Saturday, 20 November 2010

Kenneth Grant - The Greatest Occultist Of The 20th Century


  1. I take issue with that statement - AOS would be 'The greatest occultist of the 20th century', shirley? After all, Grant wouldn't be half the man he is today without Zos Vel Thanatos.

  2. damn, my fiendish attempt at subliminally influencing the vote have been foiled...
    but it's actually got me thinking... what's the difference between an occultist and a magician... I would say Spare is more a conjuror/magician and Grant an occultist.
    Where Grant is more of an occult figurehead is with his pulling of all these different systems... Cults Of The Shadow for eg...
    Spare's a better magician definitely imo, along with Dali.
    In fact Grant calls Dali "The greatest magician of the 20th century"... kind of agree on that, along with Ballard (i think he's a magician - power of prophecy, in particular), manifesting the concrete irrational.

    Brian Aldiss describes JGB as 'A grand magician of modern fiction'. I take that literally to be the case.

    The relationship between Spare and Grant is a weird one. I get the feeling they were feeding each other...

    all this said, Grant's books are towards the 2nd and 3rd trilogies are less about magic than magical themselves (necronomicons really)...

    oh i don't know ;)

  3. Of Grant's work, the only one I've been able to get my hands on is Outside the Circles of Time. I find it endlessly fascinating, despite the rather tedious expositions of gemetria. Grant writes as though he lives in a Borges/Lovecraft short story, which is fascinating enough in and of itself. (Do you anywhere where Grant's books can be purchased for less than an arm an leg?) I recently discovered the intensely occult literature of Gustav Meyrink - his novels The Golem and The Green Face are really extraordinary.

  4. I actually think that Steffi Grant's drawings have more magick in them than all her husband's rambling books put together.

  5. Tristan - try Atlantis books, Wadkins or Treadwell's. They might have some of the starfire prints...
    Meyrink - definitely, The Green Face is amazing

    Mythicalbeast777 - KG does really divide folk... Steffi's art is great, It's amazing that she has never had a show in her lifetime (I think that's the case). Zos Speaks (KGs) diaries of his time with AOS, I love, it's really touching.

  6. Tristan, personally I find that Grant writes as though he's in a Lovecraft pastiche written by Sax Rohmer. I'm in possession of a full complement of Grant's Typhonian Trilogies and can honestly say that they are ALL worth reading, but skip 'Beyond The Mauve Zone' and 'The Ninth Arch' unless you are a full-on dyed-in-the-wool adept. 'The Magickal Revival' was recently reprinted and is still available, and you should be able to pick up 'Outer Gateways' and 'Hecate's Fountain' relatively cheaply if you have a good mooch around.

    Dr. C, fair point now that I think of it, really. Grant would definitely fit my definition of an 'occultist' as opposed to a 'magickian', and I also love Steffi's art. I believe it warrants a book of its own by now, shirley?