Carlos Castaneda | Critical Essay by Benjamin Epstein

This literature criticism consists of approximately 5 pages of analysis & critique of Carlos Castaneda.
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Critical Review by Robert Peters

SOURCE: "A Whole World of Eagle Emanations," in Los Angeles Times Book Review, May 6, 1984, p. 1.

[In the following review of The Fire From Within, Peters, a poet and critic teaching at University of California at Irvine, finds Castaneda's writing and ideas dated.]

In the mid-'70s, Castaneda taught at UC Irvine. Students seeking new highs clamored for his classes. Graduate students reported Eternal Illumination when they stripped and lay all night under brush in the Santa Monica Mountains. "Far out!" I exclaimed, in the lingo of the day. Better to have listened to Bach or Vivaldi, to have read Milton or Yeats, or sat lotus-fashion, staring at your navel or at a rose.

The early Castaneda books seemed like warmed-over 19th-Century transcendentalism, easy hippie philosophies, a mindless floating off toward celestial peyote highs. There was also an alluring return to...

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This section contains 538 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Carlos Castaneda