Paolo Cognetti’s new book “Without Ever Reaching the Summit” is a sort of coming of age story (he’s turning 40, but some of us millennials, we’re babies for a little longer) in which himself, a passionate mountains goer, hikes through Nepal. As most tourists, he is of course in search of the “authentic experience”😒
To be fair he actually wanted to go to Tibet, but the area of Dolpo in Nepal is culturally Tibetan, so that will do. He then gets really melancholic when he realises his “exotic” fantasies are not real, because, also in Nepal kids have imported bikes from China and listen to the same music kids listen to in the rest of the world, meaning, his “spiritual” experience got spoiled by globalisation. He consoles himself with a bottle of imported Australian wine and writing many aphorisms on life, humankind, mountains and so on🍷
A contemporary Caspar David Friedrich was instantly resuscitated in my mind, with a flashy backpack and a chain coffee in hand. It is all the more enjoyable to mourn the crushing of false myths while finding comfort on commodities we resent to others.