A Woman in the Polar Night
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One of the first things her husband does when she gets there is to leave her alone for 12 days while he goes hunting with his male friend who also lives with them. At first, Christiane is horrified by the freezing cold, the bleak landscape the lack of equipment and supplies… But as time passes, after encounters with bears and seals, long treks over the ice and months on end of perpetual night, she finds herself falling in love with the Arctic’s harsh, otherworldly beauty, gaining a great sense of inner peace and a new appreciation for the sanctity of life. Výborne sa to čítalo, je to vtipne, pekne aj poetické, a najmä to svojou izolovanosťou od okolitého sveta pôsobí v súčasnej spoločensky únavnej dobe ako balzam.
But as time passes, after encounters with bears and seals, long treks over the ice and months on end of perpetual night, she finds herself falling in love with the Arctic’s harsh, otherworldly beauty, gaining a great sense of inner peace and a new appreciation for the sanctity of life.Ich bin so froh, es als Hörbuch genossen zu haben, denn beim Lesen hätte ich bestimmt am Schreibstil zu knabbern gehabt. She thinks it will be a relaxing trip, a chance to 'read thick books in the remote quiet and, not least, sleep to my heart's content', but when Christiane arrives she is shocked to realize that they are to live in a tiny ramshackle hut on the shores of a lonely fjord, hundreds of miles from the nearest settlement, battling the elements every day, just to survive.
Christane paints a beautiful picture of her time in the Arctic, a journal you'll easily think is fiction, briliantly written. She mentions leaving all the servants and her house in Austria, but there is one mention of their daughter, apparently a teenager at the time of the journey. The descriptive sense of this is simply wonderful, every nuance of the good and the bad is in here and you can see, sense and feel the chilly arctic through the words the author uses. Rather, it is a brisk yet deeply philosophical look at nature, the bonds between human and animals, the way human comfort can be stripped down to the barest essential when faced with the existential crisis of survival and the way, the human mind and spirit can wax, wane and make small steps to start all over again when nothing familiar exists except your own solitary self. Ritter’s descriptions of the landscape, the polar night, the variations in light, the extremes of weather and cold, are richer because she is a painter.If you've made it this far, you'll have understood how enraged this book made me - but just to clarify, I would not recommend. Her transformation from the excitement of arriving on the island, which reads like an Enid Blyton style adventure of the day (1930s), to a fear of what she has let herself in for as the sun goes down in October, not to rise until February, is perfectly described. There's so much lovely stuff in here - days and days without sunlight, being stuck in a shed surrounded by snow, the weird sounds in the Arctic - so it seems likes someone is speakijg right next to you when they are miles away, being awed by nature and having that realisation that the fox fur coveted back in 30s Austria actually comes from a fox.
Northern lights of incredible intensity stream over the sky; their bright rays, shooting downward, looks like gleaming rods of glass.I would definitely recommend if your looking for something a bit out of the ordinary and eye opening in many ways. She creates vivid pictures of the midnight sun and of the "dead" polar night of not just darkness, but no signs of life beyond the three humans.