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Lappin's achievement is to succeed where medicine failed and, through her words, give Katherine Mansfield ongoing life."Greetings from this ancient kingdom! There has been a lot of doubts on my path recently. We left the jungle to see, after a year of sedentary lifestyle, if road will bring solutions.William creates the space, the steady rhytm, upon which others can experiment, open up, and Pamela sneaks around with her energy. It builds the climax, it prolongs the session, it gives it added value, regardless of our belief about actual value of certain gestures, such as tobacco sopladas.They complement each other in the performance, but more important perhaps, show the integration of this medicine, so necessary in this world of many gurus who claim to love the whole world because they are unable to hold balanced relationship with their nearest person. This is good inspiration for me, often carried away by my impatience, by inner fire, dismissing the uncessary.Lappin reveals the spots on the lungs, the dysentery and fevers, the "ominous heaving rumble" of her coughing.Ultimately, she makes readers care about a writer dead for more than eighty years, and share Katherine's own wish that she could live forever.KATHERINE MANSFIELD, LINDA LAPPIN, WALTER CUMMINSIn 1961, in a short story anthology, I read a short-short entitled "Miss Brill." It was about an old vulnerable woman whose joy of life is destroyed by two thoughtless young people.
So free from internal obligation to produce images ( freed, in some extent, by their excess today, as well as eyes that are not of a young man any more, these small things that help to naturally shape fate, in the face of indecisiveness and hard letting go ), I was able to land in the Sacred Valley as in a substitute of home I am barred from.
For me this cold breeze is also refreshing these days and brings back the scent of first ceremonies on the other side of great ocean. I don’t think of sneaky spirits of the jungle, of devils and brujeria, I think about fast brother wind, that always was close to my soul.
Sacred Valley is all about “hanan”, the high world, the Father Sky, condor and flight rather than snake and chtonic ambiguity of the lowland forest.
My colleague, friend, and frequent collaborator, Walter Cummins ( HRw Oi8vd3d3Lndhb HRlcm N1b W1pbn Mu Y29t Lw==) has written a review of Linda Lappin's novel which appears in the current issue of The Literary Review (Vol 52, No 1), published by Fairleigh Dickinson University. That's not to say that she isn't a vivid character from the very first paragraphs of the novel, in 1918, on a train pulling its way through a blizzard, trapped in a compartment "pervaded by the sickening smell of mothballs, perspiration, and wet galoshes," taking "short, tremulous breaths to keep herself from coughing." This initial image of her in a coffin-like carriage on a frantic journey to Mediterranean sun, in pain, immersed in white embodies her condition and the struggles she will face throughout the next four years in a desperate and futile effort to stay alive."Many luminaries populate the novel, from D. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf to the more rarified characters, such as Chekhov translator S. She could almost taste their tartness with her eyes, but the leaves of the willows were edged in brown . ." This is hardly a typical costume drama, decorated with dusty artifacts and burdened by the mythology of its famous protagonists."Of particular note is Lappin's ability to create original portrayals of Woolf and Lawrence, a fresh way of seeing people whose identities are almost clichés, as in this meeting between Mansfield and Woolf:"'Conversations with Virginia were agonizingly slow to ignite.
I have been given permission to reprint that review here, which I do so with pleasure because I find it concisely and beautifully discusses a beautiful, powerful novel which I hereby recommend as I do Linda Lappin's other remarkable, powerful writings ( HRw Oi8vd3d3Lmxpbm Rhb GFwc Glu Lm5ld C8=; HRw Oi8vd3d3Ln Bva2tvb Gkub3Jn Lw==) and, for anyone who might not be aware of it, Mansfield's work as well which, influenced by Chekov, has been powerfully influential itself ever since. One had to break through the cocoon of isolation Virginia spun around herself, with her perfect demeanor, her flawless chitchat, even those ludicrous hats and dresses she wore were a deterrent to keeping others from coming too close.'"But most crucial is the evocation of Katherine's consumption, the painful stages of her dying, her struggles for survival, her growing debilitation.
So when I step into the maloca for ceremony with William, I don’t think it is a coincidence that I am walking the tree of life, from the trial of fire and snakes, towards the higher realm. He has been studying Amazonian shamanism for years now, very thorough but also open to intuition, to being guided by plants and experience itself, rather than only dogma of the culture.