Findings – Week 13

Findings - Week 13

Ferdynand Ossendowski and Adeline Rapon

One of my aim for 2020 is to be more conscious of the time I spend reading/listening/watching new (to me) creative projects. I want to actively make time for other people’s work and creativity in my life. One way of achieving this has been to be more focused with my time but as the year gets busier, I am going to to lose that focus. To combat this, I am going to publicly share a list of works I’ve been enjoying on a weekly basis.

Ferdynand Ossendowski – Beasts, Men, and Gods

Beasts, Men, and Gods is a book I picked up over ten years ago and never read. I remember starting it and finding it widely disappointing. It wasn’t the promised adventures in the woods or a fight for survival. Instead, Ferdynand Ossendowski narrates his flight from Russia to Mongolia in a pragmatic way, recording his experiences in a rational almost scientific manner at times.

Older now, I have a different perspective on his writing. I know more about the early days of communist Russia, I have read about Mongolia more widely, and I am more open to different styles of writing. I enjoyed the narration, following events unfold through Mongolia that I never heard about, mixing both historical events and spiritual beliefs. But Ferdynand Ossendowski is not a narrator I trust. Details are often scarce, events reported with an obvious bias but then, the author never claims to bring the truth. It is sometimes even easy to read his journey as a work of fiction.

What have you been enjoying this week?

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