Nathaniel's Reviews > Mount Analogue

Mount Analogue by René Daumal
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's review
Jan 02, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: originally-in-french
Read in December, 2007

"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 "Tale of the bitter rose and the hollow men"--a mountain legend revealed to the seekers is particularly memorable; but is counterbalanced by some poor poetry and a flat creation myth.

The books is worth reading. There is some wisdom in it. But it will frustrate most readers that it ends mid sentence, just when the real business of shedding light gets under way.

One of the book's thought provoking positions: it is a crime to create a void that you do not try to fill.
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