Mircea Eliade's Journal Entry Regarding Julius Evola's Death

Mircea Eliade (1907-1986)

July [1974]

Today I learn of the death of Julius Evola. Our last meeting goes back about ten years, even though I have passed through Rome several times since then. Memories surge up in me, those of my years at university, the books we had discovered together, the letters I received from him in Calcutta in which he instantly begged me not to speak to him of yoga, or of “magical powers,” except to report precise facts to which I had personally been a witness. In India I also received several publications from him, but I only remember a few issues of the journal Krur.

I had met him for the first time in 1937 at Nao Ionescu’s. Besides the three of us, Octave Onicescu and our professor’s current girlfriend were also there. That very morning Evola had had the opportunity to talk with Codreanu, and that meeting had impressed him greatly. Since Evola had asked him about the political tactics he expected to employ and the Legion’s chances during the coming elections, Codreanu had spoken to him about the effects of incarceration on the individual, of the ascesis it provokes, the contemplative virtues that can arise there, in solitude, a silence and a darkness which are just so many means by which an individual is revealed to himself. Evola was still dazzled by him. I vaguely remember the remarks he made then on the disappearance of contemplative disciplines in the political battle of the West.

Then the war came, and I heard nothing more of Evola until the day when I received his letter from Rome at the Hôtel de Suède. He had obtained my address through René Guénon, who must have gotten it himself from Valsan. He let me know that he was henceforth “immobilized for the rest of his days,” but that he would be happy to see me at his home, in the event that I should pass through Rome.

That is what I did in August 1949, after having notified him by phone of my visit. Having arrived at his home, I was taken into the drawing room where his father and a nurse asked me to wait while they helped him get up from his chair. He greeted me standing up and shook my hands for a long time. Then his father and the nurse helped him to sit down again, which he couldn’t have done himself without collapsing. We talked for over an hour. He told me that since from then on he had all the time in the world, he took advantage of it by translating French and German authors. He also spoke about Metaphysics of Sex, a book he was planning to write. We were at that point in our conversation when he took a little key out of his pocket, showed me an ivory elephant, and told me how to open it. The elephant contained a miniature bar, with numerous flasks and little glasses all made of crystal. He asked me what I’d like to drink, but the afternoon was steamy, and I didn’t want any alcohol. He insisted, however, under the pretext that we were carrying out a rite and I had to submit to it. I had to give in, and we both raised our glasses before ceremoniously drinking the contents.

I was to see Evola only once more, in 1952 or 1953, but we corresponded regularly. One day I received a rather bitter letter from him in which he reproached me for never citing him, no more than did Guénon. I answered him as best I could, and I must one day give the reasons and explanations that that response called for. My argument couldn’t have been simpler. The books I write are intended for today’s audience, and not for initiates. Unlike Guénon and his emulators, I believe I have nothing to write that would be intended especially for them.

Title Eliade/Fagan: Journal III, 1970-1978 (AbeBooks)
Author Mircea Eliade
Translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan
Publisher University of Chicago Press, 1989
ISBN 0226204081, 9780226204086

☉ 23° Sagittarius : ☽ 4° Leo : dies ☉ : Anno Legis Ⅴⅴ