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The Snow Leopard (Penguin Classics) by Peter…

The Snow Leopard (Penguin Classics) (original 1978; edition 2008)

by Peter Matthiessen, Pico Iyer (Introduction)

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1,642244,393 (4)70
Title:The Snow Leopard (Penguin Classics)
Authors:Peter Matthiessen
Other authors:Pico Iyer (Introduction)
Info:Penguin Classics (2008), Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen (1978)


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My favorite Matthiessen book. Adventure, beauty, hardship, sadness, natural history, regret, this book has it all. I've read it several times and will certainly read it again. ( )
  Grace.Van.Moer | Mar 31, 2016 |
A fascinating trip into mystical realms. Ostensibly a non-fictional story of Matthiessen's trek into Nepal, it also traces his interior journey/development. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
As with all things Zen, words fail, but when you read the book you'll get it and the book will stay with you. ( )
  Marcial87 | Mar 16, 2015 |
wonderful writing! powerful lessons! ( )
  MalloryMann | Mar 11, 2015 |
So many amazing passages in this book, it kept my mind busy for several years! So vivid and fine was the writing. "If the snow leopard should manifest itself, then I am ready to see the snow leopard. If not, then somehow (and I don't understand this instinct, even now) I am not ready to perceive it, in the same way that I am not ready to resolve my koan; and in the not-seeing, I am content. I think I must be disappointed, having come so far, and yet I do not feel that way. I am disappointed, and also, I am not disappointed. That the snow leopard is, that it is here, that its frosty eyes watch us from the mountain -- that is enough."
  conniekronlokken | Jan 6, 2015 |
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That is at bottom the only courage that is demanded of us: to have courage for the most strange, the most singular, and the most inexplicable that we may encounter. That mankind has in this sense been cowardly has done life endless harm; the experiences that are called "visions," the whole so-called "spirit-world," death, all those things that are so closely akin to us, have by daily parrying been so crowded out of life that the senses with which we could have grasped them are atrophied. To say nothing of God.
—Rainer Maria Rilke
Nakagawa Soen Roshi
Shimano Eido Roshi
Taizan Maezumi Roshi
in gratitude, affection, and respect
First words
In late September of 1973, I set out with GS on a journey to the Crystal Mountain, walking west under Annapurna and north along the Kali Gandaki River, then west and north again, around the Dhaulagiri peaks and across the Kanjiroba, two hundred and fifty miles or more to the Land of Dolpo, on the Tibetan Plateau.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0143105515, Paperback)

In the autumn of 1973, the writer Peter Matthiessen set out in the company of zoologist George Schaller on a hike that would take them 250 miles into the heart of the Himalayan region of Dolpo, "the last enclave of pure Tibetan culture on earth." Their voyage was in quest of one of the world's most elusive big cats, the snow leopard of high Asia, a creature so rarely spotted as to be nearly mythical; Schaller was one of only two Westerners known to have seen a snow leopard in the wild since 1950.

Published in 1978, The Snow Leopard is rightly regarded as a classic of modern nature writing. Guiding his readers through steep-walled canyons and over tall mountains, Matthiessen offers a narrative that is shot through with metaphor and mysticism, and his arduous search for the snow leopard becomes a vehicle for reflections on all manner of matters of life and death. In the process, The Snow Leopard evolves from an already exquisite book of natural history and travel into a grand, Buddhist-tinged parable of our search for meaning. By the end of their expedition, having seen wolves, foxes, rare mountain sheep, and other denizens of the Himalayas, and having seen many signs of the snow leopard but not the cat itself, Schaller muses, "We've seen so much, maybe it's better if there are some things that we don't see."

That sentiment, as well as the sense of wonder at the world's beauty that pervades Matthiessen's book, ought to inform any journey into the wild. --Gregory McNamee

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:53 -0400)

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"In 1973, Peter Matthiessen and field biologist George Schaller traveled high into the remote mountains of Nepal to study the Himalayan blue sheep and possibly glimpse the rare and beautiful snow leopard. Matthiessen, a student of Zen Buddhism, was also on a spiritual quest{8212} to find the Lama of Shey at the ancient shrine on Crystal Mountain. As the climb proceeds, Matthiessen charts his inner path as well as his outer one, with a deepening Buddhist understanding of reality, suffering, impermanence, and beauty."--Publisher information.… (more)

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