A Pause on the Path

Ronald Silvers, Author Temple University Press $24.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-87722-559-1
A record of the author's trips to a Buddhist village in Tibet between 1983 and 1985, this collection of black-and-white photographs and descriptive prose was assembled to ``provide a sense of the movement of a journey,'' capturing ``an arrested movement between / a gesture completed and a gesture to come.'' Silvers' prose observes fleeting moments from his itinerary, rather than tracing narrative continuity, and his photographs mean to build a rhythm, not follow a straight line. The volume, however, falls short of this concept. Photographs depict dwellings, faces, landscapes and religious ceremonies quite straightforwardly while words swoon over epiphanies (``Iridescence; / the mood of mind returns''). Silvers, who teaches at the University of Toronto, fails to marry his mystical and documentary impulses or reveal the elusive truths he seeks. And, though he expresses deep curiosity in a foreign land, his perspective at times seems oddly clouded by cultural assumptions. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1988
Release date: 11/01/1988
Genre: Nonfiction
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