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Publishing and Polar Exploration


Leane, E, Publishing and Polar Exploration, Poles Apart: Fascination, Fame and Folly, The Royal Society of Tasmania, A Hansen and B Hansen (ed), Hobart, Tasmania, pp. 46-57. ISBN 978-0-6481413-8-9 (2018) [Other Book Chapter]

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'It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more': so the dying Robert F. Scott scrawled into his Antarctic diary, before signing off for the last time. It might seem surprising that for Scott- starving, freezing, exhausted and surrounded by his dead or near-dead companions in a small tent on an Antarctic ice shelf- the 'pity' of his situation lay in his inability to write. While this concluding statement could simply be read as the British explorer's understated way of signalling his knowledge of his own impending death, this was not the only time that Scott had connected survival with writing. His 'Message to the Public', written earlier into the back of his diary, included the now-famous line, 'Had we lived, I should have had a tale to tell ... that would have stirred the heart of every Englishman'. Again, the main benefit of living, as Scott frames it, is to be able to tell one's story. His words are a salient reminder that, in polar exploration conducted remote from human witnesses, writing (and, eventually, publishing) is just as important as action.

Item Details

Item Type:Other Book Chapter
Keywords:exploration, Antarctica, polar, publishing
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Literary studies
Research Field:Print culture
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Literature
UTAS Author:Leane, E (Professor Elizabeth Leane)
ID Code:131011
Year Published:2018
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (FT120100402)
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2019-02-25
Last Modified:2019-02-27

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