Into the Dreamtime

Hans Peter Duerr. Dreamtime: Concerning the Boundary Between Wilderness and Civilization. Basil Blackwell, 1985.
An examination of the night-rides of witches after rubbing themselves with certain salves, leads Duerr into a discussion of a wide variety of rites and experiences through which a given culture's boundaries are broken; and to a further philosophical discussion of the validity of the experiences of other cultures and states of consciousness. The role of woman as being on the boundary between civilization and wilderness is one theme, another is that of the initiate who must enter the wilderness in order to be truly civilized on his return.
The use of a wide variety of diverse customs to illustrate a point is in the tradition of Fraser, and seems dubious, and Duerr has apparently been subject to severe criticism on this and other points. Frequent quotes from Castaneda do not add to one's feelings of confidence. It should be noted that of 462 pages in this book, only 133 are text, the rest being footnotes and bibliography.
Peter Rogerson, from Magonia 23, July 1986

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