The Ronin : A novel based on a Zen myth by William Dale Jennings
Rutland, Vt. : Charles E. Tuttle Co., 1974. Fourth Printing. Hardcover. 159 Pages ; 19 Cm. Very Good Copy; No Underlines or Markings Within the Pages. Satisfaction Guaranteed!
THE VIOLENCE of 12th-century Japan explodes in this half-legendary, half-true story of a violent man who becomes a folk-hero.
A heartless savage, the Ronin slashes his way up from the gutter to wealth, honor, and high station. Yet, in spite of his crimes and cruelty, he bears the strange mark of destiny which the wise see and respect— even as he destroys them.
He is aghast at being blessed. In battering at this mystery of himself, the Ronin strides and stumbles through a brilliant gallimaufry of adventures that will fascinate the scholar, the mystic, and the casual reader in search of impelling diversion.
Told with irony and humor, the tale ranges from the pleasantly affable to the brutally satiric—yet it never relents in its ruthless search for one grain of truth. When the storyteller seems most detached, the reader knows that he is most profoundly involved. He hides nothing and speaks bluntly . . . yet the air of this jewel-like little tale shimmers with tantalizing riddles that will haunt the reader just as they haunted the great young beast who was a ronin, or "Wave-Tossed Man," so well known to Japanese history and legend.
In the great tradition of unflinchingly realistic Zen mysticism, this brief tale is sure to shock most readers—yet all will read it down to the last outrageous word.
. . . then come back to read it a second time.
WILLIAM DALE JENNINGS was born in Amarillo, Texas in 1917. As a youth he studied literature. Later developing an intense fascination for history, his interests have included both study and travel: to China, to study T'ai Chi; to Japan, to specialize in Zen as well as the arts of Judo, Aikido, and Cha-no-yu.
More recently, he has written exclusively for films; as a film-maker, he is expert. Speaking of his work, he says, "My brief essays into literature are by way of being vacations and solely for pleasure. The Ronin was enjoyable to write..."
William Jennings lives in Los Angeles, California, and is presently working on a sequel to this book.
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