The Gifts of Burning Man
Pub Date :
Edition(s) at Erowid :
FROM THE EROWID REVIEW #
- Review by Jon Hanna, 2009 Aug 12
A gem from my favorite poet-author, Inspired Madness: The Gifts of Burning Man by Dale Pendell offers an excellent introduction for the curious virgin, while providing enough insight to stir a longing desire for pilgrimage in the most jaded, dust-encrusted veteran burner. [...] it contains no photographs, but is sprinkled instead with whimsically potent line drawings--art that captures the heart of the event like no other art I have seen.. . . (more)
EROWID REVIEW #Dale's book attempts the difficult job of capturing the essence of Burning Man in a few lines of text on paper. For those who have been there, you know how difficult that can be. For those who haven't, Inspired Madness is about as good of a description as you'll find of the more adventurous sides of life at Burning Man. Art, sex, friendship, drugs, music, creativity...Dale covers it all with his appropriately disjointed prose, poetry, and storytelling. After reading it I feel more than a little like I've just returned from the playa.
BACK COVER #"If you are talking to a potential date for next year's burn, you can say, 'It's oan orgy of sex and drugs.' If you're talking to your mother, you say, 'Oh, it's ... kind of an arts festival, Mom.' If you're talking to brainy radical types, you mumble something about 'anarchism' or 'an experiment in alternative social organization.'"
-- Excerpt from Inspired Madness
No festival is as notorious as Burning Man, a celebration of art, eccentricity, and free speech in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. Inspired Madness--a mingling of poetry, memoir, and sociological observation--is an irreverent introduction for the curious and an exhilarating reminiscence for veteran "burners".
BLURBS #"Dale Pendell's account...confirms the gaiety and sprightly insights of our free human community, naked or clothed, muddy, dusty, clustered or solitary, sharing and being. Is this old-time paganism or a hint of some future utopia? For sure it's in the present moment and Dale brings it down to hearts and minds."
-- Gary Snyder, poet
"Like everything, it's all in the sensibilities, and Dale's are acute, perceptive, funny, profound, twisted, and decidedly anarchic. If that's you, you're holding a treat in your hand. If not, go back to Scarsdale and have a gin and tonic."
-- Peter Coyote, actor, author of Sleeping Where I Fall
"Bravo! Viva! Whoopee! I found it to be one of the page-turningest philosophical travelogues ever."
-- Rob Brezsny, astrologer, burner, author of Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia