Thursday, May 11, 2006

10 Favourite Books

This is a random posting ... a quick write to see what books pop out of my head.

1. David Marr's Life of Patrick White. I picked it up when I was in one of my most questing, what next with my life modes. It was brilliant. Patrick White is a favourite writer in any case. He had the right tale on writing - an don epiphanies. His own was reached falling in a mud puddle in his backyard one moonlit night.

2. The Androgyne Journal by James Broughton (pictured) . A clear and brave book by a writer who became a friend, given me to spur me forward, an intense account of loving one's own shit while in Big Sur.

3. James Thornton's A Field Guide to the Soul. Well he's my partner, but this really is the one book of spiritual practice I know that carries you into that other space.

4.Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr Ripley. I go to her when I need a model of how to write clean, taut prose.

5. Paul Bowles Sheltering Sky. A magnificent book about the split one encounters in crossing cultural boundaries into other worlds. My travel overseas has ofet, as a subtext sought my own physical extinction.

6. John Fowles The Magus. How would this read now? At the time it was utterly thrilling. The last book I remember running through the streets to buy when it came out was Fowles's The Maggot. It disappointed.

7. Another Country by James Baldwin. A rich book, an honest one.

8. James Purdy's In a Shallow Grave. I'm pleased one of his has jumped into this run of conscousness frame. It's been an odd time with him of late, since meeting - but this is a slim and deep book.

9. Waiting for the Rain by Charles Mungoshi. This is the book on the list that I first read most recently, a truly delicious tale of tribal longings, the seducements of the modern industrial world, and the solitary way of the true artist. Mungoshi would get my nomination for the next Nobel prize.

10. Cuchama and Holy Mountains by Evans Wentz. Chancing upon this book in San Francisco spurred me on the final leg of my own sacred mountains journey, and brought me together with a fellow traveller.

So much for that stream of consciousness. I'll maybe try the exercise again in a little while and see what utterly different books emerge.


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