Juniper Fuse: Upper Paleolithic Imagination & the Construction of the Underworld

This volume is the result of three decades of looking at cave art and a refutation of the notion that such images are merely utilitarian or ultimately unknowable. Eshleman’s hybridization of poetry, deep looking and research more than make the case for a historical, mystical, sensual framework for these first makings. Focusing on the Ice-Age caves of the Dordogne in southwestern France, Eshelman raises serious questions about our “human” nature and its relation to the natural world. Once, deep in a cave in Ekain, Spain, our guide extinguished all but one flashlight and fluttered his hand in front of the beam, and all the paintings began to move. Visual proof of Eshleman’s assertion that we, in Paleolithic speleological cineplexes, separated ourselves from the “animal” and turned toward the modern by illuminating spirits within the rock.