Mont Analogue, l’immortalità di un libro: la politica e il romanzo


A fine Agosto il giornale francese Le Monde ha pubblicato sei articoli su Monte Analogue, il romanzo di Daumal che ha ispirato il nome della nostra associazione.

Abbiamo deciso di pubblicarli uno per volta, con la traduzione in inglese di ognuno.

Il secondo articolo, Il libro preferito di François Mitterand è un racconto del legame che il politico ha avuto con il romanzo.

Racconta di come sia venuto a conoscenza del libro, di come se ne sia innamorato.

Si accena alla riscoperta del romanzo avvenuta nei campus americani negli anni settanta, in cui il libro di Daumal era diventato un vero simbolo, e veniva scambiato e girato fra universitari continuamente.

Per Mitterrand stesso, il libro era un simbolo, e i vari significati e le ambiguità presenti nel testo rimarranno qualcosa a cui il politico dedicherà ricerche e riflessioni fino alla morte.


At the end of August, the French newspaper Le Monde has published six articles on Mont Analogue, René Daumal’s novel which our Organization was named after.

The Team of Monteanalogo has therefore decided to republish them, with an English traslation of each one of the articles.

The second one, François Mitterand’s favourite book, tells us about the importance of the book trough Mitterand’s life.

We will know how the famous French politician has discovered the existence of the bool, and how he fell in love with it.

The book was rediscovered by everyone during the Seventies in the USA, where Doumal’s novel became such an important read that students shared it continuously.

For Mitterand too the book was not just a novel, but first of all a symbol: all those ambiguities and meanings hidden in the book will be by Mitterand’s side until his very last breath.

François Mitterrand’s favorite book

For François Mitterrand, the year 1968 is a test: it seems to him that his own youth is slipping through his fingers. His presidential candidacy, announced on May 28th, hasn’t gained the expected support, and his affair with Anne Pingeot is struggling – as one can see (and if one chooses to trust it) from their correspondence, collected in Letters to Anne (Gallimard, 2016). “I am truly dismayed”, he said on May 29th, annoyed that his mistress didn’t wait for him on a date. “My beloved Anne, in spite of the History which marches at great speed on this day, I am the one you love and who loves you”.

It was then that he devoured Le Mont Analogue, an unfinished novel published in 1952, six years after the death of its author, the Reims writer René Daumal (1908-1944). To win back his lover, the socialist literally leant on the book: “I am writing to you stretched out on the wheelbarrow, using Mount Analogue as a desk”, confided her on July 6th. He started reading it on the plane: “I’m spellbound. I believe you will be too”; three days later, a new letter: “I have finished Le Mont Analogue. It is a masterpiece; it would have been a major work of French literature if Daumal had not died before completing the fifth chapter. I’ll bring it for you to read in Gordes” (Gordes is the village in Vaucluse where the two lovers met). Anne is 25 years old, François is in his fifties. In December 1967, he decorated his room with a poster of Che Guevara.

Did you know that in American campuses, hippies passed each other Le Mont Analogue as if they were trading drugs and sex partners? The book is about the ascent of a symbolic mountain by a group of scholars. For Mitterand it will be symbolic in many ways; and he will mark out its ambiguities until death. So it is with his loves: he will praise the novel with Anne in vain, because it will be his wife, Danielle, a bookbinding enthusiast, who will adorn with red morocco the three copies he will acquire over time. And so as well with his friendships. Gabriel Matzneff – currently targeted by a preliminary investigation for the rape of a minor of less than 15 years – visits as a neighbour François Mitterrand on October 7th 1968: “We spoke at length (…) of René Daumal, of which he lent me Le Mont Analogue“, notes the writer in his diary Venus and Juno (La Table Ronde, 1979).

