here