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Occult Paris : The Lost Magic of the Belle Epoque
by Tobias Churton


Overview - How fin-de-siecle Paris became the locus for the most intense revival of magical practices and doctrines since the Renaissance

- Examines the remarkable lives of occult practitioners Josephin Peladan, Papus, Stanislas de Guaita, Saint-Yves d'Alveydre, Jules Doinel, and others

- Reveals how occult activity deeply influenced many well-known cultural movements, such as Symbolism, the Decadents, modern music, and the "psychedelic 60s"

During Paris's Belle Epoque (1871-1914), many cultural movements and artistic styles flourished--Symbolism, Impressionism, Art Nouveau, the Decadents--all of which profoundly shaped modern culture.  Read more...


 
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More About Occult Paris by Tobias Churton
 
 
 
Overview
How fin-de-siecle Paris became the locus for the most intense revival of magical practices and doctrines since the Renaissance

- Examines the remarkable lives of occult practitioners Josephin Peladan, Papus, Stanislas de Guaita, Saint-Yves d'Alveydre, Jules Doinel, and others

- Reveals how occult activity deeply influenced many well-known cultural movements, such as Symbolism, the Decadents, modern music, and the "psychedelic 60s"

During Paris's Belle Epoque (1871-1914), many cultural movements and artistic styles flourished--Symbolism, Impressionism, Art Nouveau, the Decadents--all of which profoundly shaped modern culture. Inseparable from this cultural advancement was the explosion of occult activity taking place in the City of Light at the same time.

Exploring the magical, artistic, and intellectual world of the Belle Epoque, Tobias Churton shows how a wide variety of Theosophists, Rosicrucians, Martinists, Freemasons, Gnostics, and neo-Cathars called fin-de-siecle Paris home. He examines the precise interplay of occultists Josephin Peladan, Papus, Stanislas de Guaita, and founder of the modern Gnostic Church Jules Doinel, along with lesser known figures such as Saint-Yves d'Alveydre, Paul Sedir, Charles Barlet, Edmond Bailly, Albert Jounet, Abbe Lacuria, and Lady Caithness. He reveals how the work of many masters of modern culture such as composers Claude Debussy and Erik Satie, writers Arthur Rimbaud and Charles Baudelaire, and painters Georges Seurat and Alphonse Osbert bear signs of immersion in the esoteric circles that were thriving in Paris at the time. The author demonstrates how the creative hermetic ferment that animated the City of Light in the decades leading up to World War I remains an enduring presence and powerful influence today. Where, he asks, would Aleister Crowley and all the magicians of today be without the Parisian source of so much creativity in this field?

Conveying the living energy of Paris in this richly artistic period of history, Churton brings into full perspective the characters, personalities, and forces that made Paris a global magnet and which allowed later cultural movements, such as the "psychedelic 60s," to rise from the ashes of post-war Europe.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781620555453
  • ISBN-10: 162055545X
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions International
  • Publish Date: November 2016
  • Page Count: 528
  • Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.85 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Body, Mind & Spirit > Occultism
Books > History > Europe - France
Books > Body, Mind & Spirit > Hermetism & Rosicrucianism

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-09-12
  • Reviewer: Staff

In a massive, focused exploration of the relationship between the mystical and the creative, esoteric historian Churton (Jerusalem! The Real Life of William Blake) delights in tracing out the detailed social and intellectual relationships in the more obscure reaches of French culture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Churton proves to be profoundly organized and marvelously synthetic while explaining the maelstrom of Symbolists, Decadents, Hermetics, and Catholic heretics that met in venues like Edmond Baillys bookshop and the Salon de la Rose + Croix. Redeeming the reputations of Josephin Peladan and Stanislas de Guaïta, and combining account of visionaries not always considered togethersuch as Victor-Émile Michelet, Georges Seurat, and Eric SatieChurton recontextualizes the work of these underappreciated figures while showing how beloved images, such as the androgyne, the magus, the hierophant, and the quest for the lost, reappear in different contexts. In occasional outbursts of emotion, Churtons passion for the ideas of the period resonates: What a tragedy this wisdom was not absorbed by the socialist and communist movements in time for the twentieth centuryhow much misery might have been spared the human race, then and now! This entertaining volume will please fans of esoterica and the City of Light. 33 color plates, b&w illus. (Nov.)

 
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