Monthly Archives: January 2016

True Zen Man

Not Always So: Practicing the True Spirit of Zen  by Shunryu Suzuki.  Edited by Edward Espe Brown.  Harper Collins.  162pp.  $22.95. I think of Shunryu Suzuki as the quintessential Soto Zen Priest: modest, quiet, never drawing attention to himself, refusing to make great claims for practice or the results of practice, utterly devoted to zazen.  … Continue reading True Zen Man

(Not Much)

Room  A Film by Lenny Abrahamson “Though the hut is small it includes the entire world.” –Sekito Kosan.  Song of the Grass Roof Hut  The background to the movie Room is a horrific crime: a man kidnaps a seventeen year old girl, puts her in a storage shed in his back yard, and keeps her … Continue reading (Not Much)

The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name Just Spoke

Carol a film by Todd Haynes Carol is an almost unbelievably stylized, artful film.  It isn’t just that the movie is a work of art, or that every scene is a work of art; every shot is a work of art.  A shot of Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett) riding away in a rain-sprinkled cab is … Continue reading The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name Just Spoke

Life Is Grand III (You Slept with my Husband You Whore I’ll Smash Your Face In)

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay Book III, the Neapolitan Novels, Middle Time by Elena Ferrante.  Europa Editions.  418 pp.  $18.00. In some ways this is the most aptly titled of the three novels I’ve read in Ferrante’s brilliant quartet.  Really there is only one person who has left, at least semi-permanently, and that … Continue reading Life Is Grand III (You Slept with my Husband You Whore I’ll Smash Your Face In)

You Didn’t Know You Had It Until It Was Gone

Youth  A Film by Paolo Sorrentino “Two seniors for youth.”  It was a funny remark that I didn’t realize I was making until I said it.  But then, apparently, it was adopted all the way down the ticket line.  If that Saturday afternoon showing in Asheville was any indication, the people who are seeing this … Continue reading You Didn’t Know You Had It Until It Was Gone

Life Is Grand II (Touch My Wife and So Help Me God I’ll Slit Your Throat)

The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante.  Book Two of the Neapolitan Novels.  Europa Editions.  471 pp. $18.00. I thought when I began the Elena Ferrante novels that I would read one volume, read a couple of other books, then come back and read another.  I figured I’d eventually read all four.  But … Continue reading Life Is Grand II (Touch My Wife and So Help Me God I’ll Slit Your Throat)