In recent years, polar exploration has regained much attention; particularly so the voyages of Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton. Relatively little, in comparison, is known about Sir John Franklin, who after several expeditions to the Polar Sea lost his life shortly after having discovered the North West Passage in 1847.
Working from Franklin's own accounts, other historic sources and several scholarly treatises, German author Sten Nadolny in 1983 published an award-winning and (at least in Germany) highly successful novelized biography of Franklin. But The Discovery of Slowness (German title: Die Entdeckung der Langsamkeit) is no mere rendition of the facts of Franklin's life, fascinating though they may be. Nadolny sees Franklin as a proponent of the idea of giving to all persons and things their own time; of not being unduly rushed, nor influenced by outside factors over which one has little (if any) control: then and now, an unusual concept in a world growing faster by the day.