I dedicate this blog to comics in all forms, manga, autobio, superhero, art books, etc. And of course, since I need a challenge, I've decided that I'll read and write (short) reviews for 365 comics during 2015.
The story of a young man set on surviving alone in the wilderness for seven months while watching salmon eggs for the Idaho dept. of Fish and Game. He has wild ideas of mountain manliness he hopes to achieve, but learns early on that, despite his extensive knowledge of wilderness tales, he is only a rank amateur.
Reading the book I felt a odds with myself. Throughout the reading I kept thinking that it'd be no problem for me to spend seven months in a remote wilderness, yet then I'd feel depressed when I couldn't hang out with my brother for one night. I also recalled when I went traveling around Europe for three weeks (with my brother, so I wasn't even alone) and during the second week I completely broke down with homesickness and basically cried myself to sleep.
So, I both crave solitude, yet loathe it? Just like Fromm who was often desperate for company, but then found himself wishing to be left alone as well.
I enjoyed reading about his various attempts at mountain manliness, and was pleased when he mentioned his own thoughts on hunting and killing animals, glad that he didn't gloss over his regrets and distaste for the sake of his manhood. I know I would never be able to shoot something, then skin and eat it. I definitely could live off rice and beans!
I also wondered about the ability to put myself in such a remote situation as Fromm is during his Winter in the Bitterroot Wilderness. With the way technology is these days I wonder how far away from civilization one could actually get. It put me in mind of the Circle and Love Minus Eighty, soon you won't be able to 'get away,' every mistake Fromm made would have been observed by people watching his Feed, he would be getting a constant stream of advice, jokes, advertisements, comments, likes, flames, etc. etc.
The world, both of the winter wilderness full of animals, and the solitude of lone survival, seem almost unbelievable now. I wish I could see if I could handle the physical and mental challenges that Fromm faced, that I could have a chance to create memories and stories to tell, but now stories are just 40 character tweets that exist and die in a moment. Everything is fleeting and frivolous, lacking substance and meaning. Though I never experienced what Fromm described in this often beautiful book, I miss it.