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Sotto i cieli della Mongolia

Crane George


Editeur - Casa editrice

Sperling & Kupfer

Asia
Asia Centrale
Mongolia

Città - Town - Ville

Milano

Pagine - Pages

264

Titolo originale

Bones of the Master: A Journey to Secret Mongolia

Lingua originale

inglese

Lingua - language - langue

italiano

Edizione - Collana

Narra

Traduttore

Emma Gasperoni

Amazon.com (United States) - order this book
Bones of the Master

Sotto i cieli della Mongolia Sotto i cieli della Mongolia  

Questa è la storia di un'amicizia fra un poeta-avventuriero americano, insofferente verso autorità e regole, e un anziano monaco buddista, fedele a un'antica tradizione e al ricordo del suo maestro di meditazione. Ma è anche la storia di un viaggio affascinante nella Mongolia Interna, attraverso luoghi impervi e selvaggi, sotto cieli sterminati, a contatto con realtà in cui fede e superstizione, sciamani e burocrati convivono senza mediazioni fra passato e presente. Tutto ha inizio nel 1959 quando il giovane monaco Tsung Tsai è costretto ad abbandonare il monastero in Mongolia per sfuggire alle Guardie rosse. Percorre cinquemila chilometri attraverso una Cina devastata dalla miseria e dal caos, nascondendo sotto la striminzita giacchetta un libro di poesie e il suo certificato di monaco, unici tesori da cui non vuole separarsi e che, se scoperti, lo condurrebbero alla morte. Da allora sono passati quarant'anni e Tsung Tsai, maestro a sua volta, vive in una casupola costruita con le proprie mani nello Stato di New York. Ormai settantenne, ma pieno di spirito e vitalità, convince il vicino e nuovo amico Crane a compiere con lui un pellegrinaggio nella sua terra natale per ritrovare il luogo di sepoltura del suo antico maestro e dedicargli un tempio. Comincia così un'avventura dalle mille incognite e sorprese, in cui la vita e la morte si sfiorano continuamente... Arricchita da un suggestivo inserto fotografico, intessuta di umorismo e spiritualità, una testimonianza su un popolo, la sua fede e le sue usanze, ma anche un racconto sul legame tra due uomini e due culture diverse, sulla scoperta di una via che attraverso il fare conduce all'essere.

"L'affascinante, poetico resoconto di un pellegrinaggio nella Mongolia Interna, la terra di un vecchio monaco zen costretto a un esilio durato quarant'anni." (PETER MATTHIESSEN)

"Ventosi deserti, villaggi medievali, gole impenetrabili sono gli scenari di un racconto che appassionerà gli amanti delle belle storie, i viaggiatori virtuali, i cercatori di spiritualità." (Publishers Weekly)

"I protagonisti formano una coppia davvero anomala e simpatica: Crane è il cronista delle loro pericolose e miracolose avventure, in una Mongolia deserta e selvaggia; Tsung Tsai è un'anima superiore colma di candore, arguzia, vitalità e amore." (Booklist)

"Il diario di un'amicizia e di un viaggio sorprendente attraverso i più remoti e inaccessibili luoghi della Cina, fino al suo vero" cuore." (Kirkus Reviews)





Indice - Sommario
PARTE PRIMA - SPIRITI FAMELICI
1. Gli ultimi giorni di Puu Jih
2. Noi parliamo l'aria
3. Buddha con un solo occhio
4. Il tunnel
5. Un Paese di cadaveri
6. Sotto il filo spinato
7. Il primo esagramma

PARTE SECONDA - SOTTO I CICLI DELLA MONGOLIA
8. Buddha ritorna a casa
9. Il primo tempio
10. Canne che sussurrano
11. Ubriaco per una causa
12. In grembo al vecchio lama
13. Le rovine di Puu Jih
14. Lan Huu
15. Volpe conosce volpe
16. L'imposizione delle mani
17. Gli spiriti di Lan Huu
18. L'auspicio della grotta
19. Limpido come il fango
20. La tomba
21. Una falsa partenza
22. La salita
23. La discesa

PARTE TERZA - IL VOLO DEL DRAGO
24. La strada alta
25. Troppo cuore
26. Un gatto ch'an
27. Il maestro nero
Epilogo
Ringraziamenti

 


Recensione in altra lingua (English):

In the steady hands of poet George Crane, previously unknown Zen master Tsung Tsai comes off as truly extraordinary. A "poet, philosopher, house builder, scientist, doctor, and when necessary, kung fu ass-kicker," Tsung Tsai would still be wandering about anonymously if it were not, Crane says, for the need of financing provided by an advance on this book. The last of the monks from his Chinese monastery, Tsung Tsai felt he had to return one last time to find and honor his master's bones and rekindle his tradition. Crane recounts their joint adventure, opening with Tsung Tsai's harrowing decades-earlier escape from newly communist China, walking from Inner Mongolia to Hong Kong through a war-torn, famine-struck, psychotic land, nearly starving along the way. Crane, a self-styled hedonist ne'er-do-well, who says that meditation makes him nauseous, sets the stage for an entrancing buddy story back to China with this highly disciplined but carefree Zen master. As their mutual affection grows, Crane absorbs Tsung Tsai's spare but demanding philosophy, which sustains them through the base poverty of northern China, a life-threatening 18-hour climb up and down a treacherous mountain, and a confrontation with a master of black magic. A page-turner and an eye-opener, Bones of the Master is worth every penny of that advance. --Brian Bruya