At the same time, Mitterrand praised the novel with another controversial figure: Roland Dumas. On November 14th of 1968, the lawyer pleaded for the posthumous publication of the letters of Roger Gilbert Lecomte (1907-1943), a poet from Reims who led, alongside Daumal, the literary group Le Grand Jeu. “The governess of Gilbert Lecomte’s father had inherited the rights. She prevented everything because she said that he made her dad suffer”, recalls Dumas, at the height of his 98 years. And the old lion modulated, in a smooth voice: “It must be said that all these writers were quite drugged”.

A book that calls for infinity

The mountain described by Daumal is surrounded by the Pacific. It is on another kind of pebble, Saint Louis Island, in Paris, that Dumas receives us. Documentary filmmaker Laurent Védrine, 45 years old, joined the interview. Ever since he discovered it through a friend five or six years ago, he’s been obsessed with Le Mont Analogue. His father and his grandfather, Hubert and Jean, were close collaborators of Mitterrand; and it was his maternal great uncle, the glassmaker Pierre Chigot, who introduced the socialist to Roland Dumas. “When he talks about ‘the forces of the mind’ in his short speech in 1995, do you think he had Daumal in mind?”, asks Laurent Védrine. The nonagenarian leaves the mystery hovering: “They had, without any doubt, the same state of mind”.

Boris Bergmann also lives on Saint-Louis Island. Lawyer Paul Grunebaum-Ballin, his great-grandfather, was close to another socialist, Leon Blum. For the fall, the 29-year-old writer is preparing a collective exhibition in Reims on Mont Analogue, as well as a beautiful book, at the book publisher Gallimard. While going through the archives, he came across an “Apostrophes” program, broadcasted on February 7th of 1975, in which Mitterrand reiterates his love for the novel.

The young man wonders: was the president actually imagining this magical mountain during his ritual climbs on the rock of Solutré, in Burgundy? At the time of imagining the Louvre pyramid in 1983? Or to climb Sinai in 1987? “It’s a book that calls for infinity …” sighs Bergmann dreamily.

Despised by Chiraquie, the 61-year-old judge Eric Halphen found in his boxes a copy of Mont Analogue, annotated by singer Guy Béart (1930-2015). It belonged to his father, the journalist André Halphen (1930-2017), founder of Télé Poche. “Dad was fondling a draft biography of Daumal, his favourite author. Mitterrand, whom he frequented in the 1970s, should have signed the preface. The project got lost in limbo, alas”.

When she worked at Gallimard, Prune Berge watched over the audiovisual rights of Mont Analogue. According to her, one has to go back to Jarnac, in Charente, where Mitterrand grew up, to understand his crush: “He was very close with my aunt, Françoise Delons Royer, the niece of one of the members of the Grand Jeu, André Delons (1909-1940). Maybe they talked about Daumal?” In his Memoirs, Bernard Gheerbrant (1918-2010) remembers the socialist’s visits to his bookshop-gallery, La Hune, at the beginning of the 1950s, in Paris: “He rediscovered the periodical Le Grand Jeu“, he writes.

Madeleine of youth

The Charentais hypothesis therefore seems plausible: for Mitterrand, Daumal would be a madeleine in his youth. Over time, it will also be a companion on the road beyond. In September of 1992, during his stay at Cochin Hospital, where he was treated for prostate cancer, businessman Pierre Bergé brought Le Mont Analogue to the president.

“I witnessed a passionate discussion between the two of them about this novel in a bistro at the end of 1989,” says journalist Laure Adler. “In 1995, I interviewed him in his room at the Elysee Palace: Mount Analogue sat enthroned on the bedside table, surrounded by books on Teresa of Avila and Buddhism”.

After the death of the Sphinx on January 8th in 1996, at the age of 79, other politicians – from François Bayrou to Dominique de Villepin – looked to Daumal; the brother of socialist Pierre Moscovici, the banker Denis, even collected his manuscripts…

This is because the mountain, as wrote the Rémois, “is the way men can rise to divinity, and divinity reveals itself to men”. For those who aspire to the heights of power, there is undoubtedly something to think about.

