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Passage de Franklin

They must have decidedrnto return to the shiprndespite the flaming swordrnof the never-setting, the dark swordrnof the never-rising, sun.rnSame old storyrnThe way back into the gardenrnis also the wayrninto the realm of the mineralsrnIn the endrnwhat we are looking forrnwill find usrn”Living must be your whole occupation,”rnthe poet wrote. He got it right.rnNo, he got it half right.rnrnBased upon the various conflicting accounts of John Franklin’s calamitous attempt to complete and map the Northwest Passage, Franklin’s Passage takes as its starting point a series of rhetorical questions posed by Henry David Thoreau in Walden: “Is not our own interior white on the chart? Is it a North-West passage around this continent, that we would find? Are these the problems which most concern mankind? Is Franklin the only man who is lost?” David Solway explores the concepts of narrative, parable, and allegory, treating the failed Expedition as an unfolding text in which the human adventure is subsumed and recorded, introducing the Expedition as a mirror in which the soul may see itself.

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