THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF JOY by Rory Link

THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF JOY

A Translation of Life
by illustrated by
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A debut New Age meditation guide that combines captivating illustrations with suggestions for attaining inner peace.

The academic-sounding title of this work doesn’t adequately convey the idealistic and magical nature of its contents. In an introductory paragraph titled “Sand Dune Poetry,” Link describes his drawings and paintings as “glyphalalia,” a word he derives from “glossolalia”—speaking in tongues. His illustrations seem to radiate a lively spirituality with their abstract figures and invented runic alphabets. The images’ dynamic colors and shapes pair well with Link’s pithy meditations, which often come in the form of instructions: “Surrender. Give up. Accept the fact that you’re not going to solve all the world’s problems.” The illustration for “Transforming the Blessings” is apparently drawn on a paper napkin, with lines and figures leaping off its crinkled edges, as the text instructs, “Thank Mother Earth for giving you a home. / Feel your connection to her gravity.” As the book’s title suggests, the overarching theme is joy, and most meditations do offer a path toward delight. Some are mystical, such as “Sands of Joy,” which bids readers to “Become a Pillar of Light,” while others are distinctly pragmatic: “Keep your agreements. Broken agreements often create guilt and anger.” Even some cynical readers might be tempted by Link’s playful challenge to brighten up a grim roomful of people by silently chanting the word “enjoy.” Occasionally, the text offers tired truisms, such as “Kindness is its own reward,” but more often, it showcases unexpected lines: “Cherish the cavewoman who is your ancestress” or “Sometimes, watching television can create a feeling of joy.” The author’s distinctive vision, coupled with the transcendent illustrations, may make this book a well-thumbed favorite.

A provocative manual for achieving happiness that’s punctuated with original, intriguing images.

Pub Date: June 1st, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-9909255-0-7
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Coyote Eye Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2018




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