Monday, July 18, 2022
Images and ink (47)
Image: Luis Trenker in the film "Liebesbriefe aus dem Engadin", photo by Ernst Baumann as published in In die Berge! Alpine Fotografie der 1920er und 1930er Jahre, morisel Verlag, 2019.
Ink: From Nick Paumgarten, "Survivor's Guilt in the Mountains", The New Yorker, February 2020 edition.
Mountain climbing is a modern curiosity, a bourgeois indulgence. It consists mostly of relatively well-to-do white people manufacturing danger for themselves. Having been spared war, starvation, mass violence, and oppression, its practitioners travel great distances and endure great sacrifices to test their bodies and minds, encounter beauty, and experience the precariousness of existence and the terror and whatever revelations, fleeting or otherwise, may come of it. Though the whole enterprise may seem crazy or stupid or pointless, to many people it represents a necessary extreme of human endeavor, that combination of excellence and aberrance which propels a sliver of the population to set about going to the moon or writing symphonies, or dropping out entirely, as latter-day hermits and monks.