L'Hippopotame et le Philosopheby Theodore Monod

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  • American Geographical Society

    L'Hippopotame et le Philosophe by Theodore MonodGeographical Review, Vol. 38, No. 3 (Jul., 1948), pp. 521-522Published by: American Geographical SocietyStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/210926 .Accessed: 09/05/2014 01:03

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  • GEOGRAPHICAL REVIEWS GEOGRAPHICAL REVIEWS GEOGRAPHICAL REVIEWS

    the South Orkneys disappear. It is during this period that petrels, cormorants, and gulls come to the islands. In winter they fly farther north, where they can submerge in an ice- free sea to obtain the mollusks, marine algae, and other sea life on which they live. Cape pigeons alone remain throughout the winter.

    The author observed extensive areas of glacial ice having a dark-green coloring in some

    parts and red in others, caused by large colonies of microorganisms. In summer he found small insects, no larger than the head of a pin, in pools among the rocks where shortly before there had been ice solidified at -40? C. Through many pages, in diary form, he describes a grim landscape of sea and land covered with ice and snow; of a glacier above the camp that, joining another glacier, formed a meseta of ice; of immense walls of stone and ice, desolate of life, whipped by winds of Ioo kilometers an hour; and of clouds upon clouds, with rarely a clear blue sky. Here the two prime necessities of life, he considers, are a good supply of warm clothing and a strong dose of philosophy-and the reader, as he looks over the

    pictures, cannot but agree. Amid this scene a radio-telegraph station was set up, for communication with Ushuaia

    in Argentine Tierra del Fuego, to link this region with the outside world-the southernmost permanent station on the earth's surface.-WILLIAM E. RUDOLPH

    OLD KOREA: The Land of Morning Calm. By ELIZABETH KEITH and ELSPET KEITH ROBERT-

    SON SCOTT. 72 pp.; ills. Hutchinson & Co. Ltd., London, New York, etc., I946 (Philo- sophical Library, New York, I947). 42s. (American edition, $7.50). i1 i x 812 inches.

    This book is a labor of love, portraying old Korea with the tenderness, and sometimes the inconsistency, of the enamored. Elizabeth Keith is an English artist who has used the modern Japanese color print as one of her most effective mediums for presenting Korean and other Oriental scenes. She and her sister, Mrs. Robertson Scott, first visited Korea for three months in the spring of I919. The book is composed of two rather disjointed elements. Mrs. Robert- son Scott's account of the happenings just after the "peaceful" Independence Day, March I, I919, is of some historical value. Woven into the account of those stirring times are some background materials and word pictures of Korean personalities of that day; the description of the sorceress is especially interesting. The dominant and most worth-while feature, how- ever, is the pictorial representation of old Korea-the i6 pictures in color, the 24 water colors reproduced in monochrome, and the black-and-white chapter decorations. Notes by the artist make her sketches more meaningful. An artist can often see in landscapes and people aspects that escape the observation of the layman, and this attainment Miss Keith uses with rare skill. Though it should be emphasized that "old Korea" is no more, this book preserves some of the beauty of the past, a beauty that should not be completely lost in the turmoil of the present.-SHANNON MCCUNE

    L'HIPPOPOTAME ET LE PHILOSOPHE. By THEODORE MONOD. 2nd edit. 472 pp.; ills. Renejulliard, Paris, I946. I8o fr. 72 x 54 inches.

    Professor Monod's book of the beguiling title comprises some so addresses delivered over Radio Dakar in 1940 and I94I and pen-and-ink sketches of a delightful and barbed humor. It must have brought a ray of light to many a Frenchman during the dark days of the occu- pation (first edition I943), and it should furnish a stimulus to that rare and precious quality the geographical imagination.

    the South Orkneys disappear. It is during this period that petrels, cormorants, and gulls come to the islands. In winter they fly farther north, where they can submerge in an ice- free sea to obtain the mollusks, marine algae, and other sea life on which they live. Cape pigeons alone remain throughout the winter.

