Return from Oblivion: Joséphin Péladan’s Literary Esotericism

  • Sasha Chaitow
Part of the Palgrave Studies in New Religions and Alternative Spiritualities book series (PSNRAS)


Joséphin Péladan (1858–1918) was a key figure in the development of French symbolism. The author of over a hundred novels and monographs, his work represents a unique, eclectic attempt to use art and literature as a vehicle for esoteric transformation, with strong elements of early modernist thought. Identified as possibly the largest single body of ‘literary esotericism’, his work has, until recently, been poorly understood. In her study of his work, Sasha Chaitow utilizes an interdisciplinary framework to give equal weight to the literary and esoteric characteristics of Péladan’s output. This chapter defines and justifies the term ‘literary esotericism’, provides a roadmap for similar interdisciplinary studies, and reveals the significance of contextualizing the occult characteristics of such work.

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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sasha Chaitow
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ResearcherCorfuGreece

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