TALES OF A DALAI LAMA by Pierre Delattre


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Brilliantly filigreed, airborne, cautionary tales which scud across a cheerily serendipitous view of eastern mysticism. The young Dalai Lama (the author takes pains to point out that this manifestation is purely symbolic) grows in wisdom and joy as he is educated toward infinite surprises and finite amusements by his court, visitors, and his own godhead-intuition. He learns that living flowers can wilt under a plastic watering can; that life is a fountain to the hermit who meditated by water; that a forbidden Camel cigarette (which he had been asked to endorse) is an interesting device with which to inhale daylight and exhale the morning; that the Lama's creation of the world may be re-experienced in the thunderous copulation of two devoted elephants. And in the death of his father he discovers duality within a unity of man and God. Delattre's wry, reed-thin humor achieves both intimacy and an agreeable distance from which to propagate the mythic/erotic/paradoxical verities of the Way. The Beardsleyan drawings by the author offer a rakish commentary.

Pub Date: Oct. 13th, 1971
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin