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Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 28, 2012 - 12:40pm PT
Peter Wessel Zapffe - Norwegian climber, humourist and philosopher.

In the polar sea
Credit: Barske glæder
Credit: Barske glæder
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 28, 2012 - 12:41pm PT
Climbing Stetind
Credit: Barske glæder
Credit: Barske glæder
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 28, 2012 - 12:43pm PT
Climbing
Credit: Barske glæder
Credit: Barske glæder
Credit: Barske glæder
Credit: Barske glæder
zBrown

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Dec 28, 2012 - 12:43pm PT
Talented man, but appears to have lost his sense of humour in the Polar Sea. Shares birthday with Stalin. Gotta be a jerk in every crowd.

Better?

EDIT: Kurt Vonnegut was a funny guy, too and he even cracked a smile now and then






Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 28, 2012 - 12:45pm PT
A short time before his death Peter Wessel Zapffe was interviewed.

In the interview he said that he during his time had been struggling a bit with the question about the existence of God. After a while the question had lost all interest to him. If he was forced to choose between calling himself religious or atheist he would choose atheist. It does not matter if there is a God or not.

Zapffe has a certain sympathy and is to a certain degree interested in Jesus, but in today's world we will have to see him as a psychopath - a person willing to die a terrible death on the cross because he believed he would become crown prince in heaven. It is evident that he must have been mad.

Being an old man, the only thing Zapffe has to meet death with is a silly smile - and that is the best he can do.

Zapffe is seeing the philosophy of nothingness as liberating. A death where you return to a nothingness or eternity that happened before you were born leaves no need for expectations and no fear for lurking evil. We just decompose and return back to the elements.

Zapffe says he has come to his inner pole where there is no advancement, no movement in the direction of progress. The inner pole is a condition of the soul where there is no possibility of getting longer in any direction, where nothing is the background for everything. This is also what he thinks about the condition of man in the world. Behind there is a large nothingness.

Human life can be seen as a theater - there are passions, striving and concerns - everything happens/everybody is stumbling around with a horizon of nothingness around. This is how it is - Zapffe says he can stand for that, the final answer is nothing, everything is nothing.

When we are first thrown into the world, sitting in it, we are doing the best we can. If we see the human world from outside, however, we will find no refuge in this.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Dec 28, 2012 - 01:00pm PT
His art reminds me of Samivel. I wonder if he was influenced by Samivel, or if his art developed independently. Do you know?

Zapffe is seeing the philosophy of nothingness as liberating

I share in his sentiments.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 28, 2012 - 01:04pm PT
Skiing
Be well equiped.
Be well equiped.
Credit: Barske glæder
Slowly working his way up-hill.
Slowly working his way up-hill.
Credit: Barske glæder
Much quicker down-hill.
Much quicker down-hill.
Credit: Barske glæder
Be sure to collect all your equipment.
Be sure to collect all your equipment.
Credit: Barske glæder
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 28, 2012 - 01:11pm PT
Sierra

I don't know. Zapffe read a lot and had his connections. There may have been an influence. There may also have been an influence the other way around. Z had a very distinct style.

zBrown

Every crowd needs a jerk or a rotation of jerks. Thanks to you and to Mouse! And thanks to every non-jerk and jerk in rotation.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Dec 28, 2012 - 01:30pm PT
I see Samivel & Zapffe as being men of the mountains, of similar age ( Samivel was 8 yrs younger ) and illustrators. As for influencing one another ? Hard to say.

I see a fair bit of Zapffe in Sheridan Anderson's work. Anderson was both cartoonist and excellent illustrator - along the lines of our own Jer Collins.

I would have also lost my sense of humour in the North Sea but I'd have also lost my lunch. I've never been seasick in the mountains.......... :-)

Thanks for the post, Marlow. I learned something new today!!!!

Love those climbing illustrator/cartoonists!!!
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 28, 2012 - 02:07pm PT
People in the northern part of Norway are known for their humour.

A couple of examples (in Norwegian):

TrundleBum

Trad climber
Las Vegas
Dec 28, 2012 - 02:11pm PT

Sailing and climbing.

