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Meije

Meije, by Georges Sonnier. 118 pages. Paris: André Wahl, 1952.

This little piece of fiction, so poetically written, tells the tale of three climbers, a Frenchman, an Englishman, and a German, who set out to make the first ascent of the stupendous north wall of the Meije; of the unparalleled difficulties they overcome; of the unparalleled sufferings they endure for days after their accident before one of them is finally rescued … to climb again.

Mountaineers who are captious cynics (like this reviewer) will surely protest that even a love of mountains does not endow suffering and dying men with quite such a high nobility of soul—not to mention all the other people concerned as well. Love of mountains is a great and good thing, and a true thing. This sentimental exaggeration, for effect, is not to my taste.

Miriam Underhill