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Momo, Dogen, and the Commodification of Time

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 The children's fantsasy novel Momo, by Michael Ende, contains profound insights into our modern attitude toward time. This essay explores the resonances between Ende's view of time in Momo and the Buddhist perspective on time, particularly as expressed by the Soto Zen master Dogen. Understanding what Ende and Dogen have to say about time helps us understand the commodified way we experience time today.  The odd thing was, no matter how much time he saved, he never had any to spare; in some mysterious way, it simply vanished. Imperceptibly at first, but then quite unmistakably, his days grew shorter and shorter. (Momo 65)

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