    The author observed extensive areas of glacial ice having a dark-green coloring in some

    parts and red in others, caused by large colonies of microorganisms. In summer he found small insects, no larger than the head of a pin, in pools among the rocks where shortly before there had been ice solidified at -40? C. Through many pages, in diary form, he describes a grim landscape of sea and land covered with ice and snow; of a glacier above the camp that, joining another glacier, formed a meseta of ice; of immense walls of stone and ice, desolate of life, whipped by winds of Ioo kilometers an hour; and of clouds upon clouds, with rarely a clear blue sky. Here the two prime necessities of life, he considers, are a good supply of warm clothing and a strong dose of philosophy-and the reader, as he looks over the

    pictures, cannot but agree. Amid this scene a radio-telegraph station was set up, for communication with Ushuaia

    in Argentine Tierra del Fuego, to link this region with the outside world-the southernmost permanent station on the earth's surface.-WILLIAM E. RUDOLPH

    OLD KOREA: The Land of Morning Calm. By ELIZABETH KEITH and ELSPET KEITH ROBERT-

    SON SCOTT. 72 pp.; ills. Hutchinson & Co. Ltd., London, New York, etc., I946 (Philo- sophical Library, New York, I947). 42s. (American edition, $7.50). i1 i x 812 inches.

    This book is a labor of love, portraying old Korea with the tenderness, and sometimes the inconsistency, of the enamored. Elizabeth Keith is an English artist who has used the modern Japanese color print as one of her most effective mediums for presenting Korean and other Oriental scenes. She and her sister, Mrs. Robertson Scott, first visited Korea for three months in the spring of I919. The book is composed of two rather disjointed elements. Mrs. Robert- son Scott's account of the happenings just after the "peaceful" Independence Day, March I, I919, is of some historical value. Woven into the account of those stirring times are some background materials and word pictures of Korean personalities of that day; the description of the sorceress is especially interesting. The dominant and most worth-while feature, how- ever, is the pictorial representation of old Korea-the i6 pictures in color, the 24 water colors reproduced in monochrome, and the black-and-white chapter decorations. Notes by the artist make her sketches more meaningful. An artist can often see in landscapes and people aspects that escape the observation of the layman, and this attainment Miss Keith uses with rare skill. Though it should be emphasized that "old Korea" is no more, this book preserves some of the beauty of the past, a beauty that should not be completely lost in the turmoil of the present.-SHANNON MCCUNE

    L'HIPPOPOTAME ET LE PHILOSOPHE. By THEODORE MONOD. 2nd edit. 472 pp.; ills. Renejulliard, Paris, I946. I8o fr. 72 x 54 inches.

    Professor Monod's book of the beguiling title comprises some so addresses delivered over Radio Dakar in 1940 and I94I and pen-and-ink sketches of a delightful and barbed humor. It must have brought a ray of light to many a Frenchman during the dark days of the occu- pation (first edition I943), and it should furnish a stimulus to that rare and precious quality the geographical imagination.

    the South Orkneys disappear. It is during this period that petrels, cormorants, and gulls come to the islands. In winter they fly farther north, where they can submerge in an ice- free sea to obtain the mollusks, marine algae, and other sea life on which they live. Cape pigeons alone remain throughout the winter.

    The author observed extensive areas of glacial ice having a dark-green coloring in some

    parts and red in others, caused by large colonies of microorganisms. In summer he found small insects, no larger than the head of a pin, in pools among the rocks where shortly before there had been ice solidified at -40? C. Through many pages, in diary form, he describes a grim landscape of sea and land covered with ice and snow; of a glacier above the camp that, joining another glacier, formed a meseta of ice; of immense walls of stone and ice, desolate of life, whipped by winds of Ioo kilometers an hour; and of clouds upon clouds, with rarely a clear blue sky. Here the two prime necessities of life, he considers, are a good supply of warm clothing and a strong dose of philosophy-and the reader, as he looks over the

    pictures, cannot but agree. Amid this scene a radio-telegraph station was set up, for communication with Ushuaia

    in Argentine Tierra del Fuego, to link this region with the outside world-the southernmost permanent station on the earth's surface.-WILLIAM E. RUDOLPH

    OLD KOREA: The Land of Morning Calm. By ELIZABETH KEITH and ELSPET KEITH ROBERT-

    SON SCOTT. 72 pp.; ills. Hutchinson & Co. Ltd., London, New York, etc., I946 (Philo- sophical Library, New York, I947). 42s. (American edition, $7.50). i1 i x 812 inches.

