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A Dark Muse: A History of the Occult
     

A Dark Muse: A History of the Occult

by Gary Lachman
 

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The occult was a crucial influence on the Renaissance, and it obsessed the popular thinkers of the day. But with the Age of Reason, occultism was sidelined; only charlatans found any use for it. Occult ideas did not disappear, however, but rather went underground. It developed into a fruitful source of inspiration for many important artists. Works of brilliance,

Overview


The occult was a crucial influence on the Renaissance, and it obsessed the popular thinkers of the day. But with the Age of Reason, occultism was sidelined; only charlatans found any use for it. Occult ideas did not disappear, however, but rather went underground. It developed into a fruitful source of inspiration for many important artists. Works of brilliance, sometimes even of genius, were produced under its influence. In A Dark Muse, Lachman discusses the Enlightenment obsession with occult politics, the Romantic explosion, the futuristic occultism of the fin de siècle, and the deep occult roots of the modernist movement. Some of the writers and thinkers featured in this hidden history of western thought and sensibility are Emanuel Swedenborg, Charles Baudelaire, J. K. Huysmans, August Strindberg, William Blake, Goethe, Madame Blavatsky, H. G. Wells, Edgar Allan Poe, and Malcolm Lowry.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Former bass player for the band Blondie, Lachman (Turn Off Your Mind) takes a historical look at the magical arts. Beginning with the Enlightenment and working up through the modern era, Lachman provides an overview of writers and poets studying alchemy, mesmerism, magnetism, and hypnotism, with an emphasis on how the actions and teachings of particular practitioners influenced their contemporaries and the literature they produced. The second part of the book provides a selection of writings by some of these practitioners. Readers would also enjoy books by Edgar Allan Poe, Madame Blavatsky, Charles Baudelaire, and William Blake, all discussed in the text. Recommended for any library with an interest in mysticism.-Jennifer Kuncken, Williamsburg Regional Lib., VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560256564
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
12/15/2004
Pages:
388
Sales rank:
301,950
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.68(h) x 0.73(d)

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