File Size: 3563 KB
Print Length: 367 pages
Publisher: Penguin Classics (September 30, 2008)
Publication Date: September 30, 2008
Here it is, in Peter Matthiessens's Nationwide Book Award Winning "The Snow Leopard". Peter Matthiessen is now a full time income story, a prophet of ecological thought and quite a long time Us Buddhist, but in 1973, when the book was conceived he still wasn't so famous. At the age of 46 he or she decided to trek through the Inner Dolpo region of Nepal with his friend and co-explorer H. Schaller (well known for his studies on the Mountain Gorillas) to analyze the bharal (Himalayan blue sheep) and also to try to get a glimpse of the mysterious and rare snow leopard. From September to December the 2 men visited with sherpas and porters from Pokhara, around the Annapurna, the Dhaulagiri, through the Jang-La Pass, to Phoksumdo Lake to the Crystal Mountain and the Shey Gompa Monastery and back, studying the wild life and rutting practices of bharal. While H. Schaller was basically enthusiastic about animals, Matthiessen in this period a Zen scholar, utilized the travel expedition to expose his thoughts, exercise his meditation abilities, recollect his memories of earlier activities (drugs, deaths, remorse and expectations) but nearly all of all to paint with lyrical pen and great descriptive talent his surroundings and the people he or she met.
This book is a little dated, although reading it I was reminded of that great chapter of yankee writing that ties together Pirsing, Castaneda and many others, but none the less it is fascinating and fun because it resonates with a transcendent religious feeling of nature. In "The Snow Leopard" the ecological thought that weaves the strategies all Matthiessen's works continues to be not full offered, but this makes the book even more incisive because the perception of his convictions lends a magic atmosphere to the travelogue. You has an intuition of the value of respect of wildlife independently from modern day recriminations on its destruction.
The philosophical/religious aspect is also very interesting, because we can see the fascination of an intellectual American with Buddhist thought. Peter Matthiessen is very generous of his knowledge an sets all his rich Buddhist experience in the written text, describing history, traditions and customs of the Tibetan culture.
Matthiessen is also a very good interpreter of figures, as is evident from his novels. All the people he empathically describes leap out of the webpage and come to life. The canny and unexplainable Tukten (maybe a guiding figure like Dante's Virgilio or a true Bodhisattva) and the naïve and dedicated Dawa become our friends as well, but additionally the many minor encounters like the Lama of Shey pass forever into fictional history to be remembered.
Two points of highlight are how the Writer manages to convey the pleasure and the fatigue of the physical trip. I could actually feel his boots and the pleasure of getting broken them in, the discomfort of the sun glaring on the snow and the beauty of the birds, blossoms and landscapes he identifies. The second is the excellence of the writing. Selected paragraphs are poetry of beauty and the perfect technique English terminology is in itself a reason to rejoice.
This guide is also a very personal and introspective diary. It covers the man and his problems and probably this is the single most touching point of this great characteristics classic. At a distance of 30 years, people are taking guided trekking tours to Shey Gompa and its protected Organic Park, and much of the mystery has dissolved, however still few have seen the snow leopard, and discussion continues to be raging on the existence of the Yeti or Bigfoot.
Read and reread this nature classic to get all its merits. This is landmark of the American perception of Buddhism, ecological thought and one of the best travelogues around., This is the best book I read in 2015. A total traditional that I am positive to consider when recommending a book to a fellow hiking enthusiast, or characteristics lover. So many passages that just resounded with the truth of this man's life and experiences. I am hoping some day I can write something that shines with just as much bright huge batch light., It is really an thought invoking book about an amazing man who recently died at the age of 86. He explores his inner self while on the hunt for Snowfall Leopards in the high altitude mountains of Pakistan. Even thought he fails to see them, although seeing signs of their occurrence, he comes away feeling that he has come off his journey with an improved understanding of themself and what his life has meant because of his activities with the sherpa guides and the people that he encountered during his trekking to and from the mountains., The star of travel writing and animal investigation. The star of human more self examination and thoughts on religious choices., I first read this book years back (purchased the paperback for . 95) and found it completely engaging, as Matthiessen chronicles his physical and metaphysical journey in Nepal. Matthiessen's weaving of his Buddhist faith into the journey in search of the snow-leopard is seamless, and his eye for details is striking. Since my first reading, I have trekked in Nepal and that has prompted myself to journey, once again, into Matthiessen's book. Because with the journey he or she chronicles, new vistas and insights start - sometimes as grand as the Himalayas and some times as detailed as the weave of the porter's blanket. The Snow Leopard is as gentle, powerful, and as honest since the blue sky in the Himalayas.
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