by rosalyster

This is probably not interesting or funny to anyone except me and perhaps one other person (hi Adam). My dad, even, will not be amused, because he cannot find it in himself to openly laugh at Captain Scott. I have tried many times to make this happen, but never properly succeeded. You could say that I am engaged in my own kind of doomed Antarctic campaign, in a way, if you expand the meaning to the phrase to include “making my dad laugh at Captain Scott”.

I would like to place on record here that I know that laughing at Captain Scott is not very nice or witty. In this, as in so much else, I am not a credit to my parents. The facts of the case are not naturally funny, at all. It’s more that I find the Scott Industrial Complex funny, and if you find that to be a facile and pointless distinction then you are probably right.

I have written a lot about this already. Too much. You would think I’d have got to the end of Captain Scott by now, but then something happens and lo. I feel I have more to say. I have this in common with the men who write books about the Terra Nova expedition. Ordinary people keep thinking that the matter is sort of closed, but then here come the men who write books about the Terra Nova expedition to set them straight about that.

I have been sitting in my parents’ living room, still trying to write that application essay, and instead of actually writing I’ve just been staring at the shelves which hold my dad’s collection of Antarctic books. I am including the Shackleton ones here, because Why Not. There are so many of them. So, so many. I should say here that my parents have a lot of books in the house, and that these make up only a small fraction, and that I know there is nothing wrong with liking to read a lot about a thing.

Here are some of their titles:

  • Captain Scott
  • Captain Scott of the Antarctic
  • Birdie Bowers of the Antarctic
  • Edward Wilson of the Antarctic
  • The Last Place on Earth
  • The Last Great Quest
  • South with Scott
  • The Worst Journey in the World
  • An Unsung Hero
  • Shackleton
  • Shackleton’s Way
  • Ernest Shackleton
  • Ernest Shackleton’s Forgotten Men
  • An Unsung Hero
  • Scott’s Last Voyage

My dad assures me that there are many more just like these, and that even today someone is sitting down to write a new one.

This is probably not the last thing I will have to say about this subject. There is something about it, clearly, which can obsess a person.