cover image The Dream-Hunters of Corsica

The Dream-Hunters of Corsica

Rudolf Steiner, Dorothy Carrington. Trafalgar Square Publishing, $29.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-297-81260-9

Corsica's unique occult inheritance, descended from the Megalithic cult of the dead, is threatening to disappear. So says Carrington, whose Granite Island: A Portrait of Corsica, won the Heinemann Award in 1971, and who here speculates eloquently on that inheritance's decline in the wake of the island's prosperity following WWII. Although much of the material presented here dates from the 1950s, Carrington meets her aim--to define and set down the islander's waning beliefs. Discussed in particular are the ways of the mazzeri, whose dreams predict illness and death; the ways of the signadori, or guardians of village life; the ways of the benandanti, who act deliberately to ensure prosperity; and the Evil Eye, vampires and sorcery. Also covered is the island's fatalistic form of Christianity, in which free will has little place, since Corsicans believe, like the mazzeri, that lives are programmed from birth. This is an engaging and useful resource for travelers and folklorists. Photos; map. (Nov.)