I just got done listening to [http://media.nypl.org/pico_iyer_4_11_08/pico_iyer_4_11_08.mp3|Pico Iyer talking with Paul Holdengräber] as part of the "Live at the New York Public Library” series on his book The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. [w:Pico Iyer|Iyer] is an insightful speaker and has a well informed mind. He’s fascinating to listen to about His Holiness, who was a friend of his father. Iyer’s book sounds like it could be a more literary look at His Holiness and what he represents than Chan’s book (see [:node/439|below]). I’ve already put it on hold at the library. So, I’ll have more to say in a few weeks.
Holdengräber is a difficult presence in the audio, but he asks Iyer interesting questions about writing as craft, his relationship to his father and His Holiness, and the epigraphs in the book. I liked Iyer comments on how he selected the epigraphs, how he wanted to match them to the ideas he associates with His Holiness and his teachings:
I took great pains to began the book with [a quote from] Thoreau and end it with Emerson, because I’m thinking for an American audience. These are deeply American ideas. ... So what is being described in this book could be called the American religion. Thoreau said, "the happiest man alive is the man with a vast horizon.”
The interview is long, but I finished my final final for the semester last night, and thought it would be a nice distraction from cleaning and sorting papers and figuring out what I’m doing with my summer. If you’re looking for a good listen, tune in.