Mount Analogue
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Mount Analogue

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  570 ratings  ·  58 reviews
In this novel/allegory the narrator/author sets sail in the yacht Impossible to search for Mount Analogue, the geographically located, albeit hidden, peak that reaches inexorably toward heaven. Daumal's symbolic mountain represents a way to truth that "cannot not exist," and his classic allegory of man's search for himself embraces the certainty that one can know and conqu...more
Paperback, 120 pages
Published December 30th 1974 by Penguin Books (first published 1952)
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It's a miracle that this book even exists. A book we were never meant to have, existing only in myth. A fever of a dream, but with all the details intact, specific, and so real. Like ending up in a dream without leaving the real world behind, both in terms of the trivialities of living as well as the logic that never approaches dream logic. An amalgamation of science, philosophy, myth, humor, and clear thinking, yes with the translucent, almost invisible, clarity of a 'paradam' that suddenly ben...more
Eddie Watkins
Here's someone I've been meaning to read more of for years, but all I succeed in doing is rereading again and again this book that the author never finished. I don't quite agree that it's complete enough as it stands, but its incompleteness does have the advantage of stimulating one's imagination, of being like a temptation that is never satisfied but is ever alluring. At least that's why I can rereread it.

The tone of the book is of a hybrid between spiritualist/occult tract and adventure tale...more
Nate D
Jul 18, 2011 Nate D rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: And you, what are you looking for?
Recommended to Nate D by: mythic guides M.K. and B.B.
A kind of theoretical adventure story, where the protagonists work with ingenious logic backwards from the supposition that the recurrent myth of the mountain to the heavens (Olympus, Sinai, Babel) must imply an actual such mountain, and if such exists where and how could it exist so as to avoid detection until now? And then, of course, they go there. With a great deal of totally fascinating discussion of everything within Daumal's reach: philosophy, psychology, folklore, physics, all wrapped up...more
Prende le mosse ideali dalla disciplina (si può ancora usare questa parola?) dell'alpinismo, per avventurarsi in una fantasia esoterica in senso lato. Ha il pregio di una pulizia di altri tempi (fu scritto negli anni '40) e il difetto di essere incompleto (l'autore morì di un'affezione polmonare prima di completare il testo). Il mio non è un giudizio di merito, ma di gusto. Nel rispetto dello scrittore-poeta e filosofo francese, il suo libro non ha incontrato la mia sensibilità. Per altre vie, e...more
Sep 09, 2012 Sienna rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
I was delighted to find a copy of this and another long-sought-after book in a secondhand store in Dunedin last week. Slightly battered and time-stained, Daumal's slender little volume also at some point provided a home for bookworms... literally. They left pointillist patterns across the lower portion of each page; if I hold it up just right, it's like starlight.

For a "metaphysical adventure" that ends mid-chapter, mid-sentence, mid-thought, Mount Analogue failed entirely to set off my bullshit...more
"I am dead because I lack desire,
I lack desire because I think I possess.
I think I possess because I do not try to give.
In trying to give, you see that you have nothing;
Seeing that you have nothing, you try to give of yourself;
Trying to give of yourself, you see that you are nothing:
Seeing that you are nothing, you desire to become;
In desiring to become, you begin to live."
Allen Riley
Daumal's mountain holds none of the mystery, dread, or sense of expanded consciousness of Stapeldon's Star Maker, Melville's Moby Dick, Poe's Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym or Lovecrafts At the Mountains of Madness. It's not handled with the same level of seriousness. The book has a farcical tone - and I use that word because the sense of humor seems silly and quaint to me.

The best point of comparison is with Pym because both books are silly and pointless romps through the ocean that end in vagu...more
"The fire that kindles desire and illuminates thought never burned for more than a few seconds at a time; in between, we tried to keep it in mind."

Daumal's unfinished novel is an allegory in homage to illumination and profound thought. It is a book about seeking and responsible open-mindedness. The vehicle for Daumal's consideration of intellectual liveliness (the actual plot of the story) can seem frivolous and distracting or a bit thinly veiled; but there is humor in it and a quick pace.

