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Terra Nova: The White Silence | Captain Scott’s Journey to the South Pole, Antarctica

The Concise Encyclopedia of Explorers lists a total of 274 explorers, of which only 15 are non-European, with none listed after the mid-fifteenth century.  The current diversity regime can’t tolerate this reality. So expect the establishment to start portraying exploration as an undertaking of “diverse peoples”, or, if that’s not quite possible, to present exploration in a negative way as a “colonial” activity carried by ruthless men craving gold.

The famous historian Fernández-Armesto,  for example, describes his book Pathfinders as “a study of humankind’s restless exploratory spirit,” even though he can barely identify any humans outside the West engaged in real exploration. And once he reaches the period after the 1500s, and he has zero explorers outside the West to write about, he becomes very disparaging toward European explorers, particularly those who came after the 1700s, describing them (David Livingstone, Henry Morton Stanley, Roald Amundsen, and others) as “failures,” “naïve,” “bombastic,” “mendacious,” “useless,” and “incompetent.

This is all the more reason you should watch and pass around the multi-part video documentary linked below, The Terra Nova Expedition, or the British Antarctic Expedition, an expedition to Antarctica which took place between 1910 and 1913, led by Captain Robert Falcon Scott. Scott  (June 1868-March 1912) was a British Royal Navy officer and explorer who led two expeditions to the Antarctic regions: the Discovery expedition of 1901–04 and the Terra Nova expedition of 1910–13.

Scott was indeed a great British explorer best known for his deadly attempt to reach the South Pole in 1911-12. As Wiki states, Scott’s “achievements and character [have come] under sustained attack”, described as “aloof, self-absorbed”, and “over-sentimental” in his British patriotism. I recommend Max Jones assessment of Scott as both a great explorer and as someone who “composed the most haunting journal in the history of exploration.” (See Jones Introduction to “Scott’s Journals: Captain Scott’s Last Expedition“.

Overall, the pervading idea of the journals is the singularly European heroic vision of exploration as a test of individual worthiness and national character. Jones extols the captivating drama of the journals, the mounting tension and ever present anxiety as the ship battles to reach the Antarctica coast, and the epic-like account of the relentless march to the Pole. Jones situates Scott within a wider cultural setting: his immersion in polar literature, his awareness of characters in major novels who sought to prove themselves, his copy of Darwin’s Origins of Species and Scott’s “bleak vision of the universe as a struggle for existence,” the literary influences of Ibsen and Thomas Hardy and their fascination with the dependency of the human will on the indifferent power of nature and necessity.

From his early manhood, Scott was filled with anxiety and doubts about his adequacy in life’s struggles: “I write of the future; of the hopes of being more worthy; but shall I ever be – can I alone, poor weak wretch that I am bear up against it all.” Expedition narratives through the nineteenth century, Max Jones observes, became ever more focus on the character of the explorer than on the economic externalities, so exploration became an inner journey, “a journey into the self, nowhere more so than in the emptiest of continents, Antarctica.’ Scott understood this: “Here the outward show is nothing; it is the inward purpose that counts.”

There was nothing to see in the center of Antarctica except the reflection of the inner Western quest to face the struggle of life in a heroic fashion.

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