Saturday, February 07, 2004

An early interest in Eastern spirituality and Zen mysticism in particular led me to read the books of Janwillem Van de Wetering. His book, The Empty Mirror, describes the experiences of a Westerner (a dutchman) studying at a Japanese Zen monastery.

I didnt realize until recently that Van de Wetering was now a popular and well-known mystery writer. I am currently reading through all his books. There is without a doubt an aura of religious detachment, of serenity, that permeates these novels and makes them also incredibly absorbing and readable. Here, for example, is an exchange from two detectives from the book, The Perfidious Parrot:

"No, seriously, sir. Even if the Amabagts arranged for that bunk inspector to drive into our dinner, the crime would not affect our project. Why bother with Quadrant? The goal recedes while we lose our way."

"You can't lose a way you're on," the commisaris said. "Besides the road is the goal. Make that call will you?"

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