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

Andrei A. Znamenski

in The Beauty of the Primitive

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780195172317
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199785759 | DOI:
  Anthropology, Castaneda's Healing Fiction, and Neo‐shamanism Print Culture

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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

Chapter.  12365 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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