This great adventure novel was first published in 1953 and many of the scenes in this book seem prototypes for others I've come across in Latin American fiction. It is a story of a modern, educated, well traveled man, fleeing from the horrors of Europe leading up to WWII, to the Americas, who is then transposed into a world where the people still live in the stone age, a hidden city in the jungle and a bubble in time.
Our hero & narrator dreamed when young of becoming a great musician, but has long since sold himself out just for the sake of earning a living. He rarely sees his wife, an actress, because they both have busy schedules that seldom coincide. One day a fated encounter with a museum curator he knew in his youth leads him to a mission into the jungle to find and bring back the most primitive of musical instruments and to gain anthropological insights on the origins of music. The musician, who begins the trip with his mistress, ends up on his own cut off from civilization. In the jungle he at last able to find an inner peace and happiness, he finds a new woman, regains his health & vigor and at last is able to release the musical score he has always known was inside him. By the time his wife has a plane sent in as a publicity stunt to rescue him, he does not want to return.
This novel is deeply philosophical, in the end our musician can no longer find a place in either world, and the message is we can't go back, also theories about early humans which have been arrived at only by studying archaeological artifacts can only be flawed, to quote "New worlds had to be lived before they could be analyzed".