This is the first overview of what modernists, as opposed to sectarian occultists, actually did with the occult. As such, it reframes the intellectual history of the modernist era. Very much in the literary criticism genre, it focusses on the transcultural, 'anti-modern vitalist', and magical-syncretic themes which modernists took up. The focus is high empire, where the 'Buddhist' Schopenhauer cult and Theosophy, the last aided by Bergson, Nietzsche and neo-Vedanta, brought contrasting decreative-catastrophic and regenerative-utopian notes into the arts. Another instance of the Eastward turn in modernist esotericism, the Fifties 'Zen' vogue is also considered.  

 

Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. Paperback, 178 pages. News. 

Modernism and the Occult - John Bramble

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