Gary Lachman will look at how occult thought and ideas influenced some of the most important and influential writers and poets of the past two centuries, from Goethe’s Faust to the allusive modernist fragments of the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa, with quite a few illustrious names in between. J.K. Huysmans and the Black Mass, the alchemical experiments of August Strindberg, the Satanism of Arthur Rimbaud, and the psychotic possession of Guy De Maupassant, are only some of the examples of how occult visions led to some of the greatest works of western literature. This lecture will look at some of the ideas behind occultism and at how they found literary form in the works of some of the western canon’s greatest figures.
Gary Lachman is the author of many books about consciousness, culture, and the Western esoteric tradition, including The Return of Holy Russia, Dark Star Rising: Magick and Power in the Age of Trump, Lost Knowledge of the Imagination, and Beyond the Robot: The Life and Work of Colin Wilson. He writes for several journals in the US, UK, and Europe, lectures around the world and his work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. In a former life he was a founding member of the pop group Blondie and in 2006 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Before moving to London in 1996 and becoming a full time writer, Lachman studied philosophy, managed a metaphysical book shop, taught English literature, and was Science Writer for UCLA. He is an adjunct professor of Transformative Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He can be reached at www.garylachman.co.uk, www.facebook.com/GVLachman/ and twitter.com/GaryLachman