Under the Mountain Wall: A Chronicle of Two Seasons in the Stone Age. Peter Matthiessen.
Under the Mountain Wall: A Chronicle of Two Seasons in the Stone Age
Under the Mountain Wall: A Chronicle of Two Seasons in the Stone Age
Under the Mountain Wall: A Chronicle of Two Seasons in the Stone Age
Under the Mountain Wall: A Chronicle of Two Seasons in the Stone Age

Under the Mountain Wall: A Chronicle of Two Seasons in the Stone Age

New York, NY: The Viking Press, Inc., 1962. First Book Club Edition. Hardcover. "In a hidden valley of great beauty, beyond the framework of our modern sense of time, lives a people until now untouched by civilization, direct survivors of the Stone Age. Under the Mountain Wall is an account of their life during two seasons of 1961, when they were studied by the Harvard-Peabody Expedition to New Guinea...The expedition's visit to the Kurelu (tribe) offered a unique chance, perhaps the last, for a firsthand account of a lost culture in all its primitive simplicity and violence. Peter Matthiessen's gifts both as a novelist...and as a keen observer and interpreter of the wilderness...have gone into the creation of this strikingly original work. It brings to the reader a moving sense of the "newness," the purity and innocence, of a strong and fascinating people, and of the humanity we share." (from front flap) The acclaimed account of the famous anthropological expedition by Peter Matthiessen (1927-2014), the prolific & award-winning American author, naturalist, explorer & Zen Master. Matthiessen led a most colorful, stranger-than-fiction life that included co-founding & briefly editing the Paris Review with George Plimpton & Co. as a cover while employed as a CIA agent. Matthiessen was a member of the expedition recorded here, along with others including Michael Rockefeller (1938-1961?), the son of Nelson A. Rockefeller & great-grandson of John D. Rockefeller Sr., who disappeared during this exploration & is presumed to have been killed by tribespeople, though his remains have never been found. With two sections of photographs taken by Matthiessen, Rockefeller & others. Hardcover in clipped dust jacket, first "Book Club Edition" as noted at bottom of contents page (pg. ix). Apparently, as our research indicates, the original publisher pulled this volume out of circulation & sold it as a book club edition shortly after publication, true first editions are distinguished by lack of book club references & a different placement of the photographs. It is in the form offered here that most otherwise original copies are available, & its condition (see below) leads us to believe this copy was printed during or very shortly after the first year of issue. A beautiful production, & an essential, foundational Matthiessen nonfiction collectible, in its penultimately rarest form. Book in very fine condition with only light rubbing, fading to margins, edges & corners of black-cloth front, back covers & spine; mild rubbing & browning to edges of text block. Interior very fine with only a hint of browning mostly to blank margins of very-light-green-colored page leaves; tiny bumps, very occasional creases & spotting at mostly upper edges/ corners of some of same. Dust jacket near-fine with mild rubbing, scratching & light browning, fading to front, back covers, spine & flaps; moderate wear, tiny bumps & creases at edges & corners of same incl. very slight loss of paper esp. at spine-edges & corners; small area of light scarlet-colored staining at blank area just below text at lower margin/ edge of back cover, bled to (or from?) blank inner jacket. Very Fine / Near Fine. [Item #4584]

Price: $60.00