“Three convergent lines point to a summit, and there it is: the Matterhorn. The giant of the Pennine Alps embodies the symmetrical perfection of the pyramids, the Pythagorean dream of the demiurge, the purity of a geological equation.” This book is a journey through the consciousness of the mountains. For the first time, the world of peaks is narrated through its symbols: representations, icons, figures and emblems through which, over the centuries, the mountains have revealed their endless facets. It starts with animals: the eagle, the ibex, the chamois and the deer as expressions of the wilderness. It continues with the Matterhorn, which conveys height, momentum, perfection. And then the Swiss chalet, the edelweiss, Heidi, and the ice axe – a symbol of challenge and audacity. Touching upon literature, advertising, Alpine club crests, traditional mountain songs, history, and news reports, this book provides an exemplary overview of vertical civilization.
Franco Brevini teaches at the University of Bergamo and writes for the Italian daily newspaper “Corriere della Sera”. He is also a mountaineer and a traveller.