Passage to Juneau: A Sea and Its Meanings by Jonathan RabanWith the same rigorous observation (natural and social), invigorating stylishness, and encyclopedic learning that he brought to his National Book Award-winning Bad Land, Jonathan Raban conducts readers along the Inside Passage from Seattle to Juneau. The physical distance is 1,000 miles of difficult-and often treacherous-water, which Raban navigates solo in a 35-foot sailboat.
But Passage to Juneau also traverses a gulf of centuries and cultures: the immeasurable divide between the Northwests Indians and its first European explorers-- between its embattled fishermen and loggers and its pampered new class. Along the way, Raban offers captivating discourses on art, philosophy, and navigation and an unsparing narrative of personal loss.
Exploring the Inside Passage. Summary
Passage to Juneau by Jonathan Raban – life's choppier waters
Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book. The history of the initial British exploration of the Inside Passage while interesting and integral, could have been shorter by two or three chapter at least. I did manage to finish this one, but it was a slog. Lots on the PNW native tribes. But only until I understood to what extent the several levels were interwoven. And yet - I'm not sure if the people concerned in the autobiographic sections would have approved to be inlcuded so explicitly
Sailing the Inside Passage to Alaska
Nov 07, ISBN Jun 22, ISBN With the same rigorous observation natural and social , invigorating stylishness, and encyclopedic learning that he brought to his National Book Award-winning Bad Land , Jonathan Raban conducts readers along the Inside Passage from Seattle to Juneau. The physical distance is 1, miles of difficult-and often treacherous-water, which Raban navigates solo in a foot sailboat. Along the way, Raban offers captivating discourses on art, philosophy, and navigation and an unsparing narrative of personal loss.
I've seen the scowl of enmity and contempt on the face of a wave that broke from the pack and swerved to strike at my boat. I have twice promised God that I would never again put out to sea, if only He would, just this once, let me reach harbour. Anyone who knows Jonathan Raban's writing will recognize his fluid facility with language, his humour and his ability to convey the feel of places and situations. He has lost none of his skill in this book and his love of odd characters and of the rich variety of human nature is much in evidence, too. So many and so varied are the things which attract his attention, that it is not just the seascape and landscape and the creatures which inhabit these worlds which enrich his narrative, but history, art, poetry and much of life itself.
The theme of man vs. A Seattle resident since , Raban considers the Inside Passage from Puget Sound up into Alaska the last American frontier, where the coast is populated by isolated and not always friendly enclaves of fishermen, adventurers, and lost souls only tenuously holding on to familiar standards of civilization. The stretch of sea is a place of solitude where success and survival have traditionally been predicated as much upon chance as skill, but Raban can't resist the pull of adventure or the prospect of stoic reflection. Leaving behind his wife and daughter, he sets out for a solo voyage from Seattle to Juneau with a stack of notebooks and shelves of books to keep him company and occupy his mind. Raban packs his travelogue with historical notes detailing past explorations, and frequently digresses to discuss the finer points of maritime literature: the works of Conrad Typhoon , Melville Moby Dick , and the like are characters as much as the eccentric people he encounters. But it's clear from the tone of his prose that Raban's trip is about more than getting from point A to point B: About halfway through his long book, thoughts begins to shift from what's around him to what's within him, ranging from his relationship with his deceased father to his current family. By the time Raban reaches Juneau, he's reached more profound destinations.