Serial climber

Confessions of a serial climber

Confessions of a serial climber Mark Twight South Slope

Author: Mark Twight


Publisher: South side (Milan)

Necklace: The climbing

First Italian edition: 2004
Format: cm 12,5x20 - 240 pages - Paperback - Illustrations: pictures in B / N

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Although this book is not some "fresh" (released in the US press in 2001 and published in Italy by Edizioni 2004 in South Slope) I think he deserves a place in this section of the Club 4000 reviews. Personally I had read in 2004 restandone a bit 'disappointed; on the other hand, now as then, the title stimulates high expectations crashing soon after opening the book. Most of those who have bought this book (including me) expect to read a biography of Mark Twight instead is located in front of a collection of articles published in various magazines, that the same Twight, with autobiographical character, had written between the 1985 and 2000. Overall this book / collection still managed to draw a profile of the author's autobiographical, if only his climbing life. With direct language, cheeky - sparing "swear words" - and a typical Yankee slang of overseas (the category that he "strangely" criticism), Mark tells stories of extreme mountaineering, lived mostly in the Mont Blanc massif when he lived in Chamonix. Amazing stories narrated coldly, that if they had been "colored" by the rhetoric of the past would become stepping stones. Instead this book has in it the "colors" and the atmosphere of the northern walls. The author speaks of deaths and accidents, broken friendships and loves, as if all this were ordinary everyday life. The rhythm of the writing is sustained and messy Punk music, which Mark with earphones listening at full volume while shots of ice ax impossible vertical climbed. Pelting Strikes those Twight with its tools imparted to the ice, so much so that in his writings, said several times that he broke the pick of the ice ax. The one told by the author is an extremely competitive Chamonix where the adrenaline, like the essence of life, is mixed with the vacuum created by the death. Mourning and funerals make it seem a surreal city. This glacial and direct style, like a "punch in the stomach", has made inroads on young climbers. 2004 from today, I happened to know some climbers high level, the "new generation", who told me that he found inspiration from this book. The writings of Twight has set, even, and especially, on 30-40enni. The strong climber Rossano Libera has even said that he dedicated extreme alpinism after reading Confessions of a serial climber. So, curiously, I recently re-read to try to figure out what there is from time between its magnetic lines. I think the reason for its success (in 2001 has won the award for Best Mountain at Banff Mountain Book Festival) is in its use of a language that distances itself greatly from the traditional of mountain literature. In addition, the mountaineering Twight, narrated in the book, is objectively far from mountaineering classic. The fact remains that this book has become overbearing and, paradoxically, itself a "classic" of mountain literature. Even after reading this I was less than enthusiastic, as I think too cynical contents. Confessions of a serial climberIt is a book that should be read anyway, but once put on the shelf let him, by extension, a great desire to reread Whymper.


Raffaele Morandini

(November 2012)