(MATTHIESSEN, Peter). CASTANEDA, Carlos
The Teachings of Don Juan and A Separate Reality
Berkeley/NY, University of California/Simon & Schuster, (1971). The third printing of the first title and the first printing of the second title in Castaneda's series of books about the mythical Yaqui Indian shaman, don Juan Matus. Castaneda's first three books were written as a student of anthropology at the University of California, and all of the don Juan books were taken as nonfiction until skeptics began questioning them in 1976, by which time Castaneda had already disappeared from view. The books were originally considered to be groundbreaking, in that they posited for the first time a coherent, systematized, and still living, body of spiritual beliefs and practices among Native American tribes, something that had not been done before. Peter Matthiessen was once quoted to the effect that had there been an established, coherent practice of a "Native American way" he might have chosen that over the "Zen way" that he did choose, if only because of its origin being closer to his own. Both of these copies from the library of Peter Matthiessen and bearing his ownership signature and his underlinings and notations throughout. In the second volume, in particular, his annotations tend to note similarities between don Juan's insights as a Yaqui shaman and perspectives derived from Zen and other Oriental philosophical systems. Matthiessen had read these books shortly before the trip he recounts in The Snow Leopard, and in various sections of that book he spends time commenting on, and speculating about, the similarities between Tibetan and Native American cultures. Very good copies, each lacking their dust jacket. [#032401] $1,000
All books are first printings of first editions or first American editions unless otherwise noted.