The fifty-pound Through the Dark Continent is consuming most of my time. I am not seeing anything stylistic that intrigues me, but I do find it interesting that it maintains the Victorian style of writing that I have read in my last five Victorian novels. The difference is the content, and it surprised me to find it in the history section of the library. Henry Morton Stanley is extremely subjective and aesthetic about his writing, and in many places I can make out the thin veil of his limited portrayal. It reinforces my desire to do this project in Ghana because I can certainly see how this book contributed to the Dark Continent stereotype. Maybe I will notice a pattern and do an interesting counter argument of his observations using his same style.
My goal is to have read Through the Dark Continent and the packet for my travel writing course before I take off. So far finals preparation has not allowed me to practice imitating the styles, but I have had time to read through a few.
Robert Service’s “The Wanderlust” is something I feel I can certainly relate to. I like the dark tone it takes on, and I think it is more fitting for the real nature of traveling. I’m not sure why he has organized his stanzas the way he has, but it seems to split in two different kinds of voices. The even numbered stanzas seem to be more lyrical. I have never thought of constructing a poem this way, and I might want to try it and dramatize two distinct voices. Something to take a closer look at.
“The Learning Astronomer” by Walt Whitman was a poem I have read before. It just reminds me why I am going to interact with Ghana instead of studying it from a textbook. It is also short and simple enough that I think I can try to do a writing exercise off of it.
The worst of finals are over, time to make some spit wads!