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The Beauty of the PrimitiveShamanism and Western Imagination$
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Andrei A. Znamenski

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195172317

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172317.001.0001

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 Anthropology, Castaneda's Healing Fiction, and Neo‐shamanism Print Culture

 Anthropology, Castaneda's Healing Fiction, and Neo‐shamanism Print Culture

Chapter:
(p.205) 6 Anthropology, Castaneda's Healing Fiction, and Neo‐shamanism Print Culture
Source:
The Beauty of the Primitive
Author(s):

Andrei A. Znamenski

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172317.003.0006

Carlos Castaneda's first book, The Teachings of Don Juan, and two subsequent texts were described as anthropological accounts, which gave them credibility. Coming straight from the Sonoran Desert, Castaneda's ethnographic accounts could easily appear to readers to be authentic anthropology. The fact that Castaneda refused to specify the identity of his characters brought an intrigue to his plots. Readers of his books were left free to exercise their imaginations or to look around for cultural and individual parallels with Castaneda's characters and settings. Castaneda and Don Juan became attractive cultural and intellectual models, which inspired at least some spiritual seekers to replicate their experiences.

Keywords:   Carlos Castaneda, The Teachings of Don Juan, anthropology, shamanism, print culture

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