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The Way to the Labyrinth
Memories of East and West
by Alain Daniélou, Marie-Claire Cournand
About The Book
An authority of Hinduism and renowned for his directorship of the Institute of Comparative Music Studies based in Berlin and Venice, Alain Daniélou is also an accomplished pianist, dancer, player of the Indian vînâ, painter, linguist and translator, photographer and world traveler. To these attainments he has added The Way to the Labyrinth — as vivid, uninhibited, and wide-ranging a memoir as one is ever likely to encounter, now translated and published in English for the first time.
Born of a haute-bourgeoise French family — his mother an ardent Catholic who founded a religious order, his father an anticlerical leftwing politician who served as a minister under Aristide Briand, his older brother a priest who became a cardinal — Daniélou spent a solitary childhood in the country. Escaping from his family milieu, he went to Paris where he fell in with avant-garde, bohemian, sexually liberated circles, among whose luminaries were Cocteau, Diaghilev, Max Jacob, and Maurice Sachs. But all along, however ferevently he plunged into various activities, he felt some other destiny awaited him. After a number of journeys, some of them highly adventurous, he found his real home in India. He spent twenty years there, fifteen of them in Benares on teh banks of the Ganges. There he immersed himself in teh study of Sanskrit, Hindu philosophy, music, and the art of the ancient temples of Northern India, and converted to the Hindu religion. But times changes, and soon after India gained its independence, he returned to live again in Europe and devoted much of his great energy to the encouragement of traditional musics from around the world.
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