Modernism and Magic: Experiments with Spiritualism, Theosophy and the Occult (Edinburgh Critical Studies in Modernist Culture EUP)

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9780748627691: Modernism and Magic: Experiments with Spiritualism, Theosophy and the Occult (Edinburgh Critical Studies in Modernist Culture EUP)

While modernism's engagement with the occult has been approached by critics as the result of a loss of faith in representation, an attempt to draw on science as the primary discourse of modernity, or as a hidden history of ideas, Leigh Wilson argues that these discourses have at their heart a magical practice which remakes the relationship between world and representation. As Wilson demonstrates, the courses of the occult are based on a magical mimesis which transforms the nature of the copy, from inert to vital, from dead to alive, from static to animated, from powerless to powerful.

Wilson explores the aesthetic and political implications of this relationship in the work of those writers, artists and filmmakers who were most self-consciously experimental, including James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Dziga Vertov and Sergei M. Eisenstein.

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About the Author:


Leigh Wilson is Principal Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Westminster. She publishes on modernism and contemporary British fiction.

Review:


In this provocative and engaging book, Leigh Wilson finds magic at the heart of modernism. Looking afresh at its fascination with the occult, she suggests that modernist writers and filmmakers drew on magical thinking in their experimental art to create works that radically transformed the world they knew.
Professor Helen Carr, Goldsmiths, University of London


This is a major contribution not only to our understanding of modernism's fascination with the supernatural, but of modernism's fundamental investment in modern magic. It breaks new ground by considering magic's importance for filmmakers and artists, novelists and poets. It is the most important book on the topic in over a decade.
Dr Stephen Ross, University of Victoria


Wilson's text provides an excellent rereading of modernism in the context of magic. It offers the reader wonderful background on a number of modernist authors and filmmakers.
Erin Hollis, California State University - James Joyce Quarterly, 50.4


[A] valuable contribution towards a deeper understanding of the interrelatedness of occult discourses and those of modernist art.
- Tessel M. Bauduin, Cultural History


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Book Description EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY PRESS, United Kingdom, 2012. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Across Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the unseen returned in very particular ways: in a resurgence of interest in mysticism of all kinds, in the pursuit of occult knowledge and practices, and in the investigation of psychic phenomenon. While a number of scholars have described links between modernism and aspects of spiritualism, the occult, and mysticism, their discussions have left unanswered the question of what place the unseen world as a whole occupies. By looking at the occult, spiritualism and mysticism in one frame, this book argues that the unseen figures modernism s yearning for that which is beyond the materiality of the text, whether that text be printed words on a page, paint on canvas, or the effects of light fixed on a screen. The birth of modernism resides not so much in notions of aesthetic autonomy, resisting the degradations of mass culture, but in an attempt to reclaim textuality as a magical practice. This book provides the first overview of this broad subject, aimed at advanced level students and researchers, but it also offers an intervention in current critical debates on modernism and its understanding of the text. Features * The first broad overview of the subject. * Interdisciplinary coverage allows new connections to be made between literature, the visual arts and film. * Inclusion both of key figures (T. S. Eliot, James Joyce) and the less mainstream (Mary Butts, May Sinclair) extends the frame of inquiry and encourages comparisons. * Innovative approach to the relation between writing and the unseen in modernism provides the groundwork for further research in the field. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780748627691

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Book Description 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover. While modernism's engagement with the occult has been approached by critics as the result of a loss of faith in representation, an attempt to draw on science as the primary di.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 224 pages. 0.442. Bookseller Inventory # 9780748627691

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