The Immoralist

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Immoralist by André Gide, translated by Richard Howard. This product of 1901 was fascinating to me, although its literary renown does not perhaps align with an appeal to a wide audience today. My reading of Sontag’s Illness as Metaphor turned out to be important preparation, since it contains crucial cultural context for […]

The Serpent’s Gift

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Serpent’s Gift: Gnostic Reflections on the Study of Religion by Jeffrey J Kripal. In a 1978 essay in Understanding the New Religions, Robert Bellah mentioned that “religious intellectuals are, perhaps to a greater extent than ever before in American history, cut off from large religious bodies which, theoretically, represent the majority […]

In the Shadow of Columbia’s Library

This is an extract, provided by the author, from Blame It On Blake: a memoir of dead languages, gender vagrancy, Burroughs, Ginsberg, Corso & Carr by Jacob Rabinowitz, “a memoir of the Beat generation authors I knew, and my own explorations of Witchcraft, Egyptology, Voodoo, gender confusion and mind-altering drugs, authorized (more or less) by […]

Adam, Eve, and the Serpent

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Adam, Eve, and the Serpent: Sex and Politics in Early Christianity by Elaine Pagels. In her epilogue to Adam, Eve, and the Serpent Elaine Pagels insists that her ambition in this book is neither to discover nor to indicate the nature of the “real Christianity.” In that case, she could have avoided a […]

The Age of Ra

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Age of Ra by James Lovegrove. The Age of Ra is a fast-paced, testosterone-laden adventure set in an alternate present where the gods of ancient Egypt have been visibly ruling humanity since the early 20th century. On p. 101, author Lovegrove quickly sketches the global theo-political scenario in which various international […]

The Religion of the Semites

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Religion of the Semites: The Fundamental Institutions by W Robertson Smith. This influential late 19th-century study of ancient near eastern religion was supposed to have been the first of three courses of lectures on the topic of the religious matrix–or “higher heathenism,” as the author sometimes calls it–against which […]

Klingsor

This is an extract, provided by the author, from Blame It On Blake: a memoir of dead languages, gender vagrancy, Burroughs, Ginsberg, Corso & Carr by Jacob Rabinowitz, “a memoir of the Beat generation authors I knew, and my own explorations of Witchcraft, Egyptology, Voodoo, gender confusion and mind-altering drugs, authorized (more or less) by […]

Dante’s Divine Comedy

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Dante’s Divine Comedy: A Graphic Adaptation by Seymour Chwast. Seymour Chwast shows no small ambition in attempting a “graphic novel” adaptation of Dante’s Commedia, but unfortunately, the results are not that impressive. The poetic elements of Dante’s work are almost entirely obliterated, as the language is reduced to narrative prose, simplified dialogue, […]