Arriva l’Alpi Giulie Cinema!

Il primo Febbraio torna al Miela e al Knulp di Trieste il celebre festival del cinema della montagna, con nuove imperdibili pellicole da tutto il mondo.

Due mesi intensi di film di montagna!

A breve uscirà il programma completo.


Proiezione lungometraggio “Diga”

Venerdì 24 settembre si terrà alle ore 21.00 – presso la Sala S.O.M.SI di Pinzano al Tagliamento – la proiezione del film Diga: un film-documentario che racconta la vita dei Diga, pastori transumanti giunti alla quarta generazione, costretti ad affrontare alcune delle più importanti sfide della Montagna. Per loro, al tempo del riscaldamento globale, dell’iper-urbanizzazione e del ritorno dei grandi predatori, le regole del gioco sono cambiate.

Sarà presente in sala il regista Emanuele Confortin, direttore responsabile della rivista “”.

Mont Analogue, l’immortalità di un libro: i nuovi eredi


A fine Agosto il giornale francese Le Monde ha pubblicato sei articoli su Monte Analogue, il romanzo di Daumal che ha ispirato il nome della nostra associazione.

Abbiamo deciso di pubblicarli uno per volta, con la traduzione in inglese di ognuno.

Il primo articolo è La vertiginosa eredità di un romanzo incompiuto. Quante persone ci sono, nel mondo, che sono tuttora influenzate da questo romanzo? In che modo Daumal è capace ancora oggi, nel 2021, di parlare ai contemporanei e di essere al fianco delle nuove generazioni che crescono leggendolo e amandolo?

Credo sia un po’ la solita storia: è un classico, e da tale è immortale. La bellezza dei libri che trascendono il concetto di temporalità ed epoca, è che riescono a essere percepiti come contemporanei da varie generazioni.

Mont Analogue è stato pubblicato per la prima volta del 52: questo signfiica che più di tre generazioni, ormai hanno avuto modo di crescere leggendolo. Viene spesso considerato un libro per ragazzi, vista la sua natura di romanzo d’avventura, ma in realtà è un romanzo filosofico e simbolico. E come capita con tutti i classici, lo si può leggere a qualunque età, e riuscirà sempre a far riflettere e insegnare qualcosa al lettore.

L’articolo di cui vi lasciamo la traduzione qua sotto parla proprio dell’eredità che il romanzo ha lasciato in Franca – e nel mondo: parla di persone rimaste talmente affascinate dalla natura poliedrica del libro che hanno voluto rendergli omaggio.


At the end of August, the French newspaper Le Monde has published six articles on Mont Analogue, René Daumal’s novel which our Organization was named after.

The Team of Monteanalogo has therefore decided to republish them, with an English traslation of every one of the articles.

The first one is titled The vertiginous inheritance of an unfinished novel. How many people have the novel  influenced since its publication? In which way is Daumal still capable of speaking and raising new generations who grow up reading his book?

It’s the same old story: it’s a classic, which means it’s immortal. Classics go beyond the concept of time or age, they can be perceived as modern by every generation.

Mont Analogue has been first published in 1952, which means that more than three generations have been grown up reading it. It is indeed often labeled as a young adult adventure book, but its real core is symbolic and philosophical. And as per its classical nature, it can be read at every age, and it will still speak to the reader, giving them new knowledge and idea to think about.

The article of which we will provide you the English translation is about the inheritance that the novel has left in France – and around the world too: it’s about people so much bewitched by the multifaceted nature of the novel that they wanted to pay tribute to it.

The vertiginous inheritance of an unfinished novel.

These days, L’Impossible is drifting along the French Riviera. On board, a 37-year-old plastic artist, Antoine Proux. On the white sail, he wrote, in black letters: “And you, what are you looking for?”- a reference to the title of the last chapter of Mont Analogue, book unfinished by René Daumal (19/08/1944).

