Wilderness: A Journal of Quiet Adventure in Alaska--Including Extensive Hitherto Unpublished Passages from the Original Journal / Edition 1

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In August 1918 Rockwell Kent and his 9-year-old son settled into a primitive cabin on an island near Seward, Alaska. Kent, who during the next three decades became America's premier graphic artist, printmaker, and illustrator, was seeking time, peace, and solitude to work on his art and strengthen his ties with his son. This reissue of the journal chronicling their 7-month odyssey describes what Kent called "an adventure of the spirit." He soon discovers how deeply he is "stirred by simple happenings in a quiet world" as man and boy face both the mundane and the magnificent: satisfaction in simple chores like woodchopping or baking; the appalling gloom of long and lonely winter nights; hours of silence while each works at his drawings; crystalline moonlight glancing off a frozen lake; killer whales cavorting in their bay. Richly illustrated by Kent's drawings, the journal vividly re-creates that sense of great height and space - both external and internal - at the same time that it celebrates a wilderness now nearly lost to us.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Twenty-nine years after his death, [Rockwell] Kent has returned with a vengeance. Not since the height of his pre-McCarthyism popularity has so much of his work been available to the public." —Smithsonian

"Conservationists and ecologists should rejoice at the reappearance of this splendid diary telling of the winter of 1918 - 1919, during which the late Rockwell Kent and his 9-year-old son exulted in the beauties of Alaska's remote Fox Island. Kent's strong woodcuts and sketches perfectly complement an unaffected text that tells in an authentic and most effective way of unspoiled nature in all its glory . . . This book has considerable merit as an account of rugged life in Alaska, as a paean to the glories of nature, and as a record of Kent's graphic work." —Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819552938
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 7/26/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 237
  • Sales rank: 1,487,463
  • Product dimensions: 7.14 (w) x 10.04 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

ROCKWELL KENT (1872-1971) was one of America's most celebrated graphic artists. Although he is perhaps best known for his illustrations for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare and Moby Dick, his artwork appeared everywhere at the height of his career. Kent also created the "random house" that, despite revision throughout the years, has been the colophon of that company since its inception in 1928. Kent's other travel books include N by E, Wilderness, and Voyaging, all reissued by Wesleyan University Press, a tribute to their perennial appeal.

DOUG CAPRA came to Alaska in 1971 and taught school in the Aleutian Islands, in Seward, and at Kenai Peninsula College. He retired after twenty-four years, and then spent seventeen years as a seasonal and permanent ranger at Kenai Fjords National Park. Capra has served on the board of the Alaska Historical Society and written extensively about Alaska history, including three books, several forewords, and many articles about Rockwell Kent published in The Kent Collector. He has spent many years wandering Fox Island and Resurrection Bay to learn more about Kent’s experience. Capra’s book, The Spaces Between: Stories from the Kenai Mountains to the Kenai Fjords, includes two chapters about Kent. He has written and directed two plays, And Now the World Again, about Rockwell Kent; and Into Alaska a Woman Came, about a pioneer woman called Alaska Nellie. He has written the forewords for two of Kent’s books published by the Wesleyan University Press—Wilderness: A Journal of Quiet Adventure in Alaska; and Northern Christmas. He lives in Seward, only twelve miles from Fox Island, and occasionally works as a naturalist aboard cruise ships.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustration
I. Foreword
II. Preface
III. Second Preface
IV. Third Preface
V. Introduction to Alaska Drawings
VI. Discovery
1. Arrival
2. Chores
3. Winter
4. Waiting
5. Excursion
6. Home
7. Christmas
8. New Year
9. Olson!
10. Twilight
11. The Mad Hermit
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