Archive for July 2nd, 2007

I recently posted my first ever GoodReads review and I really like their system. It is better than Listal because of the unique focus on books. Listal remains a great place for movies and such, but GoodReads is better for books. Here is my first ever  GoodReads review of Beelzebub’s Tales:

Beelzebub’s Tales is a massive 1200 page epic which is equivalent to de Toqueville’s Democracy in America in scope and practice. Gurdjeiff writes Beelzebub as an extraterrestrial astronaut who describes his experience with the strange and illogical inhabitants on the planet Earth. He describes every facet of human life and even details the odd beliefs held by specific cultures. Written in a style which prevents passive reading, it is a difficult volume to read through but truly rewarding and worth the effort.

One example which stood out was Beelzebub’s description of the need of every American to go to Europe and how they romanticize over Paris and other European cities. The most hilarious portion of this example is Beelzebub’s conversation with an American in Paris who is teaching American tourists how to dance the foxtrot. This particular American was unable to be successful in his business teaching Americans how to dance the foxtrot in New York… but because everyone wanted to go back to the US after traveling in Paris and tell their friends that they learned the foxtrot in France, this entrepreneur was making tons of money.

There are more tidbits of wisdom, humor, insightfulness and advice throughout the epic than can ever be divulged in a short review. In fact, Gurdjeiff’s closest pilgrims do not initiate discussion about Beelzebub’s Tales because the experience that each individual has with the book is considered beyond language, and it truly is. 

The first book in Gurdjeiff’s All and Everything series, his goal in the writing of this book was to remove all the many years of false experiences and hardened opinions of potential readers. I can definitely exclaim that his goal was actualized in this work. 

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