Talking to the Gods
Occultism in the Work of W. B. Yeats, Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, and Dion Fortune
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Explores occultism in the writings of four authors who were members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
Talking to the Gods explores the linkages between the imaginative literature and the occult beliefs and practices of four writers who were members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. William Butler Yeats, Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, and Dion Fortune were all members of the occult organization for various periods from 1890 to 1930. Yeats, of course, is both a canonical and well-loved poet. Machen is revered as a master of the weird tale. Blackwood's work dealing with the supernatural was popular during the first half of the twentieth century and has been influential in the development of the fantasy genre. Fortune's books are acknowledged as harbingers of trends in second-wave feminist spirituality. Susan Johnston Graf examines practices, beliefs, and ideas engendered within the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and demonstrates how these are manifest in each author's work, including Yeats's major theoretical work, A Vision.
Susan Johnston Graf is Associate Professor of English at Penn State Mont Alto and the author of W. B. Yeats—Twentieth-Century Magus.