Friday, November 26, 2004

Full moon, too many books and too little time

Have been so busy looking for something incredible to read, I haven't been up for recording the less than amazing stuff I've started. However, a few deserve recognition. For instance, TANTRIKA by Asra Q. Nomani, THE WIND-UP BIRD CHRONICLE and THE CALLIGRAPHER by Edward Dock.

TANTRIKA is written by a journalist and is fact rather than fiction. Setting out to do a story on "tantra" the pop sex yoga craze of the new new age, Nomani rediscovers her spiritual and genealogical roots. Raised a Muslim, her family once had ties in Sufism. Hindu links to Sufi spirituality are uncovered from deep beneath the socio-political divide of modern India. With "tantra" there would seem to be no "there" there, and Nomani's inability to define tantra is part of the success of the book. Yes, it would seem tantra is about mysticism and sex, magic and our darker instincts, making it a no-no in traditional Hindu society the same way Kabalah is in Judaism today. Noman's exploration of the many western attempts to package and market tantra through workshops, etc. is interesting in that it reinforces an instinctive awareness that you can't buy the kind of "awareness" necessary to a true spirituality, regardless of the school of thought.

(Tantra Links 1 2 3 4 5 6)

Dock's CALLIGRAPHER tells a good story, but the best part of the novel is the nod to John Donne's poetry. That and the fact that it inspired me to get together the tools to learn calligraphy myself.

(Caligraphy Links)1 2

THE WIND-UP BIRD CHRONICLE is difficult to describe. The story proceeds slowly and I'm only about half way through it. There is magic in synchronicity. There is a sense of an insatiable curiousity kidnapping the cat that propels the story from one unlikely situation to another. Murakami requires that we respect kidnapping of cats has no relationship with catnapping.

(Synchronicity Links) 1 2 3

Unread, undead

Titles mentioned in post before last have not been given up on, merely set aside. This, for me, is always indicative of a less than perfect match for my current reading needs as well as the possiblity that the reading matter in question is not the best of the best.

I read lots of stuff that is only mediocre. Mediocrity doesn't necessarily mean of no redeeming value. I probably review at least 50 books a month for readability. Of those 50, I may actually start 10 and finish 5. Needless to say, there is never a lack of reading matter. But, the search for THE book of the moment is a neverending quest and when the right book is found, the quest ends fleetingly as I lose myself completely in the author's world, only to begin again, and again, and again: each new book a new consciousness to explore.

Books left lying about while I dissolve into the charmed creations of gifted writer of the moment are much like the undead, living in limbo until I return to infuse them with blood.