Between Method and Madness
Essays on Swedenborg and Literature
Edited by Stephen McNeilly
Between Method and Madness: Essays on Swedenborg and Literature addresses Swedenborg’s influence on the literature of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Opening with a lyrical and critical masterpiece by the Nobel Prize-winning poet William Butler Yeats and closing with a rarely seen essay by Arthur Conan Doyle, the volume examines Swedenborg’s role in the birth and rise of the Symbolist movement and his influence upon Victorian poetry and Spiritualism. Read more
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Between Method and Madness: Essays on Swedenborg and Literature addresses the question of Emanuel Swedenborg’s (1688–1772) influence on literature of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The collection opens with a seminal essay by William Butler Yeats, a lyrical and critical masterpiece in which the Nobel Prize-winning poet reveals his breadth of lifelong philosophical and theosophical interests, framing them around the significant influence of Swedenborg. The collection also studies Swedenborg’s role in the birth and rise of the Symbolist movement and his influence upon Victorian poetry. The volume closes with an essay by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who views Swedenborg as a founding figure for the Spiritualist circles he himself advocated. This volume, the fourth in the Journal of the Swedenborg Society series, contains the following six essays:
- W. B. Yeats, “Swedenborg, Mediums and the Desolate Places”
- Gary Lachman, “The Spiritual Detective: How Baudelaire invented Symbolism, by way of Swedenborg, E. T. A. Hoffmann and Edgar Allan Poe”
- Adelheid Kegler, “Elements of Swedenborgian Thought in Symbolist Landscapes: with reference to Sheridan Le Fanu and George MacDonald”
- Richard Lines, “Eros and the Unknown Victorian: Coventry Patmore and Swedenborg”
- Gary Lachman, “Space: the Final Frontier. O. V. de Lubicz Milosz and Swedenborg”
- Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Story of Swedenborg”
Also included are a preface by Stephen McNeilly, a chronology of Swedenborg, biographies of the essay subjects, and an index.
“Takes us far into the subject”
—Colin Manlove, North Wind: A Journal of MacDonald Studies
Established in 1810, the main aim of the Swedenborg Society is to translate and publish the works of Emanuel Swedenborg. The Society was incorporated in 1925 and has since become a registered educational charity. Housed in a historic building in central London, they sell not only their own books but Swedenborg-related titles from other publishers, as well as offering a reference and lending library.
The Swedenborg Foundation offers a selection of the Swedenborg Society’s most popular titles, including the Journal of the Swedenborg Society, each volume of which consists of a collection of articles about Swedenborg’s influence from some of the leading international scholars.
All Swedenborg Society books we carry are imported and contain British spelling, punctuation, and word usage.
To learn more about the Swedenborg Society, visit their website.