Project Description



This unique work offers the reader a poetic depiction of the abyssal Himalayan city of Kathmandu: the mythical sword-shaped sacred city of divine origin set among the shining mountains of the Himalayas; the open-air mandala studded by golden-roofed temples; the cradle and melting pot of millenary civilisation and spiritual tradition; the mesmerising destination for generations of flower children and “dharma bums”; Asia’s present-day dirty, derelict and broken mirror…Kathmandu.

A visionary katabasis, this book, enriched by a wide selection of artistic B&W photos, leads the reader through the mazes of this remote location, simultaneously a real venue, a sacred land and an inviolate recess of the soul: sharp shadows and piercing shouts mingle with bursts of overwhelming light and tremendous beauty. 

Kathmandu, Lessons of Darkness: the ultimate, vivid portrait of the world that existed prior to the terrible earthquake on April 2015, which turned it into debris and dust…

Things that were there and others that should have been.

This city, the Kathmandu of dust, mud and wood, hoisted and then taken away, ripens at sunset.

People evaporate again in breath and the whole flat valley once more lies down on its column of vertebrae.

First Italian edition: Martino Nicoletti, Kathmandu. Lezioni di tenebre, Roma, Casadei Libri, 2012 (Book + musical CD with songs composed by Roberto Passuti and featured by Franco Battiato, Teresa De Sio, Giovanni Lindo Ferretti and Mekhe Kulunge).

Listen to the Book’s presentation on Radio 3