A Dark Muse: A History of the Occult

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Basic Books, Sep 9, 2009 - BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY - 378 pages
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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, 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 si cle, 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."
 

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Contents

A Dark Muse
14
Enlightenment Occultism
18
Romantic Occultism
65
Satanic Occultism
128
Fin de siècle Occultism
153
The Modernist Occultist
227
Selected Bibliography
382
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About the author (2009)

Gary Lachman is the author of A Secret History of Consciousness and Turn Off Your Mind. He’s written for TLS, Literary Review, Guardian, Independent, Mojo, and Bizarre, and is a regular contributor to Fortean Times. Aside from writing, Lachman has been a bass player and composer for the punk rock band Blondie, a guitarist with legendary rock 'n’ roll wild-man Iggy Pop, and the leader of his own groups The Know and Fire Escape. He lives in London.

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