Abstract

Exploring the periodicals of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century occult revival in Britain and America, this article argues that the spiritual practices of modern occultism took place at the intersection between the private and personal and the flamboyantly public —an intersection that marks their modernity and their debt to modern periodical culture. The ethos of the occult revival was predicated on a vogue for esotericism. Yet modernity drove the esoteric agenda of occult experiments in subjectivity, and it also opened doors to an occult presence in the public sphere via a vibrant print culture that engaged with the institutions of commercial publishing. The occult periodical press came into being to publicize occult ideas, to support emerging occult institutions and settle disputes within a counter-public sphere of occultism, and to legitimate occult knowledge in the dominant public sphere in quasi-scientific terms of validation.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1464
Print ISSN
0022-281X
Pages
pp. 1-22
Launched on MUSE
2008-03-25
Open Access
No
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