Thanks Peter I'll order that right now. No one seems to be selling All  
Hallow's Eve.


Sent from my iPod

On Jun 30, 2010, at 11:08 PM, Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>  

> A through sense of the dynamic of the tarot is to be had by reading
> Charles Williams' novel THE GREATER TRUMPS
> Cheers,
> Peter
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Chokh Raj
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 11:01 AM
> Subject: Re: The Occult in Modernist Writing
> lest I overlook
> Modernist alchemy: poetry and the occult
> By Timothy Materer
> Cornell University Press, 1995 - 218 pages
> "The occult has been a source of both ideas and images for modern  
> poets from W. B. Yeats to James Merrill. Poets as diverse as Ezra  
> Pound, H.D., Sylvia Plath, Robert Duncan, and Ted Hughes were both  
> fascinated by, and skeptical of, such phenomena as alchemy and  
> astrology, Ouija boards and Tarot cards, Indian mysticism, the  
> kabbalah, and gnosticism. All of these poets, Timothy Materer says,  
> approached the occult with a modernist sophistication and a self- 
> consciousness that are not entirely credulous nor entirely  
> skeptical. Modernist Alchemy takes a close look at the work of  
> twentieth-century poets whose use of the occult constitutes a  
> recovery of discarded beliefs and modes of thought: Yeats and Plath  
> try to dismiss conventional religion, Hughes captures a sense of  
> adventure, H.D. seeks to liberate repressed concepts, while Duncan  
> and Merrill hunt for a lost understanding of sexual identity which  
> will allow for androgyny and homosexuality. Materer ends with  
> Merrill, whose attempt to suspend both doubt and belief marks the  
> culmination of the poetic style initiated by Yeats."
> A tour de force of the book is its perspective on "T.S. Eliot:  
> Occultism as Heresy" [p.71- ].
> an excerpt  [from p. 75]
> "The tarot pack indeed provides a major structural device in The  
> Waste Land. In the occult tradition, the Tarot is considered a book,  
> or the fragments of one: the book of Hermes Trismegistus, the  
> legendary Egyptian priest whose Hermetic lore is a major source of  
> many forms of occultism. The characters in The Waste Land are  
> identified when the fortune teller, Madame Sosostris, lays out her  
> "wicked pack of cards": the "man with          three staves," or the  
> wounded Fisher King who must be healed if the Waste Land is to  
> revive; the Phoenician sailor, or the doomed quester who fails the  
> king; the "Hanged Man," or the sacrificial victim whom Sosostris  
> fails to elicit from the pack; and Belladona...the lady of  
> situations," who may be any of the various women in the poem who  
> fail the quester."
> "The occult tradition in The Waste Land is of course not used  
> without reservations. Like Madame de Tornquist in "Gerontion",  
> Madame Sosostris is a tawdry figure despite the wise instruction she  
> gives unconsciously through the Tarot. Moreover, her role is  
> negative because she can only identify the reason          for  
> spiritual failure in the absence of the redeeming "Hanged Man."  
> Nevertheless, the Tarot is, like the other sacred books cited in the  
> poem, a medium of spiritual wisdom."
> Regards,
>  CR