The "T...more
This made me shriek and curl up into a ball with sheer joy.
"Julie Bonasse, between twenty-five and thirty, a Belgian actress. She was having just then a considerable success on the stage in Paris, Brussels, and Geneva. She was the confidante of a swarm of odd young people whom she guided into paths of sublime high-mindedness. She said, 'I adore Ibsen' and 'I adore chocolate eclairs,' in the same tone of mouth-watering conviction. She believed in the existence of the 'fairy of the glaciers,' and...more
Nov 16, 2007 Ero rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: all vampires
one of my favoritest of all.

i've been rereading it and will continue to, for most of my life.

an interesting movie to watch after having read this:
The Holy Mountain, by Jodorowsky. pretty much the same plot, only with the addition of torture, giant tarot cards, jesus-face-flesh-eating, decapitated animals, and bathing hippos.
This is fantastic, even being incomplete. Daumal's at his best when he's wandering, and this book is a quintessential wander as a whole. This is also, I think, completely different from Jodorowsky's Holy Mountain despite being the inspiration. I'm tempted to say it's better, but I really, really like the second fourth of Holy Mountain (though I mostly hate the rest of it). I have a net art project planned directly inspired by this. I am definately interesting in reading more Daumal.
Gary D.
Uncompleted, it was a very promising start.
M. Cornelis van der Weele IV
I had never heard of René Daumal before this. This book, essentially, was an accident for me. I stumbled across it on Wikipedia late one night in relation to Jodorowsky's The Holy Mountain and, finding the brief synopsis interesting, made it my goal to give the book a shot. Such random occurrences, in my experience, have always proven quite fruitful.

The trick, of course, is that Daumal died before the book was finished, rendering the work somewhat incomplete and almost impervious to review. One...more
Premièrement, regarder The Holy Mountain d'Alejandro Jodorowsky. Deuxièmement, chercher les sources qui ont inspiré ce film. Troisièmement, trouver que c'est un maître Zen japonais, du LSD donné au acteurs pendant le tournage, et Le Mont Analogue de René Daumal. Donc voila.

J'ai emmené ce livre avec moi au cours de l'ascension d'une petite montagne pour garantir l'effet "symbolique" mais il a été plus abîmé par la pluie qu'autre chose - ce n'était donc pas une bonne idée lol.

Le Mont Analogue est...more
Something always draws me back to reading this unfinished book. There's some sort of draw in reading it even though each time I get to the end I'm surprised and somewhat disappointed.

Here are a few bullet points about what draws me back:

The words and sentences Daumal uses are absolutely gripping. He has a way of putting very complex thoughts into easily readable prose. I remember being blown away when I first started listening to Bob Dylan, but Daumal does it better.

The idea of the novel is th...more
The unfinished ending (mid-sentence!) felt jarring. I wanted to finish the climb but it's the unfinished journey that parallels this book, imprints the mind, leaves us unsung and wanting.

Do we deserve tidy endings? And as Daumal would likely ask, who are we anyhow? (Not our names or occupations, mind you, but more.)

A bow to Daumal, this book is lasting.

Some quotes:

“In the troubled depths of my memory of myself, a little child is awakening and makes the old man’s mask sob.”

“When your feet will...more
I've been reading René Daumal's Mount Analogue. It's trippy, distinctly French, and highly entertaining. It's every bit as goofy as the title suggests, but it carries a poignant (and misguided) message underneath.

Mount Analogue is (appropriately) an unfinished work. It describes a fantastic expedition to the title mountain, a symbolic link between the human and the divine. In order for it to epitomize this link, the base of the mountain must be accessible to all humanity, but its heights unatt...more
Review desde Bookcrossing:


Este libro pertenece a un género de literatura que ya nos es un poco ajena a nuestra experiencia, por tanto, si lo vas a leer con ánimos de diversión te encontrás en problemas. No sólo aburre sino que carece de sentido, intenta llevarte por un viaje espiritual y no lo consigue... o sea sólo leer por curiosidad o investigación. Espero que te guste esta imagen de EL HORROR :P
A bit too much about actual mountain climbing for me. Was disappointed that the book had not been finished by the author. Nevertheless, several interesting takes on the nature of the spiritual journey.
David S. T.
This was a quick read, I think I read the entire thing in a little more than two hours. I really wish Daumal was able to finish it, it is noticeably incomplete, but its complete enough to make it worthwhile. I didn't really pay close enough attention to the philosophical messages (they're there and its obvious), but I found the story engaging and liked how he went about it. I was much more interested in stuff like how the Mountain is undiscovered and how they found it than I was in the stuff abo...more
Daumal's second (and unfinished) novel involves a small group of adventurers searching for the fabled mountain of the title, with a couple of 'stories-within-a-story' thrown in. It's a quick and fairly easy read and Daumal's Gallic wit also makes for a humorous one.

