Books: I, Prodigy

AUTOBIOGRAPHY: VOL. I, 1907-1937, JOURNEY EAST, JOURNEY WEST

by Mircea Eliade

Translated by Mac Linscott Ricketts

Harper & Row; 335 pages; $17.95

At 74, Mircea Eliade remains one of the world's great authorities on the myths and symbols of religion. Teaching and writing (more than 50 books), he has always had a sympathetic ear for the exotic, and even erotic, spiritual quests of the young. In this candid autobiography, covering his first 30 years, the historian portrays himself as a scapegrace whose enormous appetite for life embraced both the intellectual and the sensual.

Eliade was born in Bucharest,...

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