A MULTIMEDIA DOCUMENTARY PROJECT ON THE MILLENNIAL GENERATION: THE LAST GENERATION TO REMEMBER A TIME WITHOUT THE INTERNET.
In today's podcast, musk ox herder Gunnar Babcock describes his rugged vocation to Fortnight Editor Samantha Hinds.
Gunnar also reads a pertinent passage from the Rosemary Edmonds translation of Leo Tolstoy's War & Peace (1869). Recording in a former sheet metal factory on the eve of Hurricane Irene, the two discuss allegories of domestication in Tolstoy. For Gunnar, the one wild wolf chased by a pack of borzoi dogs symbolizes the opposition of nature and culture—even as Tolstoy writes a scene around this action that reunifies these forces.
The two review Gunnar's pieces My Western Frontier and Among the Oxen through the frame of his upbringing by tough Alaskan mountaineers. Gunnar describes bottle-feeding bleating musk ox calves (documented in the Fortnight video On the Farm), and mentions his next task in reconciling nature with man: he will leave America to fight cholera in post-earthquake Haiti.
Gunnar last touched on Tolstoy in his Fortnight essay, Musk Oxen & Literature.