Michael N. McGregor, Pure Act: The Uncommon Life of Robert Lax, (New York: Fordham University Press), 2015.
Like so many others I first learned of Robert Lax in Thomas Merton's "Seven Story Mountain." Unlike McGregor, I never took time to get to know anything more about him. This biography, however, is wonderful. It tells the story of his uncommon life with deep respect and admiration for this unique poet and presence. He took the time and did the travels to get to know Lax before his death and then invested great energy in producing a complete book.
The biography is a pleasure to read in part because Lax is such a fascinating character. It affords plenty of opportunities to think philosophically and consider the deeper meanings of life and art and faith. Like Merton, Lax took the step of converting to the Roman Catholic faith. Unlike Merton, Lax never formally joined a monastery, preferring instead to chart his own journey of simple living. The result was a life lived honestly without excessive consumption.
This is a biography to which I will return for inspiration. Furthermore, it is a book that has started me down the road of a new literary journey. Before I even finished the book I ordered a copy of Lax's "33 Poems" as a way to get to know him and his art better.