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Item #: OP594B-947
WHERE FOUR WORLDS MEET: HINDU KUSH 1959 Fosco Maraini 1964 1st US ed Hardcover DJ Near Fine
By Maraini, Fosco
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New York, 1964, 1st US edition. 290 pp, 163 b/w and color photos, Brown hardcover with chipped dust jacket. Book is fine. Near Fine overall.

This book details the 1959 ascent of Mt Saraghar in the Hindu Kush Mountains on the borders of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia and China, and includes entertaining descriptions of a prince's palace, travel discomfort, Pakistan, and visits to a remote valley inhabited by Chitrali Kafirs.

The author led an Italian mountaineering expedition whose object was to scale 24,000-foot Mount Saraghrar, hitherto unconquered by man, in the Hindu Kush. The exhilaration and exhaustion, wonder and terror involved in scaling the snows, glaciers, precipices of the lofty mountains of Central Asia are brought out vividly in the narrative. 

From the Dust Jacket: ''In 1959, Fosco Maraini, widely traveled in Asia and an experienced mountaineer, was chosen to lead a climbing expedition in the Hindu Kush, whose object was to scale 21,000-foot Mount Saraghrar for the first time. The wonder and terror of conquering glaciers and precipices are brought out vividly in the narrative, but Maraini's predominant interest is in the meeting and clash of different civilizations.

''The four worlds meeting in his book are Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Communism. The story of the actual climb is preceded by an absorbing account of the history, secular and religious, of the area. With extraordinary sympathy, knowledge, and considerable humor, Maraini describes the new State of Pakistan and its mixture of races and temperaments. To reach Mount Saraghrar, the expedition had first to travel many miles in Pakistan, Swat, Dir, and Chitral, over flooded roads and goat paths, through bleak semi-deserts and blossoming oases. Over this almost untrodden way, helped by Chitrali porters, they carried the equipment and supplies to their base camp. Seven other camps were established; from the last, lying at 23,000 feet, the final assault was made, and another of the world's loftiest mountain peaks conquered...

''Fosco Maraini was born in Florence in 1912, the son of the Roman sculptor Antonio Maraini and the Anglo-Polish novelist Yoi Pawlowska. He was graduated from the University of Florence in 1936 with a degree in the natural sciences. A year later he accompanied the great Orientalalist Giuseppe Tucci to Tibet. From 1938 to 1940 he was engaged in ethnological studies in Japan, and for two years after that he was Lecturer in Italian at the University of Kyoto, a post he lost in 1943 when he and his family were interned for antifascism. After working with the American Occupation forces in Tokyo, he went back to Tibet in 1948 with Professor Tucci, an expedition he described in his book Secret Tibet...''

Contents include: Note on the transcription of Proper Names; Preface; Karachi; Interlude on Islam; Some Talk of Alexander; The Road From Peshawar; Gujur and Chitral; From Chitral to Base Camp; The Advance from Base Camp; The Final Assault; On the Trail of Dionysus in Asia: An Epilogue on the Kalash Kafirs; Essential Data on the Expedition; A note on the British Expedition, Saraghrar, 1958; Some Books and Articles on the Hindu Kush; Index.


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