I distrust summaries, any kind of gliding through time, any too great a claim that one is in control of what one recounts; I think someone who claims to understand but is obviously calm, someone who claims to write with emotion recollected in tranquility, is a fool and a liar. To understand is to tremble. To recollect is to re-enter and be riven….I admire the authority of believing on one’s knees in front of the event.
Harold Brodkey, “Manipulations”
(quoted in Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer)
I started Into Thin Air, a first-person account of what happened on a trip up Everest in 1996, Monday at lunch. I spent all the spare time I had this week glued to the pages and finished it yesterday at lunch. I think since I saw Everest this summer and felt a little of the effects of being at base camp in Tibet at high altitude, I was really captivated by their story and the pull of the summit. I did still fit in a little bit of cooking for a teacher's birthday party on Tuesday night, a little language study and a few sets of essays graded in between my hours of addiction to this book.
The heat has been on all week and my apartment has been so warm! After visiting a friend's house in the middle of the week who hadn't had her heat turned on yet (most apartments are controlled centrally), I was even more grateful. Yesterday, a teacher swore he saw a snow flurry or two, but we think he was actually just trying to make his prediction that it would snow within the week come true. It was just thick drops of rain.