Lost City of Z

Lost City of Z

The Lost City of Z – David Grann

Reminds me of Talbot Mundy’s books, starting with — I think — Kim of the Khyber Rifles. By dating the publications, obviously a precursor presaging Indiana Jones, et al.

But The Lost City of Z purports to be fact. Told by a journalist, not a novelist.

“Although Fawcett never acknowledged it, he must have felt some of the desires that so terrified him. (Among his papers he had kept a fortuneteller’s warning: “Your greatest dangers come through women, who are greatly attracted to you, and to whom you are greatly attracted, yet they more often bring you sorrow and boundless troubles than anything else.”)” page 55.

Oh those saucy Victorians.

“For ages, cartographers had no means of knowing what existed on most of the earth. And more often than not these gaps were filled in with fantastical kingdoms and beasts, as if the make-believe, no matter how terrifying, were less frightening than the truly unknown.” Page 69.

Maps. Isn’t that Dora's line? It’s the map!

It was a photograph of Fawcett’s gold signet ring, which was engraved with the family motto, “Nee Áspera Terrent”—essentially, “Difficulties Be Damned.” Page 122.

It seems to be a journalistic account of finding a trail of a Victorian explorer, the old school, Very British type.

“As much as Fawcett rebelled against Victorian mores—becoming a Buddhist who lived like an Indian warrior—he could never transcend them.” Page 143.

Thar be dragons, or as noted before, hic est draconis – see Scorpio

The last of the great adventure-explorers, the mold for the Indiana Jones archetype, which, in part, was based on older literary examples.

More than half the book is backstory and more biographical rather than exposition.

Lost City of Z

“You must always be careful in the jungle,” Vajuvi said. “I listen to my dreams. If I have a dream of danger, then I stay in the village. Many accidents happen to white people because they don’t believe their dreams.” Page 329.

Lost City of Z

Visit the ancient monuments of Meso-America, from the Mayan/Aztec to the scant evidence left by the mound builders of their Mid-West. Each year, with new technologies, older sites are uncovered with more being revealed. Evidence of the The Lost City of Z is coming online more and more. There is so much we don’t know.

Part of this, is anthropology and archeology before it was a strict science.

In part, the text supports the hypothesis that some of the oral tradition holds up over the millennia. The Victorian Explorer believed what he heard.

Me? Given my upbringing and current employment, yeah, not so much. But I might be bitter. The book, however, is a good read.


Lost City of Z

The Lost City of Z – David Grann

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon
  • Aperture: ƒ/2.4
  • Camera: iPad Pro
  • Focal length: 3.3mm
  • ISO: 160
  • Location: 29° 35′ 48.08″ N 98° 28′ 13.62″ W
  • Shutter speed: 1/30s

About the author: Born and raised in East Texas, Kramer Wetzel, settled in a South Austin trailer park before trailer parks were cool. He now lives in San Antonio, Texas.

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