disaster-ridden. Neither admits of the uncontrollable, and both avoid it. Towards the end of the text of Journey, the following dialogue takes place, Castaneda first. “I can’t believe that this is possible!” I exclaimed. Don Juan took my statement literally and scolded me. He said he was tired of my acting as an ultimately important being that has to be given proof over and over that the world is unknown and marvellous. 1 tried to explain that a rhetorical exclamation had no significance. He retorted that if that were true I could have chosen another statement. His recommendation was that I should not have remorse for anything I had done, because to isolate one’s acts as being mean, or ugly, or evil was to place an unwarranted importance on the self. Castaneda lowers somewhat his resistance to such teachings and ends up knowing enough about the techniques of power to allOw him to “see” on his own. He turns, even so, from use of the power. “I knew it was not my time, yet,” is the way he ends the book. DON JUAN HAS even imported a jester, don Genaro, to entice the reluctant Castaneda into his first independent step with power. The Indian tries flattery, bullying, shaming and stupefying his subject into free vision. We never witness the result. The teachings bear a vague similarity to existentialism but don Juan wouldn’t knowledge” was thus compressed into a French variant of “to be.” The European formula might appeal to Castaneda, however, though surely no form of words 24 The Texas Observer could be as seductive as the sight of “the lines that hold the world together” in a desert sunset, which the narrator permits himself to have in the chapter called “Stopping the World.” THUS PERHAPS because of the book’s presentation as non-fiction, it is much more unbelievable than had it been offered as fabrication. Castaneda’s attempt to sequester power for the self to exercise founders, for him, on the question “What is the power for?” Don Juan is not troubled with scruples on the point. It makes him serene, that is what it is for. He will be able to perform an exquisitely long dance before the shadow of death, which one day will move from its resting place on his left shoulder` to a full-front freeze. Don Juan’s miracles attract Castaneda’s interest more than the option to perform Why in hell don’t you socialists quit arguing about your various brands and go all out for a dictatorship? That’s where it all ends up anyway. H. Brown, Idalou, Tex. Needs teacher Is Michael Anderson one of those veterans getting O.J.T. at government expense? Has he ever been to high school? I can recommend two good English teachers here in town. One is at Travis High School. I wish I could remember her name. Another is John Henry Faulk. A breezy, informal style is fine but he’s all breezy informality, no thought. Did he study language non-art in Washington D.C.? I understand the policy there for language is to obscure, not clarify. The review of the gardening book and the Oxford E.D. were better than the others, but slightly slap-happy.. . Ms. Robert C. Ryland, 411 Krebs Lane, Austin, Tex. 78704. such miracles himself, but Castaneda has since found the acquisition of personal power to be useful \(see December Psychology Today, where he basks in the gaze of uninitiates seeking to be . . . handed? given? enlightenment? Or just see last week’s Castaneda may be in the game for its usufructs, but don Juan is undeniably complete. He might be playing with Carlos, but he’s not playing with spirits. The fact of a cult is no comment upon lie beauty of the idol; neither would corruption in the high priest add or detract from it. Don Juan deflates Castaneda far more effectively than I have, which is one thing in his favor. Another is that don Juan is no “mystic” in the popular usage: He’s far more tough-minded than many cost-accountants and most sociologists. You can skip Carlos a lot as you read. Dialogue something like “pear dee-em.” “J.F.” is, if nothing else, thoroughly modern in his preference, since Webster’s Second Unabridged gives only “purdime,” while the more recent Third gives “pear dee-em” “sometimes purdime” \(again,. in a more This testy reader would also insist On “purdime” for a phrase which is now completely English \(and granted the fact that nobody knows how the Romans successfully to satirize the speech habits of others, one needs to be very sure of his own. Hugh Kirkpatrick, 1117 Linden Drive, Denton, Tex. 76201. Show them in Mo. A message from Idalou Corrected With reference to “J.F.” ‘s “Half-loaves a puzzled and slightly vexed comment on the following passage: … The House listened to arguments about enabling working folks to serve, heard periodic bulletins from Rep. Fred Agnich’s pocket calculator on the projected total costs, and finally voted to keep the $50 purdime, as they insisted on calling it. A testy reader of middle age, such as I, would like to point out that “purdime” is traditional, Anglicized phrase as it has been pronounced in both British and American English for hundreds of years; I am imagining that “J.F.” would prefer currently working on an MA in Journalism at the University of Missouri, I have found the Observer valuable in many ways. Unfortunately, one of those values implies a negative commentary toward the Texas Legislature. My MA is in legislative reporting, and my fellow-members of the Capitol press corps in Jefferson City are constantly amazed at what goes on in the name of the “public interest” in the Missouri General Assembly. Until they read about the Texas Legislature. Therefore, if for no reason other than to remind us how well off we are, please keep the Observer coining. Columbia, Mo. 65201.
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