the hunger artist


Antarctica, as it turned out, was more emptiness than facts. And a particularly empty emptiness, in the form of a deep crevasse, awaited Mawson and his comrades. After the saga that followed, from which a ruined Mawson would emerge as the sole survivor, he noted that, in the midst of his deprivation, “cocoa was almost intoxicating and even plain beef suet, such as we had in fragments in our hoosh mixture, had acquired a sweet and aromatic taste scarcely to be described… as different as chalk is from the richest chocolate cream.” Are we Mawson’s descendants or his antithesis? Either way, our lunchtime banter is trapped within an inescapable vanity: We take pride in occupying this rare and hallowed ground, but we do it by reveling in a cozy existence on a continent that could sponsor raptures over the benefits of starvation.

more from Jason Anthony at The Smart Set here.