The paradise of Tammarians

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The Tammarians is a mountain range composed of valleys, lakes and mountains; that, although intangible, is located in a remote part of the Pyrenees. Its isolation, its biological wealth and beauty are heavenly. Animals and people live in harmony in their locus amoenus surrounded by rocks and mountains. The peaks of three thousand and four thousand meters exalt the national park. The protected area occupies one hundred miles, highly admired for its waterfalls, dark green marble and curious volcanic formations.

To the Vertigo, besides being a love story, it is an ode to a different way of life, closer to the nature. Perpiny√† joins authors who invite us to escape from the ‚Äúhustle and bustle‚ÄĚ of the city and political intrigue: Horace, Saint Augustine, Luis de Leon, Antonio de Guevara, Petrarch, Rousseau, Senancour, Verdaguer, Nietzsche, Thoreau or Wang Wei, to the ideal of the Shangri-La of Lost Horizon (1933) by James Hilton, Franz Capra‚Äôs mythical film which was unusually set in the Himalayas.

Antonio de Guevara, Contempt of Court and Praise village  (1539)

I proposed many times to get out of the court and then I repented; I proposed to stay at home and then I apostatized; I proposed not to go to the palace and then I went there another day; I promised not to speak in vain and then I asked for it, I proposed not to be more angry and then I inflamed by passion; I surrended studying, I was tired. (… ) But at the end, I say goodbye, world, ‚Äėcause at your home nobody is happy.

Nietzsche: Invitation to retreat (Thus Spoke Zarathustra, 1885)

Far from the market place and from fame happens all that is great: far from the market place and from fame the inventors of new values have always dwelt. Flee, my friend, into your solitude: I see you stung all over by poisonous flies. Flee where the air is raw and strong.

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Alfred Sisley: All√©e de ch√Ętaigniers (1865)

The last village of the valley is Freixe, a medieval village made of stone, inhabited by four hundred people. From there, a rack railway runs through the woods and reaches 2380 meters. The train approaches hikers into the heart of the massif and provides access to the waterfalls and all the corners of the Tammarians. Twenty meters futher from the end of the railway, on a majestic esplanade, there is the Quesler’s shelter: Et in Arcadia ego.

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The Quesler’s shelter, located at 2,400 meters, is the center of the plot of To the Vertigo. It’s where we found our protagonists: Vinyot, the head of the guards, an experienced mountaineer in his sixties. His young assistants: Rene Ceverní (the narrator) and Jurdi Salma, the boldest of all. The beautiful and enigmatic guide, Irena Besikova, and hikers who occasionally stay there, starting with the enthusiastic architect Eduard Tarreny.

The profession of Eduard and the name of the shelter are related to another book of the author, A house to compose: In this book, the main character is Olivia Kesler; a pianist who looks for an inspiring space and, who knows, maybe she would find her shelter in the Tammarians, in the middle of the wonders of nature. When writing To the vertigo, a memory of  such a civilized and artistic character as Mrs. Kesler introduces in the writer a subliminal concern that makes her wonder about where she belongs: to the artistic culture of Olivia Kesler or to the beatus ille of nature of Quesler?

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