The Teachings of Don Juan
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge was published by the University of California Press in 1968 as a work of anthropology. It was written by Carlos Castaneda and submitted as his master’s thesis in the school of anthropology. It reportedly documents the events that took place during an apprenticeship he claimed to have served with a self-proclaimed Yaqui Indian Sorcerer, don Juan Matus, between 1960 and 1965. The authenticity of the book, along with the rest of Castaneda’s series, has been a topic of debate since they were published.
The book is divided into two sections. The first section, The Teachings, is a first person narrative that documents Castaneda's initial interactions with don Juan. The second, A Structural Analysis, is an attempt, Castaneda says, at “disclos[ing] the internal cohesion and the cogency of don Juan’s Teachings.”
The 30th anniversary edition, published by the University of California Press in 1998, contains commentary by Castaneda not present in the original edition. In addition, it contains a foreword by anthropologist Walter Goldschmidt, who was a professor of anthropology at UCLA during the time the books were written, and an introduction by the author.