Picks and Pans Review: Adventure: into the Great Solitude
updated 05/08/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 05/08/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Last week's delightful Adventure brought us a man who traveled to small specks on the map of the Pacific to find out about the music and culture of other people. This week's Adventure brings us a poet who canoes down a 700-mile river in Canada's Northwest Territories to find himself. Uh-oh. If I learned one thing through the sensitive '60s and '70s, it is this: People who are trying to find themselves are bound to be bores. This man, Robert Perkins, takes off alone on his 72-day journey and spends most of the time filming himself. We don't get to see the stirring Arctic landscape. We get to see Perkins paddling his canoe, incessantly licking his itchy beard, taking pictures of his own shadow ("I see it all the time, and it's my friend") and droning on about his feelings and dreams. To do that requires an ego as big and flat and cold as the tundra itself. To watch it requires the patience of a tree.