Infinite Fire Webinar VII – Gustav Meyrink & His Esoteric Novels

This is the first of three webinars by dr. Marco Pasi in our Infinite Fire Webinar series. In his first webinar Marco focuses on the Austrian author and occultist Gustav Meyrink (1868-1932). Meyrink is known for his esoteric novels, such as The Golem (1915), which created sensation upon publication and became a best-seller. His novels are pervaded by an aura of mystery, with intricate plots that move on different temporal planes at the same time, and characters with shifting or multiple personalities. While Prague is undoubtedly the strongest inspiration for the location of his stories, one of his novels, The Green Face (1916), has its action taking place in Amsterdam. The Ritman Library has a wonderful collection of manuscripts, personal objects, and memorabilia related to Meyrink, and this webinar is an excellent opportunity not only to hear something about Meyrink’s work and legacy, but also to see some of these items.


‘Der Golem’ by Gustav Meyrink, 1915.

Dr. Marco Pasi is Associate Professor in the History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents at the HHP at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). He holds a laurea degree in philosophy from the University of Milan, a DEA and a Ph.D in Religious Studies from the École Pratique des Hautes Études (Paris Sorbonne). He has published extensively on the history of modern Western esotericism, especially in relation to magic, art, and politics. He is the author of Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics (2014) and he has edited Peintures inconnues d’Aleister Crowley: La collection de Palerme (2008), and co-edited Kabbalah and Modernity: Interpretations, Transformations, Adaptations (2010).

Also he is a member of the research network ‘Enchanted Modernities’, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, which focuses on the influence of Theosophy and related movements on visual, musical, performing, and applied arts. In September the multi-day conference ‘Enchanted Modernities – Theosophy, Modernism and the Arts‘ took place in Amsterdam with a parallel exhibition running right now in the Ritman Library ‘Beauty as the Imprint of the Cosmos – the Metaphysical in Art‘.