The autobiography of Julius Evola, Il Cammino del Cinabro, was first published in 1963, and then again in a revised and updated edition in 1972 by Vanni Schweiller. Until 2010, this book, absolutely essential for understanding the work of J. Evola, was only available in translation in one language, French. An American translation of Il Cammino del Cinabro was recently published under the misleading title of The Path of Cinnabar. An English translation of the foreword and of the first chapter is published here. This follows up the publication of the first part of the third chapter five years ago.
The pages that I am about to write find a certain justification in the hypothesis that the work I have elaborated over the course of the past eight decades may one day be the subject of a different kind of attention than that which it has generally received in Italy until now.
This eventuality is quite problematic, given the current situation and the cultural and political climate we can expect in future. In any event, my intention is to provide a guide to those retrospectively interested in my work and activities as a whole, and who wish to orient themselves and establish what, in this activity, may have a significance that is not only personal and episodic.
The fact is that this eventual analysis may encounter some difficulties. Firstly, we must consider books I wrote during different periods of time, and if they are not considered according to the cultural context in which they were written, they may seem peculiarly contradictory. Not least because of this, a guide is necessary.
Furthermore, and more importantly, what is essential in my activity, which has had different phases and has explored different domains, must be separated from the accessory, and especially as regards my earliest writings, one must take into account the necessarily incomplete preparation which I had at that time, as well as the influences of the cultural milieu which I was subject to, and which I only rid myself of later, bit by bit, as I acquired a greater maturity.
As a rule, one must see that, to a great extent, I had to open a way by myself. I did not receive the inestimable help which, in other times, and in other milieux, in the development of an activity of the same kind as mine, others who were from the very beginning attached to a living tradition could have benefitted from. Like one who is lost, I had to strive by my own means to rejoin an army moving further and further away, often across uncertain and dangerous terrains ; a positive juncture only occurred later. In its essential and valid part, what I thought I must express and affirm belongs, in fact, to a world different than that in which I have lived. Therefore, firstly, what guided me were solely my own innate aptitudes ; the ideas and goals only became clearer and more precise afterwards with the broadening of my experience and knowledge.
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