Jimmy's Reviews > Mount Analogue

Mount Analogue by René Daumal
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's review
Apr 05, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: france, male, novel, year-1940s

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 bends your thinking around its curvature. A 'paradam' shift. This book was already written from another world, no wonder Daumal died mid-sentence. No wonder! He was a dead man when he began, only gracing us with a few words from the other side. And how fitting! This story of a journey to the other side, a journey that never reaches its destination because its author, having reached it, cannot come back to tell us but a few details that might lead us there. An impossible journey. (Mount Analogue is analogous of itself, without ever being self-reflexive, without even knowing its antecedent). The unknown, like a dagger in the known, is deceptively accessible. Nevertheless, Daumal prepares the way, like the campers before him. In Daumal's world, the mystery of the unknown is more real than the reality of the world, so that our reality is but a dream within it. It's a transcendence into specificity. When we look back from the other world, we'll see but a vagueness reminiscent of lives half-lived in the fog that hovers in the foothills.

PS - reading some of the other reviews, I was a little annoyed that a few people had mentioned that this was surrealism. No it's not! People like to repeat what other people say without really evaluating it. Why would Daumal delve into surrealism when he can end up in the ideal territory of surrealism without ever leaving the real? That is what Daumal does, and that is why it is brilliant beyond anything I've ever imagined could be written. One logical step at a time, is how Daumal leads us up the mountain.
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Reading Progress

April 5, 2011 – Shelved
April 23, 2012 – Started Reading
April 23, 2012 –
page 49
40.83% "I immediately invented some appalling devices: a pen for facile writers which spattered or blotted every five or ten minutes; a tiny portable phonograph, equipped with an earpiece like those on hearing aids and which would cry out at the most unexpected moments: 'Who do you think you are?'; a pneumatic cushion that I called 'the soft pillow of doubt' and which deflated unexpectedly under the sleeper's head..."
April 24, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Nate D I think I put this right between the surrealism and Hans Henny Jahnn on my physical bookshelf, though it is neither.

Jimmy That somehow, weirdly, makes sense, Nate.

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