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My Guru and His Disciple
     

My Guru and His Disciple

by Christopher Isherwood
 

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"My Guru and His Disciple is a sweetly modest and honest portrait of Isherwood’s spiritual instructor, Swami Prabhavananda, the Hindu priest who guided Isherwood for some thirty years. It is also a book about the often amusing and sometimes painful counterpoint between worldliness and holiness in Isherwood’s own life. Sexual sprees, all-night

Overview

"My Guru and His Disciple is a sweetly modest and honest portrait of Isherwood’s spiritual instructor, Swami Prabhavananda, the Hindu priest who guided Isherwood for some thirty years. It is also a book about the often amusing and sometimes painful counterpoint between worldliness and holiness in Isherwood’s own life. Sexual sprees, all-night drinking bouts, a fast car ride with Greta Garbo, script-writing conferences at M-G-M, and intellectual sparring sessions with Bertolt Brecht alternated with nights of fasting at the Vedanta Center and a six-month period of celibacy and sobriety. Seldom has a single man been endowed with such strong drives toward both sensuality and spirituality, abandon and discipline. . . . In these pages, Isherwood has reinvented the spirit of devotion for the modern reader."  Edmund White, New York Times Book Review

"This book is a humbling tribute to someone who revealed to Isherwood inner grounds for spiritual awareness." Alan Hollinghurst, New Statesman

A major figure in twentieth-century fiction and the gay rights movement, Christopher Isherwood (1904-1986) is the author of Down There on a Visit, Lions and Shadows, A Meeting by the River, The Memorial,  Prater Violet, A Single Man, and The World in the Evening, all available from the University of Minnesota Press.

Editorial Reviews

Edmund White
My Guru and His Disciple is a sweetly modest and honest portrait of Isherwood's spiritual instructor, Swami Prabhavananda, the Hindu priest who guided Isherwood for some thirty years. It is also a book about the often amusing and sometimes painful counterpoint between worldliness and holiness in Isherwood's own life. Sexual sprees, all-night drinking bouts, a fast car ride with Greta Garbo, scriptwriting conferences at M-G-M, intellectual sparring sessions with Berthold Brecht alternated with nights of fasting at the Vedanta Center, a six-month period of celibacy and sobriety, and the pious drudgery of translating (in collaboration with the Swami) the Bhagavad-Gita. Seldom has a single man been endowed with such strong drives toward both sensuality and spirituality, abandon and discipline; out of the passionate dialectic between these drives, My Guru and His Disciple has been written. What emerges is a record of a religious adventure that would have delighted Kierkegaard, for Isherwood rejects conventional piety-all the humdrum apparatus of worship-in favor of a direct, even jaunty appreciation of how preposterous, certainly precarious, spirituality can be today... In these pages Isherwood has reinvented the spirit of devotion for the modern reader."
The New York Times Book Review
Richard Dyer
In some ways, Isherwood's most ambitious book. There is a sense of wholeness and of the joy of spiritual quest. We can believe such a believer."
The Boston Globe

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374217020
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
05/01/1980
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
338

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