Simply as literary items, the Don Juan books have a separate, altogether dislocating reality -- meticulous scholarship as...

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JOURNEY TO IXTLAN: The Lessons of Don Juan

Simply as literary items, the Don Juan books have a separate, altogether dislocating reality -- meticulous scholarship as the vehicle for a vision that can't be fixed in space and time, much less brought under analysis; a solemn initiation in which Castaneda is as much Don Juan's victim and straight man as his disciple. There is something for everyone in a mix so unlikely that the fascination seems inexhaustible, and it holds through this third and, we are given to understand, last volume of the series. Whereas Castaneda had focused previously on psychotropic drugs as the only avenue to Yaqui enlightenment, he has now progressed to the point of ""stopping the world"" and ""seeing"" without them. The new awareness calls for a reconsideration of his earlier experiences and reinstatement of notes previously considered marginal and edited out. Consequently much of this retraces old ground with a new emphasis and goes on to end in a spot which may (or may not) be unexpected. The supernaturalism is if anything more problematical and disquieting without drugs for a rationale, and the margin for skepticism is perhaps broader than before. But the view from that margin will still be irresistible to many, the main reason being Don Juan himself. ""There is something very chintzy in you,"" he says, "". . .it cuts you down to a crappy size."" How can you resist a guru who talks like that?

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1972

ISBN: 0671732463

Page Count: -

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1972