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Boyhood with Gurdjieff

Peters, Fritz

63 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0140035354 / ISBN 13: 9780140035353
Published by Penguin Books, Baltimore MD, 1972
Soft cover
From Ed Buryn Books (Nevada City, CA, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since April 10, 2008

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About this Item

Vivid portrait of four years with Gurdjieff. Solid clean reading copy of PB 1st. 176 pp Good unmarked, light shelfwear & rubbing. MM paperback in white illus wraps. Bookseller Inventory # 28518

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Boyhood with Gurdjieff

Publisher: Penguin Books, Baltimore MD

Publication Date: 1972

Binding: Soft cover

Edition: 1st printing..

About this title


Introduction and Afterword by William Patrick Patterson. Long out of print, this special hardcover reissue of Fritz Peters' account of his five years with G.I. Gurdjieff ranks among the classics of Gurdjieffian literature. Only 11 years old when his aunt, Margaret Anderson, brought him to the Prieuré in June 1924, he immediately became devoted to Gurdjieff. Within weeks, however, Gurdjieff suffered a near fatal car crash. During his recovery the young boy became his "chair carrier." Other tasks included mowing the château's great lawns, kitchen boy, waiter and gatekeeper. He also was to clean Gurdjieff's room, no small task as Gurdjieff delighted in wrecking it. Peters was among the few to whom Gurdjieff gave individual lessons on the teaching. An acute observer and talented writer, Peters' crisp images and scenes, often hilarious, give a rare look at what life was like at Gurdjieff's Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man. Peters' interactions with Miss Madison (Ethel Merston), Rachmilevitch, and Gurdjieff's dog Philos, as well as A. R. Orage and Gertrude Stein are quite telling. Said the writer Henry Miller of Peters' book, "It's full of amazing anecdotes and the wisdom of life."

From the Inside Flap:

Fritz Peters, only eleven years old, arrived at the Château du Prieuré in Avon, France, in June 1924. He left five years later in October 1929. In that short time, this highly intelligent and precocious boy received experiences and impressions that would literally last a lifetime, for the Prieuré was the center of the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man, created two years earlier by G. I. Gurdjieff, who had brought an ancient teaching which he rediscovered and reformulated for contemporary times.

Peters was the nephew and ward of two of Mr. Gurdjieff's earliest American students, Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap, who brought him to the Prieuré. They were the editors of the Little Review , the avant-garde literary magazine of that day. Put to work mowing the great lawns of the château, working in the kitchen, serving Gurdjieff and cleaning his room, the young boy found himself in a world of such notable spiritual seekers as Thomas and Olga de Hartmann, Jeanne de Salzmann, A.R. Orage, Maurice Nicoll and Ethel Merston. He met writers and artists such as Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce and Brancusi. Seeing the boy's pluck and intelligence, Gurdjieff appointed him as his "chair-carrier" and personally introduced him to the fundamental concepts and perspectives of The Fourth Way.

Though many aspects of Gurdjieff were an enigma to Peters, He saw Gurdjieff as essentially "strong, honest, direct, uncomplicated - an entirely 'no-nonsense' individual." His account of these days has an unusual depth and clarity that makes it a classic of spiritual literature, giving a unique and heartfelt evocation of what it was like to spend one's boyhood with one of the seminal spiritual masters of the 20th century.

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