Tag Archives: Arts

Noble Dreams, Wicked Pleasures

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Noble Dreams, Wicked Pleasures: Orientalism in America, 1870-1930 [Amazon, Abebooks, Local Library] by Holly Edwards.

Edwards Noble Dreams Wicked Pleasures

Noble Dreams, Wicked Pleasures: Orientalism in America, 1870-1930 is a large handsome book published by Princeton UP in connection with the eponymous exhibition at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts at the turn of the millennium. (The show later toured to Baltimore, Maryland and Charlotte, North Carolina.) In principle, the first half of the book is a set of five scholarly essays within the specified field of concern, while the second half is the exhibition catalog. In practice, the essays are copiously illustrated, and the catalog images and data are supported by a robust text in thirty short chapters from curator Holly Edwards.

In both her “Million and One Nights” paper and her catalog notes, Edwards traces the Orientalist phenomenon from academic beaux arts to popular entertainment and material culture. The 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago proves to be a particular point of inflection, and it receives its own essay from Zeynep Celik, along with a dedicated catalog chapter from Edwards and numerous references elsewhere. The paper by Steven C. Caton regarding “Instabilities of Race and Gender in Transatlantic Popular Culture of the Early 1920s” is highly nuanced and worthwhile.

The oversized folio volume on heavy paper has high-quality illustrations throughout, mostly in full color. It provides many satisfying stopping-points for a reader, and my progress though it was slow. But I am glad to have completed it, and I am shelving it with the anticipation that I will refer to it in the future.

Aleister Crowley’s The Rite of Mars, a rock opera

Eleusyve Productions is crowdfunding their production of Aleister Crowley’s The Rite of Mars, from the Rites of Eleusis, which is planned for live stage performance in 2014.

Eleusyve Productions The Rite of Mars 2014

“We at Eleusyve Productions are currently working on our 5th full length rock opera based upon the seven planetary theatrical rituals that comprise Aleister Crowley’s Rites of Eleusis. The Rite of Mars, our current project, will be staged September 5th, 6th, 11th, 12th and 13th in Seattle, WA, and with ample support we will stage additional performances in Portland and Spokane.

Many of you have supported us in the past, for which we are extremely grateful. We are pleased to announce that this time Eleusyve Productions is under the fiscal sponsorship of Shunpike, and as such your gifts are tax deductible.

Donations totaling $4900.00 will allow us to perform The Rite of Mars in Seattle.

With an additional $1800.00 we will have enough to stage the Rite in Spokane, WA.

An additional $2300.00 beyond that will cover the presentation in Portland, OR.

The money we collect through Indiegogo will be used to cover the cost of rehearsal space, theater rental, insurance, sets, props, costumes and advertising for the production.

These stage performances are recorded and edited for DVD and released to the public as part of our ongoing effort at Eleusyve Productions to make Aleister Crowley’s Rites of Eleusis more accessible to a broader audience. To this end, we use music, light, dance, and drama to enhance the poetry and symmetry of the original works.

Watch scenes from The Rite of Sol, The Rite of Mercury, The Rite of Venus and The Rite of Luna on YouTube.

For more information about Eleusyve Productions please visit our website, or enjoy these reviews of our past productions of The Rite of Venus and The Rite of Mercury.

You can also help fund our projects by purchasing copies of previous sound tracks and DVDs from Eleusyve!” [via]