Baksheesh & Brahman: Asian Journals, India

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New World Library, 2002 - Religion - 390 pages
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After ten years of intensive study of Indian art and philosophy, Joseph Campbell, at 50, finally embarked on a journey to India. Searching for the transcendent (Brahman), he found instead stark realities: growing nationalism, religious rivalry, poverty, and a prevalent culture of what he called ?baksheesh,” or alms. This journal chronicles the disillusionment and revelation that would change the course of Campbell's life and study, and his transition from professor to counterculture icon. Balancing Campbell's astute explorations of mythology and history are his often amusing observations of a sometimes frustrating alien culture and his fellow Western travelers. This account also includes personal photographs, specially commissioned maps, and illustrations redrawn from Campbell's own hand.
 

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User Review  - kencf0618 - LibraryThing

I'm a sucker for this sort of on-the-ground-at-the-time read, whether diaries or memoirs. The Cold War context rubs shoulders with archetypes here. Read full review

Contents

TRAVELS WITH SWAMI
5
KASHMIR
14
FROM NEW DELHI TO CALCUTTA
28
CALCUTTA
55
ORISSA
85
MADRAS
93
TEMPLES AND MONUMENTS
109
BOMBAY AND AURANGABAD
117
NEW DELHI
265
A GURU AND HIS DEVOTEES
269
MADRAS
287
HINDUISM
297
CHRONOLOGICAL CHART OF INDIAN ART
311
GLOSSARY
313
BIBLIOGRAPHY
319
CHAPTER NOTES
325

BOMBAY TO BANGALORE AND BACK
126
THE SPACE PLATFORM
143
AHMEDABAD AND NEW DELHI
187
DANCE TOUR WITH JEAN ERDMAN
237
BOMBAY
254
MADRAS
259
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
357
INDEX
359
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
387
ABOUT THE JOSEPH CAMPBELL FOUNDATION
389
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Jospeh Campbell was born on March 26th in 1904, in White Plains, NY. As a child in New York, Campbell became interested in Native Americans and mythology through books about American Indians and visits to the American Museum of Natural History. Campbell attended Iona, a private school in Westchester NY, before his mother enrolled him at Canterbury, a Catholic residential school in New Milford CT. He graduated from Canterbury in 1921, and the following September, entered Dartmouth College; he soon dropped out and transferred to Columbia University, where he excelled. While specializing in medieval literature, he played in a jazz band, and became a star runner. After earning a B.A. from Columbia in 1925, and receiving an M.A. in 1927 for his work in Arthurian Studies, Campbell was awarded a Proudfit Traveling Fellowship to continue his studies at the University of Paris, studying medieval French and Sanskrit in Paris and Germany. After he had received and rejected an offer to teach at his high school alma mater, his Fellowship was renewed, and he traveled to Germany to resume his studies at the University of Munich. After travelling for some time, seeing the world, he was offered a teaching position at the Canterbury School. He returned to the East Coast, where he endured an unhappy year as a Canterbury housemaster, but sold his first short story, Strictly Platonic, to Liberty magazine. Then, in 1933, he moved to Woodstock NY, where he spent a year reading and writing. In 1934, he was offered and accepted a position in the literature department at Sarah Lawrence College, a post he would retain for thirty-eight years. His first, full-length title, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, was published to acclaim and brought him numerous awards and honors, among them the National Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Contributions to Creative Literature. During the 1940s and 1950s he collaborated with Swami Nikhilananda on translations of the Upanishads and The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. Over the years, he edited The Portable Arabian Nights and was general editor of the series Man and Myth. In 1956, he was invited to speak at the State Departments Foreign Service Institute. His talks were so well-received, that he was invited back annually for the next seventeen years. In the mid-1950s, he also undertook a series of public lectures at Cooper Union in New York City; these talks drew an ever-larger, audience, and soon became a regular event. In 1985, Campbell was awarded the National Arts Club Gold Medal of Honor in Literature. Campbell wrote more than 40 books including The Hero with a Thousand Faces, The Mythic Image, and The Power of Myth with Bill Moyers, and is now considered one of the foremost interpreters of sacred tradition in modern time. Joseph Camppbell died in 1987 after a brief struggle with cancer.

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