    This book is a labor of love, portraying old Korea with the tenderness, and sometimes the inconsistency, of the enamored. Elizabeth Keith is an English artist who has used the modern Japanese color print as one of her most effective mediums for presenting Korean and other Oriental scenes. She and her sister, Mrs. Robertson Scott, first visited Korea for three months in the spring of I919. The book is composed of two rather disjointed elements. Mrs. Robert- son Scott's account of the happenings just after the "peaceful" Independence Day, March I, I919, is of some historical value. Woven into the account of those stirring times are some background materials and word pictures of Korean personalities of that day; the description of the sorceress is especially interesting. The dominant and most worth-while feature, how- ever, is the pictorial representation of old Korea-the i6 pictures in color, the 24 water colors reproduced in monochrome, and the black-and-white chapter decorations. Notes by the artist make her sketches more meaningful. An artist can often see in landscapes and people aspects that escape the observation of the layman, and this attainment Miss Keith uses with rare skill. Though it should be emphasized that "old Korea" is no more, this book preserves some of the beauty of the past, a beauty that should not be completely lost in the turmoil of the present.-SHANNON MCCUNE

    L'HIPPOPOTAME ET LE PHILOSOPHE. By THEODORE MONOD. 2nd edit. 472 pp.; ills. Renejulliard, Paris, I946. I8o fr. 72 x 54 inches.

    Professor Monod's book of the beguiling title comprises some so addresses delivered over Radio Dakar in 1940 and I94I and pen-and-ink sketches of a delightful and barbed humor. It must have brought a ray of light to many a Frenchman during the dark days of the occu- pation (first edition I943), and it should furnish a stimulus to that rare and precious quality the geographical imagination.

    521 521 521

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  • THE GEOGRAPHICAL REVIEW

    Professor Monod is not concerned either with the relations, amicable or hostile, between a hippopotamus and a philosopher or with the natural history of hippopotami. The beast

    symbolizes the terrestrial environment of Africa-the physical features, climate, plants, animals, and people. The philosopher is the author himself, who seeks to correlate and

    explain these raw materials of science and to draw inspiration from their contemplation. As a hippo in the flesh is of greater corporeal bulk than a philosopher, so the symbolic hippo occupies the bulk of the book; but it is the words of the philosopher that count for most.

    That Professor Monod's hippopotamus is a variegated creature may be gathered from some chapter titles chosen at random: "Do Termites Raise Mushrooms?" "Meditation before an Anthill," "Aquatic Mammals of West Africa," "A Museum: What It Is and What It Isn't," "In the Time of Saharan Crocodiles;" "Reasoning 'a posteriori' " (on

    steatopygia), "African Toxicomanias," "Gods with Scales" (on serpent cults), "Did Jonah Come to Africa?" "Was Atlantis in Africa?" "The Races of Africa," "An Archipelago and Its Enigmas: The Cape Verde Islands," "The Linguistic Garments of Africa," "Where Does Africa End?" (on the boundaries of various natural and human regions that include African and adjacent areas as well), "The Merry-go-round of the Sargasso Sea" (what could be more

    apt?), "The Most Beautiful Image" (by which is meant an atlas). On all these matters, and many more, the philosopher brings together facts that are

    both informative and provocative. With a light touch he juxtaposes the sublime and the ridiculous-and makes his point. If we smile at his hippo, we feel the sting of his sharp satire as he castigates the stupidities that "civilized" man displays in cruelty to fellow man and beast, in squandering the bounties of nature, and in willful blindness to the things of the spirit. Professor Monod is well known as an authority on West Africa; only a master of his subject could have produced this book.

    522

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    Article Contentsp.521p.522

    Issue Table of ContentsGeographical Review, Vol. 38, No. 3 (Jul., 1948), pp. 349-522The Geographical Society and the Explorer [pp.349-352]The Far-Off Hills [pp.352-354]Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition 1946-1948 [pp.355-391]In Argentine Tierra Del Fuego: Notes on a Tour [pp.392-413]Explorers: Men and Motives [pp.414-425]The Regional Geography of Thomas Hardy's Wessex [pp.426-443]Land Utilization in Costa Rica [pp.444-456]Agriculture in the Maya Homeland [pp.457-464]Aeria...

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