Thursday, October 17, 2013
Blavatsky as a Horror Writer, Ctd
Perhaps it’s the nature of the month, but Mme. Blavatsky’s occult fiction continues to gather attention. Paula Cappa looks at Blavatsky’s 1880 tale “The Ensouled Violin” expanded in her 1892 collection Nightmare Tales:
Mme. Blavatsky brings us a story full of musical mesmerism, and Paganini is a major character drawn in full color. Paganini’s reputation for becoming bewitched by the devil in exchange for his brilliant career holds the central theme. The Italian was revered for playing his Witches Dance “pizzicato” with the left hand directly on the gut strings—without the aid of the bow. Was his superior talent singularly human?
Blavatsky was a seductive storyteller. She became famous for being a philosopher, spiritualist, pioneer in the occult, one of the first people to coin the phrase the sixth sense, and was co-founder of The Theosophical Society in 1875.
May I suggest, for an added appreciation of this very extraordinary short story, you listen to Paganini’s Witches Dance at Classical Music Online. What could be better than a classic horror story and a magnificent piece of classical music to complement the experience? Well, perhaps a glass of wine, preferably in a cut-glass goblet. Magnifico!