“Verbatim Transcription of Notes of Gulf of California Trip, March–April 1940”

Katharine A. Rodger

in Breaking Through

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780520247048
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932661 | DOI:
“Verbatim Transcription of Notes of Gulf of California Trip, March–April 1940”

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“Verbatim Transcription of Notes of Gulf of California Trip, March–April 1940” is a collection of notes consisting of forty-six, single-spaced typed pages documenting the Sea of Cortez expedition, as well a two-page addendum called “Statement of Collecting Stations in the Spring 1940” that lists coordinates and topographical information for each collecting stop. The notes detail every aspect of the trip; passages describe incidents and locations, and list the specimens collected and weather conditions. The typescript also presents Edward F. Ricketts's personal observations and reflections about everything from scientific work, including his remarks on collecting methods and wildlife; to local culture, including in particular his observations about the friendliness of Mexicans they encountered; to interpersonal relationships among the crew, including humorous incidents involving mishaps on board their boat, the Western Flyer. But most significantly, the record of the trip itself is both a scientific log documenting the more than four thousand miles they traversed and the twenty-five collecting stations they investigated, and an extended philosophical essay on Ricketts's and John Steinbeck's musings about holism and transcendence.

Keywords: Edward F. Ricketts; John Steinbeck; holism; transcendence; Gulf of California; Sea of Cortez; expedition; specimens; wildlife; Mexicans

Chapter.  26622 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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