Sunday, September 15, 2013

Blavatsky News

Blavatsky’s name appears in a number of recent titles:

*  Luke Ferretter’s new book, The Glyph and the Gramophone: D.H. Lawrence’s Religion, goes into some detail about the impact of Blavatsky’s ideas on the writing of D.H. Lawrence. It is published by Bloomsbury as part of their New Directions in Religion & Literature series. Ferretter quotes a letter from Lawrence to correspondent where he writes: “Have you read Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine? In many ways a bore, and not quite real. Yet one can glean a marvelous lot from it, enlarge the understanding immensely.”

*  Clive Bloom’s Victoria's Madmen: Revolution and Alienation recognizes some of the disparate voices and their resulting anti-establishment stances during the nineteenth century. It features a chapter on Annie Besant and the influence of Blavatsky and Theosophy on her career. It is published by Palgrave Macmillan.

*  Mary Claire Vandenburg’s MA thesis at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, “Occultism in Robertson Davies’s The Deptford Trilogy” contains a chapter on the interplay of Theosophy in the works of Canadian writer Robertson Davies. A  stamp commemorating Davis was issued in Canada on August 28 honoring his hundredth birthday.

*  Mitch Horowitz looks at How the Occult Brought Cremation to America in the Huffington Post, crediting it to Baron de Palm’s cremation organized by Olcott and the theosophists in 1876. “While New York's "pagan funeral" is long forgotten, cremations today account for about 40 percent of all American passages. This represents just one way in which ideas introduced by occult movements have transformed American life -- and death.”

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