Published in 1952, it tells of the expedition of a group of scholars towards a mysterious mountain, connecting Earth and Heaven, the base of which is accessible and the summit inaccessible. This is not the first tribute that Antoine Proux pays to this novel, as short as it is unknown. In Paris, where he has settled, the Creusois recycles wine bottles on which he always affixes the same stamp: “René Daumal”. Before leaving them discreetly in supermarkets, museums …

Even though not to the same point, there is also the Bourse de Commerce, where industrialist François Pinault opened a contemporary art museum at the end of May. At the top of the Medici column, attached to the building, a projector spreads its glow over Paris: it is a “luminous translation” of Mont Analogue, arranged by another plastic artist, Philippe Parreno, 57 years old. Nearly 5,000 colours, spinning 31 meters high: the Eiffel Tower better watch out.

What a flagship book this is, shining in more and more heterogeneous circles. From artists, mountaineers, scientists or politicians pass it on like a grigri, margins up to institutions. If in France there are only two streets and one square named after René Daumal, winks abound abroad: Mont Analogue is the name of a record store in Los Angeles, a film dealer in Sydney, a production company in Berlin, mountaineering clubs in Trieste or Mexico, a school in Minneapolis, publishing houses in Stockholm or Seattle … “Even without wanting to, we always leave traces, anticipated Daumal. Respond to your footsteps in front of your fellows. “

You will find this imprint as far as Champcella, in the Hautes-Alpes. On August 21, at 9:30 a.m., the town will inaugurate a terminal symbolizing the distance that separates it from Mount Analogue, estimated at 16,248 kilometres. Afterwards, its creator, the ceramicist Virgile Loyer, 46, will participate in a “round and square table” around Daumal. By his side, the ethnobiologist Nicolas Césard, 45 years old; mountaineer Bernard Amy, 81; documentary filmmaker and beekeeper Laurent Védrine, 45 years old. The latter is the leader of a “relief expedition to Mount Analogue,” as he calls the odd role-playing game he engages in with a dozen friends.

This is the book I gave as a gift the most

December 22, 2019: following a party farewell in the Parisian suburbs, the friends sought after the end of Daumal’s novel. They saw each other, sometimes; have often written to each other; over-thought – not too bad of a thing; created, a little. So far, none have really come back. “For a moment, my 13-year-old son thought I was really gone, I had to reassure him”, admits Laurent Védrine. For his imaginary equipment, he collected prestigious sponsorships, from the physicist Etienne Klein to the landscaper Gilles Clément, all Daumal enthusiasts. As for the sponsors, on the other hand, it has been a shambles. “The Old Camper had promised us freeze-dried rations… They never arrived”, grumbled the fellow under his breath.

Boris Bergmann was more successful. With the enthusiasm of his 29 years, this writer convinced the Luma Foundation to finance a reissue of Mont Analogue, augmented with texts, photos, drawings…

It will appear on October 14, at Gallimard. Contents of this great book are beautiful people: the rocker Patti Smith or the ci-neo-maker Alejandro Jodorowsky. Most of them will take part in the Mont Analogues exhibition, from September 17 to December 23, at the Regional Contemporary Art Fund in Champagne-Ardenne, in Reims, where Daumal grew up. Boris Bergmann will be one of the commissioners.

To explain why this book is magnetic and stabilized fro so many collectives, he quotes one of his favourite passages: “Because we are two, everything changes; task doesn’t get twice as easy, no: impossible it becomes possible“. He discovered Le Mont Analogue around the age of 14 or 15, on the advice of a friend, the writer Mathieu Terence. “This is the book that I gave as a gift the most“, continues the one who devoted his dissertation to him, subtitled “From the unfinished to the infinite“. “I spend quite a lot for Mount Analogue, I gift three or four copies of it per month”, adds Laurent Védrine.

