American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Gesellschaft Alpiner Bücherfreunde

  • Book Reviews
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  • Publication Year: 1939

Gesellschaft Alpiner Bücherfreunde. The annual subscription to this Munich organization (founded 1928; Schellingstr. 39) is RM. 10, plus RM. 1.60 postage, for which one receives three to four books, usually rare classics in German translation. Its twenty-fifth publication (Dreyer) having been reviewed above, it is proper to classify the earlier volumes issued, to indicate the pageant of literature covered. Where a price is not appended the work is out of print.

Antiquity and Middle Ages. M. Rohrers two books, Berglieder der Völker (RM. 4.50), covering the songs of ancient Europe and Asia, and Der Feuerberg (RM. 6), experiences on European volcanoes, together with Petrarch’s Besteigung des Mont Ventoux (RM. 1.50), the letter describing his ascent 600 years ago.

Prior to 1700. The first important Alpine handbook is J. Simler’s Die Alpen (RM. 7.50), translated from the Latin and to be placed beside the slighter facsimile and earliest treatise on the chamois, A. Lebwald’s Damographia (RM. 3).

Eighteenth Century. For the time of Rousseau and Haller we have two small publications : Saussure’s Reise auf den Gipfel des Mont Blanc, and a facsimile of J. B. v. Tscharner’s contemporary Die Bernina (RM. 3). The romantic period is represented by the charming story of the marmot-philosopher, E. Rambert’s Murmul-thier mit den Halsband (RM. 4.50) ; by F. M. Vierthaler’s Glockner ascent, Die Reise auf den Glockner (RM. 2), and by a famous book on wildlife, F. v. Kobell’s Wildanger.

Dialect poetry is offered in the amusingly bawdy “Schnader-hüpfl” anthology of W. Schmidkunz : Auf der Ahn (RM. 2.85).

High-level romances of considerable literary merit are H. Hoek’s Der denkende Wanderer (RM. 3.50), W. Schmidkunz’s Der Berg des Herzens (RM. 2.85), M. Rohrer’s Mär von Lenggries (RM. 2), and F. Schmitt’s Mensch, Berg und Tod (RM. 3.60).

Alpine experiences include Stephen’s playground, Der Tummelplatz Europa's (RM. 6), and the historical anthology by R. Montis, Kampf um den Berg (RM. 4.80). Steinberger’s Leben und Schriften (RM. 3) is the biography of a solitary climber, probably the first to ascend the Königspitze; while F. Christ’s Die erste Ersteigung des Totenkirchls (RM. 1.50) describes a thrilling event in the Limestone Alps. O. Knorr’s Der Grossvenediger (RM. 3.50) contains the history of this snowy peak, while a notable rocky group of the Ennsthal is graphically covered in J. Gallhuber’s Das Gesäuse und seine Berge (RM. 4.50). The folklore of a lovely area in the pre-Alps is collected in F. Hager’s Chiemgaubuch.

H. v. Barth’s Gesammelten Schriften is a massive volume of a famous climber’s collected papers, while worthy of place beside Stephen, is E. Javelle’s Erinnerungen eines Bergsteigers (RM. 6), the classic story of a brief life. Two books shelter the fire of the younger generation : Das Letzte im Fels, by D. Rudatis, and L. Maduschka’s Junger Mensch im Gebirg (RM. 6).

Foreign expeditions are delightfully covered in W. Rickmer’s Querschnitt durch mich (RM. 6) and K. Schuster’s Weisse Berge, Schwarze Zelte (RM. 4.50), two books which will be reread.

Most of these are in the library of the American Alpine Club, have been reviewed previously, and are worthy of the attention of all readers whose knowledge of German permits them to unlock this treasury.

J. M. T.

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