Feb 27 2007, 09:11 PM
Just spouting off but I get sick of seeing all these old books now edited for the 3/4th time. For example, I saw Regardie's Tree of Life, and Middle Pillar, both given a huge font, tons of pictures (which are not necessarily needed in my opinion) and a lot of extra info by the editors, the Ciceros. I don't know much about them, but I wonder - why edit and add so much to some of these books?
I also think the cover art on a lot of books is hideous. Kraig's modern magick, for example, I find it to be too cartoonish and it's not something I would read in the public eye because it draws attention.
Do you all have any thoughts? Any editions of books you think are unnecessary, bad cover art, bad editing/illustrations... etc
Mar 9 2007, 12:05 AM
The Cicero's (or what I know of them from their books) give me an edgy feeling. On one hand, they are informative, their style is adapted to non-academics, and the illustrations are relevant to their topics. On the other hand, they come across as pedantic New Age kooks who pass off cartoons as "serious spiritual diagrams." This leads me to think of them (and correct me if I am wrong, o ye of the Golden Dawn) as the very model of the occult pseudo-authority who thrives on looks, lore, and the awe engendered among losers for anyone who appears to have a position of respect. But my magical interests are the pursuit of success, whereas theirs is something else, perhaps illumination or experience of mystical states of consciouesness, and they might be experts in that area.
The general look and tone of modern occult books (Weiser, Lewellyn, New Faclon, et al) is something like a cross between a 5th-grade History text and a book on how to fix washing machines. Rollo Ahmed would spin in his tomb! i discovered long ago that if i wanted a mythic tome with gold plates and precious gems on the cover, filled with carefully-painted occult runes and beautiful calligraphy in colored inks, I'd have to make them myself. So I did.
Aside from the look of occult books, I think there should be a little more consideration from publishers about who edits the books. They might have a fine selling book from a popular author, but someone ought to be able to step back and say "hey that guy sells books but he's a crank and a charlatan, and has no place in the editing process." For example, Francis King (author of "Techniques of High Magic," a full chapter of which is nothing but a few paragraphs out of a fantasy novel) introduces the hardcover Liber Armadel. In the introduction to this otherwise beautifully-bound book, F. king says outright that the book is absurd and useless. What kind of an introduction is that? Can't they find someone who can do a better investigation of the contents?
Mar 9 2007, 01:40 AM
Bravo, it is nice to hear that others appreciate the classical aesthetics of occult books, as well as having a discerning eye for the quality of the contents. It is truly sad when a publisher sinks to shock and awe of flashy cover art and big-name editors to sell their books.
But, I would disagree on a technical point. The new editions of most of the books in fiction, literature and history, have forwards, epilogs and introductions that actually add to the story. Now granted, they are normally not authors, in fact they seem to be editors and critics. It may be that “the occult” is a trendy topic that everyone whishes to cash in on, before the gullible throng of the public becomes discerning consumers.
Just my little rant.
Mar 9 2007, 08:59 AM
You guys seem to be forgetting that the reason they gild occult books with such hideous children's themes is because the occult's number one audience are the credulous children - that's how they make their business.
I've always faltered in buying most occult books simply due to its frivolous cover, but I'm also not one of the millions of children who watch harry potter and lord of the rings and decide that the occult is cool and we should try it, thus, they are lured by the occult's mysteries and not so much its quaintness as we have.
May 25 2007, 10:16 AM
I too admire the older versions of books, but some of my books are the older versions, and have age-damage and are falling apart. Another thing is that if you couldn't get your hands on an older version of a text you wanted, but now can because it was printed, then it went in your favor. It is a double-edged sword of an arguement, I can think of just as many reasons for and against this issue. Although my preference is more towards older books, and older versions. I am not sure how I feel about haveing just any grimoire at Barnes and Noble's though... I usually buy mine at Metaphysical shops to help promote business there.
Jul 7 2007, 10:58 PM
I generaly tend to buy metaphysical books and grimoires wherever I see them, this being Australia and all. But there are a number of people showing more and more interest in the occult so i have some competition.