Monday, August 15, 2011

Novelist reviews Moore's Dark Nights of the Soul

Branka Cubrilo's review of Dark Nights of the Soul: A Guide to Finding Your Way through Life's Ordeals by Thomas Moore summarizes the approach in this book about melancholia and difficult times while introducing some of the people Moore references:

"Throughout the book the author speaks from his personal life experiences, he skillfully uses stories from literature, mythology and art to present the reader with the ever-present theme throughout the history of mankind – the struggle with dark nights of the soul in order to grow emotionally, mentally and eventually spiritually. Throughout the entire book, Moore uses beautiful parables, metaphors and archetypes which make it easy to find mementos of one’s own life and identify with them. He evokes some of the important figures of the dark night of the soul, like poets Rainer Maria Rilke, Emily Dickinson, Anne Sexton, Wallace Stevens, authors Oscar Wilde, the Marquis de Sade, Samuel Beckett and painter Frida Kahlo. The author includes examples of distressing films and mysteries, even the stories by Zen teachers and Sufi masters as allies during the period of dark nights."

Cubrilo associates Moore's descriptions of psychics and astrologers with New Age pop psychology and regards these as less serious topics "in some parts in direct opposition to what he was brilliantly portraying earlier through the concepts of Greek mythology and the rich Christian tradition." Cubrilo is a novelist, short story writer and a journalist.

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