It is a bit eerie when you reach the end, because the book stops in mid-sentence, like a telephone conversation cut short. Daumal's wife adds a few sketches of how the novel may have progressed, as an afterward, but it still doesn't t...more
A beautiful novel by Rene Daumal, "Mount Analog" was an inspiration for Alejandro Jodorowsky, who made the film "Holy Mountain".

The only thing that I disliked about this book is that the tale got cut off, leaving the reader in the middle of the slowly unfolding delightful story. Some may argue, however, that it adds romantism to the book, but I can't really agree with them. It's a shame that the author didn't get a chance to fully express his thoughts.

I am rating this book 5/5 and adding it to m...more
Rob Russin
I'm having trouble pinpointing exactly how I feel about this one. In general, 20th century French writers kinda bug me. I think a lot of this book suffers from the "allegory-doesn't-necessarily-make-a-good-story-or-good-writing" thing, but once I got going with it I read it straight through, and was disappointed with the sudden stop.

If anything, I think I was more moved by the story of the author's life/death/unfinished work than the ACTUAL story. But...I don't know. 3 stars, I think. For now?
Dangerous statement, but: This has to be one of the most valuable books of the last century. Daumal is writing about our ability to transcend the mundane and reach, literally, for the stars. But he does this in a book that's part Jules Verne, part The Little Prince. The writing is beautifully translated (Roger Shattuck), the story is compelling, and the ideas are memorable. It's short, too: probably a book to re-read every year or two.
The idea and metaphysical concept of Mount Analogue blows my mind. This was definitely one of the most fascinating and weirdest reads i came across....Daumal's ability to create new, fantastical world in such a realistic and comprehensible way is flawless, it literally puts you there. It made me think...a lot.

And yes, it was hard to deal with the fact that the novel is unfinished, especially since it sucks you in so much.
Jeff Jackson
A handbook on how to write convincingly about fantastical scenarios. "Lost" fans will find some startling familiarities here and Calvino fans will appreciate the ingenious structure that marries invented mythology and adventure story. Daumel died before he could finish, but what exists is more than worthwhile. His notes suggest allegory was going to surface in the final chapters, so maybe the unresolved ending is preferable?
Interesting book, fool of symbolism and spirituality. At first, it disappoints that Daumal did not have time to finish the book and the story stops at such interesting moment, but from the second hand, there is some reason and even symbol in this: someone should and maybe can search his Mount Analogue in his lifetime, but to reach it's top some can post mortem, after reaching the edge of the life...
Ryan Greer
A fascinating book about those who search for the impossible. In perhaps the most fitting of scenarios, Rene Daumal passed away before finishing this novel, leaving the reader, in mid-sentence, to wonder at its conclusion just as the members of his expedition search for their own conclusions.

Philosophical in nature, it's an interesting read that raises interesting questions on life and meaning.
fascinating. weird genius of pulp adventure as deeply spiritual quest. so much in so few pages. fun, too. a rare thing. also happens to be the inspiration of daniel pinkwater's classic YA book LIZARD MUSIC. the brief intro about the author is part of this edition's appeal. daumal is a very interesting and intriguing character. def want to read more about him and his works.
Like Jodorowsky, I hopped up the back of a Holy Mountain for some Symbolically Authentic Non-Euclidean Adventures in Mountain Climbing (was lucky enough to find a really psyched-out '60s edition). If only Dumal had gotten beyond the first phase of the jouney before he died.. What was written was stunning, but the finished book would have been unbelievable...
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René Daumal was a French spiritual surrealist writer and poet. He was born in Boulzicourt, Ardennes, France.

In his late teens his avant-garde poetry was published in France's leading journals, and in his early twenties, although courted by André Breton co-founded, as a counter to Surrealism and Dada, a literary journal, "Le Grand Jeu" with three friends, collectively known as the Simplists, includ...more
More about René Daumal...
A Night of Serious Drinking Pataphysical Essays The Powers of the Word: Selected Essays and Notes, 1927-1943 Le Contre-Ciel You've Always Been Wrong

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“A knife is neither true nor false, but anyone impaled on its blade is in error.” 10 likes
“I think I possess because I do not try to give,
Trying to give, I see that I have nothing.”
More quotes…