By Gary Lachman
The occult used to be a very important impression at the Renaissance, and it obsessed the preferred thinkers of the day. yet with the Age of cause, occultism used to be sidelined; in basic terms charlatans chanced on any use for it. Occult principles didn't disappear, even though, yet fairly went underground. It built right into a fruitful resource of suggestion for lots of very important artists. Works of brilliance, occasionally even of genius, have been produced lower than its effect. In a depressing 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 circulate. the various writers and thinkers featured during this hidden heritage of western suggestion and sensibility are Emanuel Swedenborg, Charles Baudelaire, J. okay. Huysmans, August Strindberg, William Blake, Goethe, Madame Blavatsky, H. G. Wells, Edgar Allan Poe, and Malcolm Lowry.
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Additional resources for A Dark Muse: A History of the Occult
Large, and long, its nails are chipped and grimy like those of a labourer, and though swollen with rheumatism the fingers are decorated with a profusion of rings such as a tinker or a Moslem might wear. I shake my head. He waits, then with a small gesture of resignation withdraws one for himself and closes the case. ‘I do not like your manner with me, Swift,’ he says, taking a taper from the fire and lifting it to the cigar. ‘I am sorry for that,’ I reply. ’ Drawing back on his cigar he lets the smoke coil slowly from his nostrils.
Steadying himself with a hand upon the shoulder, he places the saw against the ribs and begins to cut. The teeth bite into the bone with a wet, splintering rasp, small flecks of meat and bone scattering before it, spattering the aprons we each of us wear. When he is done he lifts the sternum and ribs away, exposing the organs nestled in their broken cage of bone; grey, blue, black. Extending a hand he touches the heart, his thin fingers lingering upon the bluish muscle. ‘It does not beat,’ he says.
That woman, she was in the play,’ I say, not sure whether it is a question or a statement. ‘She was,’ May says. His breath is hot. ’ I nod, and May chuckles. Chifley too has seen me looking at her. ‘Your prentice is learning your habits, de Mandeville,’ he declares. There is laughter then, but also the look in Chifley’s eye as he laughs, the chill of his appraisal. THE KNOCK COMES unexpectedly, loud in the empty house. As the door opens, there is the noise of the street, a voice, the words inaudible.