Syberberg’s Parsifal: Wagner and Esotericism

Following on from my article on Barfield’s use of the Eternal Feminine, I want to examine Hans-Jürgen Syberbeg’s adaption of Richard Wagner’s opera Parsifal. This film is a masterful achievement on several fronts. Syberberg manages to draw out many elements implicit in the story, as well as reading into it some esoteric themes of his [...]

Owen Barfield’s ‘The Rose on the Ash-Heap’ and the Eternal Feminine

Owen Barfield was a member of the Oxford Inklings, alongside J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, a writer, poet, and devotee of Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophy. He is seldom talked about except by academics, yet he had a great impact on the writing of his friends, and his own considerable creative efforts merit attention. His one unpublished [...]

The End of the World? René Guénon’s ‘Reign of Quantity’

I have alluded to the rise of materialism and its repercussions in previous articles, and have found a sympathetic point of view in the work of René Guénon. Labelled as a 'traditionalist' by some, for citing the wisdom and spiritual insights of ancient traditions, Guénon attempted to establish a continuity with the past wholly lacking [...]

Kafka’s Faith

Franz Kafka is one of the key figures in modern fiction – a status he earned through just a handful of unfinished novels and a series of enigmatic short stories. His influence can be found in all sorts of places in the work of contemporary writers, wherever they venture to grapple with themes of dystopian [...]