Mister Timeless Blyth: A Biographical Novel (9780804856355)

Current Stock:
Tuttle Publishing
Hardcover, Jacketed
Date Published:
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Trim Size:
5 1/8 X 8

Lovers of Haiku, Zen and Japan will find this novel truly inspiring!

An extraordinary man at a crucial time and place.

"In Mister Timeless Blyth, writer Alan Spence has created a fascinating (auto) biography, convincingly in R.H. Blyth's own voice. In it, he has conveyed the haiku scholar's love of music, eastern and western literature, Zen Buddhism, and sly contradictions. Blyth's profound understanding of haiku and his self-deprecating humor permeate every page. Throughout this work, Mr. Spence has included an interesting constellation of characters who influenced Blyth on what he considered his own karmic path, giving us an entirely new perspective of his life and personal development. I could not put the book down." — William Scott Wilson, author of The Life and Zen Haiku Poetry of Santoka Taneda

Imprisoned during World War I as a conscientious objector and interned during World War II as an enemy alien, Reginald Horace Blyth was a poet, a scholar, a musician, a linguist and a student of Zen who ultimately became teacher to an emporer. His pivitol works were published in Japan even during his internment.

Blyth ultimately became the key link and mediator between the Imperial Household and the occupying American forces, whom many credit with saving Japan from chaos after the war. His fingerprints are everywhere today in the study of Zen, Haiku and Japanese culture, and his work has influenced some of the most important writers of the 20th century— including Huxley, Oshi, Aiken, Watts, Salinger, Kerouac, Ginsberg and others. He was, in many ways, a man who changed the world!

Mister Timeless Blyth is his story.

Written in the form of an autobiographical novel filled with Zen and poetry, this book recounts a life of hard work, books and music, of spiritual questing, and of learning to be at peace with one's self and one's choices. It celebrates a man who built bridge between East and West for the greater part of his lifetime. Through it, we understand someone who moved with a sense of purpose, warmth and humor and left a mark that was very distinct indeed.

About the Author:
Alan Spence is an award-winning poet, playwright, novelist and short story writer. His books of fiction include Its Colours They Are Fine, Stone Garden, The Magic Flute, Way to Go, The Pure Land and Night Boat. Poetry collections include Glasgow Zen, Seasons of the Heart, Clear Light and Morning Glory. He has been named Scottish Writer of the Year and was awarded the People's Prize and Spirit of Scotland Award. He is Professor Emeritus in Creative Writing at Aberdeen University, and from 2017 to 2021 was Edinburgh Makar (Poet Laureate to the City). In 2018 he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun from the Government of Japan. With his wife Janani he runs the Sri Chinmoy Meditation Centre in Edinburgh.