The February 2011 issue of the monthly literary review, Word Riot, publisher of “the forceful voices of up-and-coming writers and poets,” contains an interview with the American writer Roxanne Cash. In response to the question “What book are you currently reading?” she says:
Today I am reading a book about Madame Blavatsky. I thought it would be a biography but it is more like a history of the occult in America. The author obviously doesn’t like Blavatsky much, but the dislike can’t temper Blavatsky’s outlandish personality. In the book it says that she “claimed to have ridden bareback in a circus, toured Serbia as a concert pianist, opened an ink factory in Odessa, traded as an importer of ostrich feathers in Paris, and worked as an interior decorator to the Empress Eugénie.” She also founded the Theosophical Society that runs Krotona, a place in Ojai, California I visited frequently with my friends during high school. Mostly because it was quiet there and we could wander, taking photographs of each other without anyone bothering us. I always imagined that Madame Blavatsky lived at Krotona because her name is on buildings up there and they have many of her books in the library, but according to the book I’m reading she never even went to California. Still. Her name is fun to say. Madame Blavatsky. And I would love to ride bareback in a circus, it sounds like fun.