Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Freedom from Fear

David Grann's riveting "The Lost City of Z" is a breathtaking account of the Amazon adventures of the legendary British explorer Percy Harrison Fawcett. Fawcett was "'contemptuous' of anyone who succumbed to fear," describing it as 'the motive power of all evil.' This quote from Fawcett's personal notes seems to sum up his Dionysian understanding of life:
"Civilization has a relatively precarious hold upon us and there is an undoubted attraction in a life of absolute freedom once it has been tasted. The 'call of the wild' is in the blood of many of us and finds its safety valve in adventure."
Not so much a 'safety valve' as it finally turned out. On his final
trek into the jungle in search of the fabled city of Z, Fawcett mysteriously disappeared, never to be heard from again.