Ninth Circle: a Memoir of Life and Death in Antarctica, 1960-1962.

Much more prosaic than his earlier book on Ellsworth Station, and much less evidence of reading than in that book. Most of what follows is from his diaries of the time and not his connective commentary:

p. 46, Nov. 1960: Right now I am sitting in the library listening to a record of Rossini Overtures. There are several art prints on the wall and a big easy chair made of a mattress and a box. I am reading Mark Twain’s Autobiography, which Sara gave me before I left home. It’s delightful stuff for down here.

p. 55, Nov. 16: I am reading Will Durant’s Age of Faith, a medieval history….

I’m still plowing through Will Durant, but when a fellow brought me a few Playboy magazines, I thought I’d take a break from Moslem Civilization for a while. I walked over to the head and back tonight. I’m pretty weak.

p. 64: I recall sitting in the cockpit in the left-hand seat on one of these flights while copilot Bob Farrington sat in the right-hand seat reading Don Quixote with the plane on autopilot….

A movie was just completing as we arrived in the mess hall—The Adventures of Happy Babba. It was a lousy show, but it had lots of thinly clad girls and lots of sex [tame by 1970s-2000s standards], so it is the most popular movie in camp. It seems a bit ludicrous to be out exploring unmapped areas of Antarctica one hour and watching a movie the next.

p. 76: It’s now 2330 and I’m sitting in the library in the Science building listening to Rigoletto, and reading Hawaii by Michener. One of the [scientists] is sitting at the table doing some last minute sewing on his cloths before leaving for the field.