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Book Review


(Muller 30s.)

Review by D.M.M.

Studies in Comparative Religion, Vol. 2, No. 2. (Spring, 1968) © World Wisdom, Inc.

Kathryn Hulme's lively and very readable autobiography has as its underlying theme the impact made on her by G. I. Gurdjieff between 1930 and his death in 1949. This in the end led her to enter the Roman Catholic Church in the belief that there she could best hope to bring to fruition what she had painfully learned from one whose memory she still venerates. Evidently the spate of books about Gurdjieff which began at his death is not yet ended. None of them give an account of his life prior to 1915; his own book on this period does not pretend to give historical facts. But the Institute he set up at Fontainebleau in 1922 brought a great many people into contact with him and many books have given impressions of him between that time and his death. It is claimed that he was always acting a part designed to produce a particular, usually cathartic, effect on the person he was dealing with at the moment; perhaps this helps to explain why the pictures of him differ so widely leaving the man and his teaching an enigma. He seems likely always to remain so at any rate to those who never studied with him.