July 18th, 2011


QotD: from Death of a Riverguide (1994 novel)

They spend all day in their dripping wet rainforest camp. The men stay in their tents and their sleeping bags as if they existonly only to live in them. The women do what the men are always too tired or too uninterested or too caught up in a conversation about sport or politics to be bothered doing. They work. They peel vegetables. They collect firewood. They fetch water from the river up the steep and awkward bank to the campsite. They wash dishes. They help the guides organise the camp, unpacking and packing barrels. Repairing equipment. The men reserve their energies for some future conjectural at of courage. The women's courage is of a type that endures this day of rain. Meanwhile the men get depressed. The men feel some embarrassment that women are on the same trip and doing things that really only men ought be doing. The guides prefer it. Nothing, for a river guide, is worse than an all-male trip. They are boring and lazy and inclined to foolhardiness. They are considerable work to look after. They are generally not in the same class for company. Aljaz likes sitting down with the women around the fire....
--Richard Flanagan
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