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MISTER TIMELESS BLYTH: R.H. Blyth’s Life of Zen and Haiku, Bridging East and West
by Alan Spence

MISTER TIMELESS BLYTH: R.H. Blyth’s Life of Zen and Haiku, Bridging East and West by Alan Spence

Lovers of Haiku, Zen and Japan will find this new novel truly inspiring!

An extraordinary man at a crucial time and place.

Imprisoned during World War I as a conscientious objector and interned during World War II as an enemy alien, Reginald Horace Blyth was a poet, a scholar, a musician, a linguist and a student of Zen who ultimately became a teacher to the emperor. His pivotal works were published in Japan even during his internment.

Blyth ultimately became the key link and mediator between the Imperial Household and the occupying American forces, whom many credit with saving Japan from chaos after the war. His fingerprints are everywhere today in the study of Zen, Haiku and Japanese culture, and his work has influenced some of the most important writers of the 20th century—including Huxley, Oshi, Aiken, Watts, Salinger, Kerouac, Ginsberg and others. He was, in many ways, a man who changed the world! Mister Timeless Blyth is his story.

Written in the form of an autobiographical novel filled with Zen and poetry, this book recounts a life of hard work, books and music, of spiritual questing, and of learning to be at peace with one’s self and one’s choices. It celebrates a man who built bridges between East and West for the greater part of his lifetime. Through it, we understand someone who moved through life with a sense of purpose, warmth and humor and left a mark that was very distinct indeed.

Alan Spence is an award-winning poet, playwright, novelist and short story writer. He has been named Scottish Writer of the Year and was awarded the People’s Prize and Spirit of Scotland Award. He is Professor Emeritus in Creative Writing at Aberdeen University, and from 2017 to 2021 was Edinburgh Makar (Poet Laureate to the City). In 2018 he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun from the Government of Japan. With his wife Janani he runs the Sri Chinmoy Meditation Centre in Edinburgh.