A simple and charming book about a doctor’s year in Thule and environs [1938-39], providing medical services to the Inuit. There with his wife, he found the Inuit “The truly good people.”
p. 19 and 69, he alludes to plenty of books he took, but never mentions reading any of them.
p. 103-4: The first time one enters a house like this, one’s attention is inevitably drawn to the walls, which have a brightly colored, international character, being thickly plastered over with sheets of newspapers and the like, partly for filling in crevices and partly for decoration. There are figures from the comic strips and brochures from medical suppliers, mixed up with glowing advertisements of smart skirts, motor cars, laxatives, whisky, brassieres, and many other things for which there is not much use in Thule. The advertisements come from English and American magazines left behind by the various expeditions. (p. 139 and 142 have pictures of such interiors.)
p. 106: Some people, too, indulge in the habit of moistening their fingers when they turn the pages of books or papers; in Thule this is considered a dirty habit.
p. 150: 7 December . More and more travelers are coming to Thule to pay visits and to trade before Christmas…. Ole called on me immediately to tell me that his little daughter, who had been a patient here at the hospital was all right, and that everyone in Siorapaluk was well. I played a few gramophone records for him. It is always nice to hear which are the favorite records. Ole was very fond of the overture to the Barber of Seville Pathétique . A remarkable thing is that they are not particularly interested in jazz; they think it is good fun, but they do not even bother to dance to it: for dancing they prefer a real Viennese waltz, and if invited to choose a good record for themselves they usually ask for good classical music….