cover image The Dance of Reality: A Psychomagical Autobiography

The Dance of Reality: A Psychomagical Autobiography

Alejandro Jodorowsky, trans. from the Spanish by Ariel Godwin. Inner Traditions/Park Street, $24.95 trade paper (418p) ISBN 978-1-62055-281-0

Beginning his unorthodox autobiography in Chile, where he grew up as the child of Russian Jews in exile, writer and filmmaker Jodorowsky sketches the squalor and desperation of his birthplace. It's here that the foundations of his spiritual liberation are laid in opposition to the violent deaths and poverty that surround him, as well as the brutal sadism of his father. His artistic pursuits from poetry to dance to theater, are also the pursuit of mystical understanding. As with his films (El Topo, The Holy Mountain), his style is vivid and dramatic, rich with symbolism. While his narrative concentrates on relatively few events, by this editing and highlighting he creates a tapestry that is both linear and complex. The author manages to craft scenes of intense surrealism while never losing sight of the human experiences of love, loss, fear, and wonder. The final chapters focus on how his ideas about creativity that he calls "psychomagic" can be actualized; for him, art is a means of freedom from what he calls "the prison of the rational." (June)