Boating in the Territory


111 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 1-895092-43-4
DDC C813'.54






Reviewed by Matt Hartman

Matt Hartman is a freelance editor and cataloguer, running Hartman Cataloguing, Editing and Indexing Services.


“When you are in the Territory you’ll see its form and its
emptiness; not just one, not just the other, not even both of them both
together or neither of either one. Form is only emptiness, emptiness
only form; form is no other than emptiness, emptiness no other than
form. The Territory simply is, just this, just that.”

The author’s personal mixture of Zen and cosmology is a kind of cross
between The Cloud of Unknowing and Through the Looking Glass. To call
this book fantasy would be to present it with a literary form the
pseudonymous author probably did not intend. But what does one call a
word-tripping excursion into an imaginary world? Here pirates play with
Tarot cards; taxi drivers “are like the part of you that can jump from
one level and land on the next without a bridge or a safety net.”

Boating in this particular territory is a trip inside a mind, and
whether or not it is your mind hardly seems to matter in the end, nor
does it seem important even to embark on the trip: “I have no
credibility,” says the author/boater.

“So see what’s what and what’s not for yourself; you don’t need
me to tell you what you do ... I’m not really speaking at all, you
see, so if my words strike a c[h]ord in you and help you remember,
forget about me, look out to sea, it’s only the sound of the wind that
you hear giving voice to the Territory.”

A quirky addition for public library collections.


Yak, Bonzai., “Boating in the Territory,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 15, 2024,