AUTOBIOGRAPHY: Vol. II: 1937-1960, Exile's Odyssey by Mircea Eliade

AUTOBIOGRAPHY: Vol. II: 1937-1960, Exile's Odyssey

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Eliade was a profound and complex man, the author of over 50 books, including novels, plays, and short stories as well as classic and influential works in the history of religions. An admirer of his thought who is looking for a sense of the man here, however, will be disappointed: in this second volume of his autobiography, the scholar chronicles the outer facts of his life in wearying detail while seeming to hold the reader at arm's length. It is tree that Eliade makes no effort to conceal his pain as he recounts the political upheaval in his native Romania as WW II gears up. His own incarceration in a prison camp, as well as the death of his friend and mentor Nae Ionescu and many other compatriots in the Legionary movement there, marked the beginning of a ""new life""--and of 20 years of financial and professional struggle. He worked incessantly, producing many of his major works during this period, but he tells us at length about the insecurity of his situation as a refugee--frequently lacking even a table to work on--while giving us only cursory impressions of friends and colleagues, such as Carl Jung, Eugene Ionesco, George DumÉzil, and Teilhard de Chardin. It is chiefly in an ""appendix"" (which follows the first chapter) that fragments of Eliade's experience are made vivid and his sensitive, melancholy, and deeply developed character appears. For a more intimate and compelling self-portrait, turn back to Eliade's No Souvenirs (1977).

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1988
Publisher: Univ. of Chicago Press