Monday, October 14, 2013

Spiritual Epic

Here for the record are some more observations on the life and testimony of an old friend of mine, Stephen Monroe. That testimony, of course, can be found in the tenth anniversary authorized print edition of my novel, A Listening Thing. The following note was written by Maryland writer, Curt Finch. From personal correspondence, I share it here with his kind permission:

I finished your book and what an amazing experience! As I was reading it, I was reminded especially of Emerson’s famous saying, “The ancestor of every action is a thought,” as I think Stephen, as a character, is like a man that time forgot, an optimist trying to survive in a dying world where thought, and its cousin common sense, seems to have flown out the window. Like Joyce and Dante, you understand that epics are often told in the quotidian, and I think A Listening Thing is a fine example of the spiritual epic, in much the same vein as St. Augustine’s Confessions or Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis. We are what life makes us (no matter how hard we beat against the current, the stuff of life always wins), and I think Stephen’s “conversion,” his acceptance of himself and the multitudes he contains, allows him to move past the day-to-day-drudgery of material concerns and give voice to the poet within. And for a writer, that’s what it’s all about.

A Listening Thing
Tenth Anniversary Authorized Print Edition

With new Preface & Afterword by the Author,
Extensive New Interview & Materials
from the Original Unpublished
& Online Editions

ISBN: 978-0-9796599-3-5
232 pages. 6x9. Paper. (2011)


Jan said...

How wonderful, William!

I do hope that more people buy copies of your book...I have mine and it is terrific reading!!! I recommend this book be added to anyone's library that enjoys reading a powerful novel!

BTW...I have copy #15...yea!!!

William Michaelian said...

Thank you, Jan! I’ll never forget the kind reception you’ve given my books. It means the world to me.

Jonathan Chant said...

It's those last four lines of the review that sum up the importance of this book. Letting go and accepting is a powerful tool to carry down the road to happiness and true freedom.

Paul L. Martin said...

He nails it! I always tell you that you are a closet (out of the closet) transcendentalist, William.

William Michaelian said...

Jonathan, thank you too. I agree, and if I could change but one word, I think I would substitute human for writer — not that Curt’s choice isn’t true as it stands, because it is. But one of the lessons we learn from Stephen Monroe is that we are humans above all and before anything else. How we express ourselves blossoms with that realization.

Whatever I am, Paul, I’m lucky this book has fallen into so many good minds and hands, yours among them. And I’m ever grateful for your contribution to its pages. Your handling of the interview — where, come to think of it, you bring up this closet transcendentalism — almost makes me seem legitimate. A tall order to fill. Thanks again.

-K- said...

"A Listening Thing" deserves this wonderful review.

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Kevin. One thing I appreciate is that regardless of their scope and length, all of the comments and reviews thus far have been based on a thoughtful, considerate reading. It’s a good feeling.