Sunday, April 06, 2014

Farewell, Peter Matthiessen

A great writer and conservationist has passed on.  Peter Mattheissen lived 86 years and made full use of every one. He traveled all over the world, writing about the people and the planet with a style that was unmatched for bringing readers into the scene: not just with technical descriptions, but with a spiritual understanding.  I remember him best for the moody, unforgettable Himalayan journey in The Snow Leopard (in which, among other things, he pondered the Yeti mystery), and Blue Meridian: The Search for the Great White Shark, in which he followed the filming of the groundbreaking documentary Blue Water, White Death. Seeing a white shark up close, he wrote memorably that its black eye was " as "impenetrable and empty as the eye of God." Others know him for his award-winning novels, which I must admit I haven't read. He also took considerable interest in the sasquatch question, attending the first scientific conference on the subject and linking it to Native American folklore about the "Big Man." 
Goodbye to a man who did so much for the world.

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