ABOUT THIS BOOK
More an eloquent chronicle of the mind's life than a recital of daily routine, this volume of Mircea Eliade's journal offers a remarkably candid portrait of a renowned scholar and his work. The entries—full of marvelous ideas, outlines for works never written, responses to the works of others, and much more—reveal many rarely glimpsed sides of the private, as well as public, man. What did he really think of the students who came to him for instruction in black magic? What were his private reflections on feminism, student drug use, the sexual revolution, the nature of American scholars and scholarship? Who were his best friends, why did he enjoy their company, and why did he shun the company of others?
Quite apart from the personal, biographical interest the journal holds, it is a document of cultural and intellectual significance. Eliade remarks on such colleagues and friends as Jung, Dumézil, Ricoeur, Bellow, and Ionesco. Moreover, the period covered encompasses Eliade's most active years as a teacher, and the journal beautifully reflects his developing views on religion, history, and the nature of academic culture. Bits and pieces of Eliade's past life are juxtaposed with thoughts about ongoing projects and work yet to be undertaken as well as with anecdotes of his travels and comments on world events.
A genuine treat for Eliade readers and those interested in history of religions, Journal III provides new perspectives on many of Eliade's other works—the History of Religious Ideas, Ordeal by Labyrinth, the Autobiography. At the same time the journal is a mature scholar's record of the aftermath of the 1960s, a turbulent period that profoundly affected American university life. As such, these writings hold valuable insights into not only the life and work of one man but also the cultural history of an entire era.