At Allia, where the novel was republished in January 2020, there have sold more than 4,000 copies. “An honourable result for a book of which there are already other editions“, pleasingly said Danielle Orhan, director of editions. The Reims exhibition is the first ever dedicated to Daumal. His name had certainly appeared on other routes, in Le Havre in 1980, or at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris in 1992. But these celebrated the Great Game, a rival group of surrealism, which Daumal had briefly and brilliantly hosted with three high school friends. So, Boris Bergmann went out of his way. He has invited artists of all pedigree, approached the writer’s heirs, assembled a host of archives.

The manuscript

The manuscript of Mount Analogue is the only one that has escaped. He sleeps in a valley in Piedmont, in northern Italy, with Claudio Rugafiori, who intends to bequeath it to the Parisian library Jacques Doucet, upon his death. It is to this 83-year-old scholar that we owe the reference editions of the novel, on both sides of the Alps. “I discovered Daumal in a bookstore in Lausanne, I was 13-14 years old; like a good asthmatic, I was a big reader, testifies the Italian. The evidence of his genius jumped out at me“.

William Marx, 54-year-old, read it during his high school years. Holder of the chair of comparative literatures at the Collège de France, it is hardly surprising that this novel has raised so many children.

Daumal is one of those eternally young authors who was able to keep the humour and the seriousness of adolescence. The incompletion of the novel appears to be a pledge of sincerity“.

To refer to his secret, almost mystical, network of readers, he compares it to the Fellowship of the Ring – “even though Daumal is far less heavy than Tolkien“. The trail deserves to be dug: what if the posterity of the book was due to its ability “to establish new links between ideas of completely disparate matters“, as Daumal describes one of the heroes? Genius of analogy, this art of mixing up topics: “The door to the invisible”, he added, “must be visible”.

HERE you can read the original article in French.

Alpi Giulie Cinema 2019 si trasferisce a Montereale Valcellina e a Pinzano al Tagliamento

Conclusa a Trieste, dopo ben 2 mesi di proiezioni, la rassegna cinematografica dedicata alla montagna “Alpi Giulie Cinema”, proposta dall’Associazione Culturale Monte Analogo, si trasferisce in aprile nella pedemontana pordenonese, a Montereale Valcellina e a Pinzano al Tagliamento.

Si inizierà sabato 6 aprile nella Sala Menocchio, in via Ciotti 1, a Montereale Valcellina con la proiezione di Resina (90’) che racconta di una direttrice di un coro di soli uomini a Luserna, un piccolo paese del Trentino. Sarà presente il regista Renzo Carbonera. Si proseguirà sabato 13 aprile con Madre dei Nervi (55’), la storia di alcune ragazze madri con gravi problemi di dipendenza dalla droga e della costruzione di un rapporto con la montagna volto alla ricerca di una nuova vita.

Le proiezioni inizieranno alle ore 20.45 e sono organizzate dal Circolo Arci Tina Merlin in collaborazione con Arci Servizio Civile, Legambiente-Circolo Prealpi Carniche e la Comunità alloggio “La Selina”.

Il 24 aprile alle ore 21.00 invece la rassegna proseguirà nella Sala Somsi di Pinzano al Tagliamento con il film In Gora, resoconto di un mese di viaggio di due atipici sciatori amanti della natura in Austria, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Macedonia e Montenegro.

Tutte le proiezioni sono ad ingresso libero.

Alpi Giulie Cinema 2019 a Muzzana del Turgnano

Appuntamento con il cinema di montagna domenica 7 aprile 2019 a Muzzana del Turgnano (Udine).

Alle ore 21.00 nella Biblioteca Comunale verrà presentato il film “Senza far rumore: emigranti in valle di Cembra, ieri e oggi”, due generazioni di una valle del Trentino che si raccontano sul tema dell’emigrazione: quella che è partita ieri e quella che ha trovato il coraggio di farlo oggi.

Ingresso libero.