Magic The Black Arts and the Occult: The basis of many a fantastic
tale involves an invisible world of secrets, accessible with a
particular kind of knowledge. Magic, alchemy and the occult are
thus keys that allow entry into certain zones of the Fantastic.
More important, they drive the intellectual engine of the Fantastic;
even as they wane, they preside over the gestation of science
fiction. The grimoire of the Magus becomes the mad-scientists
users manual. Our selections include depictions of witches
and sorcerers, instruction pages from the classic work of secret
sciences entitled The Magus, illustrations of alchemical workshops,
cabalistic mappings of biblical passages, and cover illustrations
from the first issues of Amazing Stories, Hugo Gernsbachs
celebrated pulp journal devoted to science and fantastic fiction.
We close this section with the Calendrier Magique of Austin de
Croze, a sumptuous visual account of the occultist fervor of the
late nineteenth century in France.
View Images: Weird Science
- Grillot de Givry. Le MusÈe des Sorciers: Magie et
Alchimie. Paris: Librairie de France, 1929.
- Kurt Seligmann. Magic, Supernaturalism and Religion.
New York: Pantheon, 1948.
- Gwenhaël Ponnau: Les Savants fous, Paris: Bouquins/
Robert Laffont, 1994.
- Hoffmann: "The Sandman."
- Mary Shelley: Frankenstein.
- Villiers de lIsle-Adam: LEve future.
- Borges: "The Library of Babel," "Tlön,
Ukbar, Orbis Tertius."
- Italo Calvino. T-Zero
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