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Reviews 149 father forced him to do just before he left the farm, he sticks pigs — thus symbolically performing the act he had witnessed. When he breaks under the strain, he stabs his wife — also a symbolic act — and flees, certain that he has committed murder. Eventually he reaches a haven of safety, a Hutterite colony, where he is accepted as he is, where he sheds his guilt, and where he returns with Jen, whom he has helped to become free of her guilt, and with the Hutterite leader who can accept him as his father was never able to do. From this story of a modern Cain emerges a strong theme of redemption and salvation. But the total novel explodes no theme, nor is it structurally taut. It’s well worth the reading, however, for Red’s story with its gripping description of his flight from St. Paul and powerful picture of the stockyard kill and for such delightful scenes as the one which encapsulates academic life in a 12 page account of a faculty party Alan attends. The thinly-veiled portraits of many Minneapolitans of the time, the accounts of events such as a goon squad attack on a picket line, and of popular pastimes like riverbanking all contribute to the reader’s enjoyment if not, in most instances, to the movement of the novel as a whole. BEATRICE K. MORTON, Darby, Montana The Don Juan Papers. By Richard de Mille. (Santa Barbara: Ross-Erickson Publishers, 1980. 519 pages, $8.95.) This is a follow-up volume to de Mille’s Castaneda’s Journey (1976), and pretty nearly completes the author’s debunking of Carlos Castaneda. There are forty-three essays collected here, and nearly half of them are written by de Mille, a good indication of the strength of his motivation. He apparently has devoted a good portion of the past several years to tracking Castaneda, ferreting out his sources, and developing a watertight expose, and the result, curiously, is something like overkill. De Mille is absolutely relentless: he seems to desire nothing less than for Castaneda to come forward, admit everything, and then grovel. There are two contributions to The Don Juan Papers, however, which transcend this level of attention and address more important questions than the authenticity of don Juan or the tricksterism of Carlos. Paul Riesman and Barbara Myerhoff, both anthropologists of repute, examine themselves and their own early responses to Castaneda’s work with pene­ trating and instructive honesty. Riesman’s essay is a meditation on belief and on the coercive power of paradigms, and is one of the few really valuable studies of the deeper aspects of the don Juan question. Myerhoff, who was a close friend of Castaneda’s at UCLA, suggests the personal, 150 Western American Literature inner dimension of both his travail and his creativity. Although being inter­ viewed by de Mille, she resolutely avoids simple debunking. She seems to know what is important here and what is not, and her fellow-feeling for Castaneda makes this interview — in contrast wth much of the rest of the book, I must add — a human document. Both Riesman and Myerhoff seem to be following a path with heart. THOMAS J. LYON, Utah State University Incident at Eagle Ranch: Aian and Predator in the American West. By Donald G. Schueler. (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1980. 297 pages, $12.95.) Unremitting war on large predators is a western tradition. In a harsh pastoral landscape, anything threatening the flocks or herds must be exterm­ inated. When the West was almost totally pastoral or wild, when human control over the landscape was slight and human survival was indeed in doubt, such a tradition produced acceptable results. But now the balance has swung to the other extreme. The question is not whether humans will survive in the West, but whether any natural western landscape will survive. In this new context, traditions must be reconsidered. Donald Schueler has written a balanced, carefully reasoned examination of our relationship with the major large predators in the West — eagles, coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions. In the proccss, he has extended his exami­ nation into the broader environmental questions stemming from...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 149-150
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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