This article explores the apocalyptic fervor of 1917 as a context for the rise of the esoteric modernism of W. B Yeats and Aleister Crowley, paying special attention to the contributions of Crowley’s Moonchild to a specifically modernist form of esoteric fiction. Moonchild featured a modernist synthesis of ritual, transpersonal epistemology, experimental prose, and a play of competing popular genres in a contemplative fiction that continued to impact twentieth-century culture well beyond the death of its author. This literature turned to communications with spirit entities and to ritual magic to reveal spiritual interpretations of a world in which the flux of modernity augured technologically sophisticated war as a permanent state of affairs, the world of 1917.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cultural Studies
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts
- Sociology and Political Science
- Literature and Literary Theory