From Publishers Weekly
Though not as widely discussed as the Cultural Revolution, China's Great Leap Forward (1957-1963) also inspired an internal struggle among Chinese Communist Party leaders. As they argued about the pace and type of development best suited for China, famine settled upon the land, killing tens of thousands and affecting millions. In 1959, the monks of Puu Jih Monastery knew they had to leave in order "to keep Buddha's true mind alive." Tsung Tsai, the youngest, journeyed alone through the heart of China to Hong Kong, eventually settling in Woodstock, N.Y. The story unfolds in an engaging way as author Crane befriends his quirky new neighbor, Tsung Tsai. When Tsung Tsai proposes to return to China to find the bones of his master and build a shrine, Crane follows to record the event. Despite their abbreviated poetic nature, Crane's impressions of Chinese life are some of the richest and most vivid readers will encounter. His words float like silk prayer flags at a Buddhist temple, enticing readers to explore their own spirituality. This book is the best reflection on Ch'an Buddhism to appear in quite some time. Written on multiple levels, it will appeal to readers looking for a good story, armchair travelers who want to understand more about China and spiritual seekers with an interest in Buddhism. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal
In 1959, after the Red Army had decimated his monastery and killed his fellow monks, Tsung (Ancestor Wisdom) fled across China and eventually made his way to the United States. There he became a meditation teacher, doctor of traditional Chinese medicine, martial artist, poet, and calligrapher. Forty years after his emigration, Tsung convinced his neighbor Crane, a poet and former journalist, to return with him to his old home near the Gobi Desert, where Tsung hoped to plant and nurture the seeds of spirituality. Although reluctant to leave his wife and daughter, Crane joined Tsung in his quest, which led them to an isolated mountain cave where they encountered unexpected physical danger and realized that faith isn't for the faint-hearted. This story of faith, friendship, and determination is fascinating, but, unfortunately, it is told in a passionless voice that can leave readers uninvolved. Only for large academic libraries with Asian or Buddhist studies collections.
-Pam Kingsbury, Florence, AL
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Beliefnet
As a young monk in 1959, Tsung Tsai made a hair-raising, 2000 mile escape from China, evading the Red Army that was flooding and destroying the country. His monastery destroyed, its monks killed, China flattened, and himself a hunted man,....Forty years later, he returned, with Crane, to a remote region on the edge of the Gobi to find the bones of his beloved master and renew the spirit of Buddhism in China. They returned to a still unfriendly China, and a China whose peoples are living with very little. We cannot but feel the utter desolation of this minimalist world. Crane, a poet, draws us into Tsung Tsai's world with consummate skill. In the first page of this dramatic true story, the reader feels the rhythm, flesh, and tones of Tsung Tsai's remote monastery of the 1950's, and this feeling of immediacy never stops as Crane takes us from Woodstock to Mongolia, from Hong Kong to New York.

From Booklist
After an early blizzard blanketed the Catskill mountains in 1987, Crane, a poet, went out to investigate, met a neighbor he didn't know he had, and entered into a relationship that changed his life. Tsung Tsai, a small but strong man, introduced himself as an old Buddhist monk, and invited Crane in for the first of many visits during which they talked about poetry and Tsung Tsai's need to return to Inner Mongolia. Like the Dalai Lama, he fled from the murderous Red Guard in 1959, covering thousands of miles alone and on foot, utterly heartbroken at having to leave his beloved teacher, Shiuh Deng, behind. Now, decades later, he convinces Crane to accompany him to Mongolia to search for his teacher's bones so that he can give him a proper burial. Crane is no Buddhist, yet he is deeply affected by Tsung Tsai's remarkable powers and unshakeable faith, so off they go on a seemingly quixotic and unquestionably dangerous mission. They make an odd but endearing and effective pair, and Crane chronicles their perilous and miraculous adventures, the beauty of Mongolia's wilderness of wind and sand, and Tsung Tsai's transcendent determination with uncommon clarity, wit, vitality, and love. Donna Seaman

From Kirkus Reviews
A poetry-filled account of the friendship between author Crane and Chan Buddhist master Tsung Tsai and of their fascinating journey through Chinas remote outer regions. When maverick poet Crane meets his new neighbor, Buddhist monk Tsung Tsai, in upstate New York, the two strike up a friendship based on a mutual love of verse. Crane soon learns that his hermetic neighbor is the last master of the Chan sect as well as a revered scholar, artist, and healer. Once their friendship deepens, Tsung Tsai invites Crane on a quest to find the bones of his deceased teacher, thought to be somewhere in inner Mongolia. His double purpose is to honor his mentor with a ritual cremation and to return Buddhism to this physically and spiritually barren territory. Cranes narrative recounts Tsung Tsais past, including a harrowing trek through Communist China to escape religious persecution at the hands of the Red Army during the famine of 1959, as well as the self-revelations his own association with Tsung Tsai elicits. Their trip brings the reader through the outskirts of Chinawhere Mao, Buddha, and Mickey Mouse all dwell together in timeless desert villagesand on to Hong Kong, the heart of chaos. Throughout, the matter-of-fact juxtaposition of Tsung Tsais spirituality with Cranes worldly outlook makes this record of their journey refreshingly devoid of the political overtones and moralizing that usually accompany Western glimpses of modern China, resulting in descriptions as clear and pure as the poetry both protagonists love so much. Ultimately, however, Cranes objective appears to be to pay homage to the venerable, ever-so-charming Tsung Tsai. For all his occasional narrative longeurs, Cranes insights into Chan beliefs and his unlikely friendship with Tsung Tsai prove that poetry in its purest form is indeed universal.