All entries for Saturday 08 October 2005
October 08, 2005
Writing about web page http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/education/courses/open-studies/n101.phtml
I'm going to try to continue what's been started here, with a series of very short book reviews, relating to the subject of magic (particularly chaos magic(k), when it gets going). This is a useful place to do this, and allows functions which other blogs do not (or not as easily).
I will try and mention "level" in each one – meaning, level of study. Ergo – level one, would be useful to someone in their first year of study, and so on.
In theory, this book tracks the influence of "the occult" oon literature, art, science…
Needless to say, that's a slightly difficult task – by nature, and by definition, "the occult" is hidden.
Having said that, I enjoyed this book, and found it useful. There are times when the writer is more credulous than I am (I'm not at all sure I believe as much about some of the historical figures as he does), but not overly so – this is still within the realms of "read with some confidence".
For those who are new to the area, this book might assume more knowledge than is comfortable – for those who know the area well, the book will be vaguely interesting but will tell them little new. For those who have some background, but not much – it might just be a gold mine.
It has a serious lack, however, in not having an index – one must trawl through to find entries. Admittedly, these are fairly well marked but the lack of an index reduces the usefulness of the book greatly.
There's some useful information, moreso about the distant(ish) past than times nearer to our own.
Very much a broad brush approach, as it would have to be in a book of this length (222 pages) that purports to deal with ritual magic from "ancint times to the present" (back of book blurb).
As a beginning history of ritual magic, one could do worse. One might well do better but I'm not sure what book would fill that niche – because this is at least specific. Nothing to say against it, merely that it is broad brush.