Rockwell Kent

Wilderness : a journal of quiet adventures in Alaska

Wesleyan university press [distrib. : University press of New England]

Middletown (Connecticut), 1996
bibliothèque insulaire
peintres des îles
îles désertes
Wilderness : a journal of quiet adventure in Alaska / Rockwell Kent ; foreword by Doug Capra ; including extensive hitherto unpublished passages from the original journal. - Middletown (Conn.) : Wesleyan university press, 1996. - XXXIII-203 p. : ill., map ; 26 cm.
ISBN 0-8195-5293-3

BARRY LOPEZ : En 1918, un peintre et illustrateur américain, Rockwell Kent, arriva sur l'île aux Renards [Fox island], au large de la presqu'île de Kenaï (Alaska), avec son fils de neuf ans, le jeune Rockwell. « Nous sommes venus sur cette terre, un homme et un enfant, en poursuivant un rêve, écrivit-il. Ayant eu une vision du Paradis du Nord, nous sommes venus pour le trouver. » Il voulait dire qu'il était venu pour arriver à se connaître et connaître son fils. Il pensait que cette terre l'aiderait à le faire, et qu'elle prendrait soin d'eux.

« Rêves Arctiques », Paris : Union générale d'éditions (10/18, 2359), 1993 (p. 505)

DOUG CAPRA : For seven short months — between late August 1918 and mid-March 1919 — Rockwell Kent and his nine-year-old son, also named Rockwell, lived on a small island in Resurrection Bay not far from Seward, Alaska. Their host and companion, a seventy-one-year-old Swede and Alaskan pioneer named Lars Matt Olson, described himself as « noting bott a broken down Freunters Man ». Lonely, and too old to prospect and trap as in his youthful days, Olson welcomed the Kents to his island home, where he ran a small fox and goat farm.


Foreword, p. XI

From a review by Martha Gruening (april 1920)

There is a deep kinship of thought and feeling between two recent distinctive and beautiful books of travel 1. Both are the work of men who are primarily artists in line and colour, who bring to a new medium of expression an appealing freshness and sincerity that are deeply moving. Both are the records of men who turned in weariness from the decadence and ugliness of civilization and found inspiration, one in the freshness and vigour of an untamed northern wilderness, the other in the rhythmically beautiful and natural life of the South Sea islanders.

To Rockwell Kent, Fox Island, Alaska, offered a refuge from the oppression of the « new freedom, » and he seized upon it eagerly. Unlike Gauguin, he was at once and wholly in tune with that which he had sought so confidently. « Having had a vision of a northern paradise we » (the writer and his nine-year-old son) « came to find it » and the wilderness they found, found them ready, joyous and resourceful. They took it as it was, and the result of their year at Fox Island is the startlingly beautiful series of drawings reproduced in the text and the « Journal of Quiet Adventure » itself, an important event for many reasons but perhaps chiefly for its unparalleled record of a year of perfect happiness and freedom in the life of a child.

The Freeman, April 28, 1920 (pp. 165-166)
1.« Wilderness : A journal of quiet adventure in Alaska » by Rockwell Kent ; « Noa Noa » by Paul Gauguin [1st U.S. ed.].
  • Herman Melville, « Moby Dick » ill. by Rockwell Kent, New York : The Modern library, 2000

mise-à-jour : 9 juin 2005