Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins was the second book that I read in English (the first one was The Future Shock by Alvin Toffler). Robbins’ style helped me fall in love with English. It was a long time ago (late 80s). Now the guy has come out (reluctantly) with a memoir, Tibetan Peach Pie. Here’s an excerpt from a recent interview.
Tom Robbins: “What I’ve learned along the way is that existence is cosmic theatre, but paradoxically, we should play our roles to the absolute best of our ability while having the wisdom not to take them too seriously.”
RL: “Would you call yourself a cynic?”
TR: “Basically I agree with the existentialists, but the difference between me and, say, Camus and Sartre is that I don’t let it snow on my fiesta.”
Crazy wisdom, originally a Tibetan concept, according to Robbins is “the opposite of conventional wisdom.” Viewed as such, all wisdom is crazy since all wisdom is a non-cliche pattern break. Crazy wisdom is half-asleep enlightenment in frog pajamas…
Reference: interview with Tom Robbins by Rob Liguori, The New York Times Magazine, May 2014