They just don't mix. Anybody that pursues both skills in the same life time is, well...
Simply put, grossly misdirected !
tiki-jer

Trad climber
fresno/clovis
Dec 28, 2012 - 02:42pm PT
You are right Tami, I see abit of Sheridan in there too.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Dec 28, 2012 - 02:50pm PT
Well, said, TB.

Shipton and Tilman agree. One or the other...

As far as this thirties artwork goes (most of the way thru the war, for that matter), it all looks kind of similar in the pen & inkish mode. Cute mis-shapen figures, sweet and grotessque at the same time. Caricature to a large extent. And skill in rendering, generally.

Good thread, Marlow.

edit: Please note that I am being facetious in regard to S & T. My oold fantasy was to cruise the Chilean archipelago, but I found I hate brine.

ALSO, I thought I'd mention the similarity in looks between John Skaglund, a Camp 4 res in 1970, and PWZ. Just add a greasy down parka.
G_Gnome

Trad climber
Pebble Wrestling.... Badly lately.
Dec 28, 2012 - 03:24pm PT
Hmm, well I have been called misdirected before. I race sail boats and I climb. I think of sailing like being in the mountains. I like it best when the wind is howling. The difference is that I am lazy and don't have to work nearly so hard to get on a sailboat as I do to get high up in the mountains. Two passions in life are always better than just one.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Dec 28, 2012 - 03:56pm PT
A bit of background about Zappfe: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Wessel_Zapffe

Fascinating character. There's a route at Kolsås, outside Oslo, named Zappfe's Trap. Done in the 1930s, IIRC, and about 5.8 - good fun.

Arne Næss was in a somewhat similar vein, a philosopher-mountaineer. (That is, Arne senior, not Arne junior, the businessman-mountaineer.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arne_N%C3%A6ss

Marlow, where did the drawings come from? One of Zappfe's books, or the national library, or? It'd be nice to have a copy.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Dec 28, 2012 - 04:01pm PT
there's lots of similarity with samivel and SA too. It must just come with the territory. They are absurdists ( thats my invented term, trademark pending.....) which makes sense considering the absurdity of our obsession. I mean just look at those drawings - double rope pitoning up a wall like some drunk ant, A totem pole of climbers giving some guy a shoulder stand to the top of the crag, those garage sale skiers. Its all over the top self mockery.

Like that Tami Knight character for instance. Absolute absurd mockery like the best of Monty Python's Upper class Git of the year award.

Tami - I bet you used to get off on Len Norris cartoons when you were a kid huh?

Thanks Marlow .... I particularly like his take on God - what does it matter?
Borut

Mountain climber
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Dec 28, 2012 - 04:26pm PT
Zapffe is seeing the philosophy of nothingness as liberating. A death where you return to a nothingness or eternity that happened before you were born leaves no need for expectations and no fear for lurking evil. We just decompose and return back to the elements.

Zapffe says he has come to his inner pole where there is no advancement, no movement in the direction of progress. The inner pole is a condition of the soul where there is no possibility of getting longer in any direction, where nothing is the background for everything. This is also what he thinks about the condition of man in the world. Behind there is a large nothingness.

Human life can be seen as a theater - there are passions, striving and concerns - everything happens/everybody is stumbling around with a horizon of nothingness around. This is how it is - Zapffe says he can stand for that, the final answer is nothing, everything is nothing.
sounds like daoism
Timid TopRope

Social climber
'used to be Paradise, CA
Dec 28, 2012 - 04:45pm PT
I like everyone's comments on this thread. Between Sheridan, Vonnegut and a finely tuned existentionalism for me. Thanks for the share, Marlow.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Dec 28, 2012 - 05:23pm PT
Yes, BK , I loved Len Norris. What was there not to guffaw about Amblesnide & Tiddleycove?
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 28, 2012 - 05:31pm PT
It's a pleasure to share. Thanks to all for the feedback!

The book - Barske Glæder - has been published many times before. It was first published in 1969 and was republished in 2012 with the addition of four essays and a lot of pictures taken by Zapffe himself.

Here is a link to the book on the web-site of the publisher - Cappelen Damm: http://www.cappelendamm.no/main/Katalog.aspx?f=10123&isbn=9788202363888

As a curiousity - the route mentioned by MH - Zapffe's trapp - route 13:

Route 13. Zapffe's trapp.
Route 13. Zapffe's trapp.
Credit: Forer for Oslo
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