Sunday, September 13, 2009

Stephen Crane

"Stephen Crane", number 155 of 188 from Robert Aitken's book Miniatures of a Zen Master.

Today Aitken reminds us that Stephen Crane wrote the American Civil War classic The Red Badge of Courage. He recommends Crane to 'the young writer ... for his naturally expressed yet vivid humanism.' I found this quote on Wikipedia and apparently Ernest Hemingway feels strongly about Crane also.

In 1936, Ernest Hemingway wrote in The Green Hills of Africa that "The good writers are Henry James, Stephen Crane, and Mark Twain. That's not the order they're good in. There is no order for good writers."
We have run into a string of miniatures about history and writing. And why not? Aitken is a writer and quite interested in history.

Life and death interpenetrate. In fact, what people call "life" is just generally their own little lives and "death" is the end of that. But death is something that life does and death renews and refreshes life. Life and death are not opposed to each other. So when the bodymind dies, it just dies. Now the bodymind is alive. Can you just live? I mean, since you're alive anyway, why not take advantage of the fact by giving up trying to get anything out of it and just sit up straight and just live? "This is as it is not because you make it so, but because the Dharma is thus."

-Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, continuing teisho 3 "The Body of the Buddha" from the series, "Seeing Eye to Eye: Commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji's Yuibutsu Yobutsu," Tuesday, May 18th, 2004.

Any error or confusion created by my commentary on
Miniatures of a Zen Master
is solely a reflection of my own delusion and ignorance.
Any merit generated by this activity is solely the result of
Aitken Roshi's clear teaching and is dedicated to
all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas throughout space and time

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