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Alexander Goldstein

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Member Since: Jun, 2010

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  Alexander Goldstein           

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Alexander Goldstein was born September 24, 1962. A graduate of the Far-Eastern University in Sinology he lectures on Chinese culture and traditions at the Open University in Tel-Aviv, Israel. A certified instructor of Martial arts he is the author of a number of books in English, Spanish and Russian.


Background Information

“The Foundling” is the book for anyone seriously interested in Ch’an (Zen) studies and free-style poems composed by the famous Tang-period poets and clumsy hermits which consist of being at once philosophical and plain-spoken. The author's explanations in the form of a Chinese romance completed as a classic of the genre do a better job putting the emphasis on the points that add to our understanding of the Chinese masters and their place in the transcendent traditions animating their works by more than two hundred beautifully sketched Chinese brush painting and calligraphy. But if you just want to delight in Zen poetry that speaks for itself and this only does if you skip the painstaking analysis that litters almost every page of the book on as many levels as possible, you are mostly welcome to brush through Book II, the purely complete set of Han Shan and Shih Te’s poems (whatever it lacks in charm of Oriental rebelling poetry), this book is precisely for you. On the other hand, this edition is as much a must for the reader who seeks methodically, step-by-step, an understanding of unaccountable Zen studies.

 

This is a remarkable tale of religious extremes, and how each of the fellows left his religion respectfully, to achieve a wisdom of his very own. The dichotomy that is created between Taoism and Buddhism is a part of what makes this book so engaging. Their prolific sincerity that puffs in their verses pushes the narrative forward with intelligent humor and insight, and the steady stream keeps the reader afloat from beginning to end. The book is superbly annotated through penetrating into the marrow of its characters, a line of Zen monks and semi-hermits resided on the slopes of Tian-tai Mountain. The author not only got them right, entering the mountain cave and the monastery’s cells, but got out mostly all the hidden messages scrambled as it seems to be in simple everyday living images. The themes of the poems are likely well known to the interested reader; the fellows are like us, their times like ours; their works show what they thought about the world as they came to terms with the unexpected turns of their lives. Ultimately, rather than agreeing or disagreeing with them, you are more apt to take from “The Foundling” exactly what you bring to it. If you are unshakable in your faith, you will see the hermits’ incredible journey as that of the lost and wandering souls. The book would agree with that. However, if you are agnostic or atheist, then “The Foundling” will second that as well. The author leaves the book on somewhat of an ambiguous note with Shih Te’s leaving the monastery for good, uncertain of what he is to do next. This reinforces the notion that each individual’s spiritual future is in his own hands, and that as much as man might try, there are no strict rules in matters of faith.

 

In short, this book is a work not only to be read and reread, but contemplate and contemplate on the regular basis. And if it’s happened you miss the book titled “The Foundling: A Novel of Wandering in the Dreamland of Ch’an Masters" by Alexander Goldstein, you actually miss a true brilliant in the crown of any Oriental art collection. The only way to put things right is to go ahead

and pay a visit to www.amazon.com or www.barnesandnoble.com  for immediate ordering.

 

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The Foundling: A Novel of Wandering in the Dreamland of Ch'an Masters
"The Foundling" is a story that everyone can learn from. While the majority of us will never set out on a path like the hermits did, being able to read of their experiences and descriptions of the places that they have been and the hardships that they have endured let the reader learn about their life lessons as an arm-chair traveler. You can spend a short moment reading one poem of four lines and a lifetime trying to truly understand it. Their verses of simple construction are amazingly managed to capture something so unfathomable. No, not to capture but illustrate. And they are illustrated in the fullest by fluently running Chinese brush paintings and calligraphy to underline Zen essence that comes through silently but clear. In several brush strokes accompanied with a few poetic lines the universe is displayed before you, if only you pause to stare . . . and stare time and again. And both cronies, piling together in knots with the other two, Zen master Feng Kan and his tigress, symbol of wilderness and mother-nature, will get you there, into the dreamland stretching for a hundred miles at the foot of Mt. Hanshan. However, the journey will be different every time you reread their works, most of which sound like Buddhist mantras. What places this book at the top of its class is first of all the angle of view and unique historical plot, as well as excellently performed illustrations that have graced the author’s other books with the same artistry. In short, this book is a work not only to be read and reread, but contemplate and contemplate on the regular basis. And if it’s happened you miss the book titled “The Foundling: A Novel of Wandering in the Dreamland of Ch’an Masters" by Alexander Goldstein, you actually miss a true brilliant in the crown of any Oriental art collection. The only way to put things right is to go ahead and pay a visit to www.barnesandnoble.com, or www.amazon.com for immediate ordering.




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