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The Museum of the Dignified and the Beautiful

Zhenzan Dao (formerly Daniel Villasenor)

ISBN 10: 1633182959 / ISBN 13: 9781633182950
Published by Epicene Press, 2014
Condition: Very Good
From Better World Books (Mishawaka, IN, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Museum of the Dignified and the ...

Publisher: Epicene Press

Publication Date: 2014

Book Condition:Very Good

Edition: 1st.

About this title

Synopsis:

THE MUSEUM OF THE DIGNIFIED AND THE BEAUTIFUL defies classification: it is at once a fable, a poetic meditation on creativity, a realistic drama, an anti-heroic saga, and a portrait of the artist as a young woman, this last being perhaps the most salient theme of the book. In modern Italy, an old man climbs a mountain of historical (World War I) importance, in the depth of winter, to redeem his unprepossessing life. In the aftermath of this all-but-insane endeavor, there ensues an unlikely triangle of friendship between the old man, a young, soulful nurse who cares for him, and a boy thief. The author himself is also a character in the story, as the fragile threads between reality and fiction become a testimony to the mystery of the imagination.

About the Author:

Zhenzan Dao holds an MFA in creative writing (poetry) from the university of Arizona, where he also earned a minor in modern dance. He has been a Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University, during which time he began writing fiction. During his twenties and well into his thirties he was severely challenged by debilitating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, from which he entirely cured himself with the Eastern healing arts. His unique assumption of these arts would eventually become the tradition of MogaDao, his original contribution to the disciplines of yoga, qigong, gongfu, and meditation. His first novel, THE LAKE, was published by Penguin in 2000, under the name Daniel Villasenor. His second novel, THE MUSEUM OF THE DIGNIFIED AND THE BEAUTIFUL, written over the course of twelve years, was published in October of 2014 by Zhenzan Dao's own press, Epicene Press. After the Stegner Fellowship, he declined a Jones Lectureship in creative writing at Stanford, and a career in academia, in order to devote himself to learning the arts of farriery (horseshoeing) and blacksmithing in Montana and Wyoming, and to gain for himself, by virtue of that vocation, the independence necessary to travel regularly to China to train intensively in qigong and the martial arts. For 12 years he earned his living as a farrier and horse trainer. More recently, he has founded the aforementioned tradition of MogaDao, an original tradition of sacred physical practice based in the Eastern arts of yoga, qigong, gongfu, meditation, and Daoist philosophy. A major portion of Zhenzan Dao s adult life has been spent overseas, living and writing in diverse regions of Italy, and training in sacred practice disciplines in the Orient. His sensibility is informed rather equally by the cultures of antique China, Neo-Platonic Renaissance Italy, and Homeric, Presocratic Greece, and these influences pervade every aspect of his writing, whether it be in fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. Beginning in the autumn of 2014, Zhenzan Dao entered a period of devout silence, a cessation of all speaking, and an abstinence from the Internet entirely, in order to practice undividedly and to complete several novels, expositional texts on sacred practice and Daoist philosophy, and to reunite with the sacrament of the composition of poetry. His silence does not have a definitive projected end, but will certainly continue until the beginning of 2016, and perhaps extend longer.

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