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from the New Ch'an Forum review by Eddy Street September '99

"The usual biographer’s methods of analyzing motivations and delving into the influences on people are missing from Chadwick’s simple narrative framework. I felt that all the layers and contexts of the central character in the story were not quite revealed."

"The author attempts to have Suzuki comment as Zen teacher on the processes of his own life. This is a very useful device though not quite of consistent quality. It however fully fails to capture the personal koans that the man Suzuki must have had to deal with. Overall however, I greatly enjoyed the book even though I found some of it dissatisfying in its simple uncritical narrative approach."

DC comments: Good points in a thoughtful review. That's me alright--my style, my limits, and my conscious policy. I just put down what I knew and left it up to the reader to figure all that stuff out. It's just not my trip. I don't think about things like that so much. I do speculate and wonder but I was just trying to record what I'd heard and read in a narrative that wouldn't get too boring. I don't know why our lives are like they are. I like James Hillman's approach as much as any--that we're born with a mission or direction in life that is beyond nature or nurture. To me, any explanation runs the risk of reducing the vast sacred mystery of a human life to various determinants. But not if it's done right. By the time I get done with getting the archive on this website though, there should be enough information for others to dig deeper. 

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