Lure of the Arcane: The Literature of Cult and Conspiracy

Lure of the Arcane: The Literature of Cult and Conspiracy

Theodore Ziolkowski


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Fascination with the arcane is a motive force during this accomplished survey of conspiracy fiction. Theodore Ziolkowski lines the evolution of cults, orders, motels, mystery societies, and conspiracies via quite a few literary manifestations―drama, romance, epic, novel, opera―down to the thrillers of the twenty-first century.

Lure of the Arcane considers Euripides’s Bacchae, Andreae’s Chymical Wedding, Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum, between different seminal works. Mimicking the genre’s quest-driven narrative arc, the reader searches for the importance of conspiracy fiction and is rewarded with the author’s cogent reflections within the ultimate bankruptcy. After a lot research, Ziolkowski reinforces Umberto Eco’s idea that the main strong mystery, the magnetic heart of conspiracy fiction, is in reality "a mystery with no content."

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