7.3.12

More lives than one

Today, a new book was delivered by the postman, who, very annoyingly, drove his moped all the way up to our front door!
It's More Lives Than One(1938) by Claude Bragdon, best known for being the architect who designed the New York Central Station, Rochester, N.Y. (alas, demolished).
I came across Mr Bragdon while doing research for my paper on electrical lighting in churches and he seems to have dabbled in church and lighting design.
Bragdon is a very interesting, but strange character. He was a theosophist, following the writings of Madame Blavatsky.

On a different note, there is a very interesting book I recommend, alas it has not to my knowledge been translated yet.
It is De geheime wereld van James Ensor [The Secret World of James Ensor] by John Gheeraert.
I think it should be translated because it recounts a very interesting period in Ensor's life while Blavatsky was in Ostend writing her Secret Docrine (published in 1888) and, according to Gheeraert, he was fascinated with her and her ideas.

The author Gheeraart says: 'The key to Ensor's secret lies in his Brussels period. There he got into contact with the famous freethinker Ernest Rousseaux. I further discovered that the co-founder of the Theosophical Society, Helena Blavatsky, between 1886 and 1887 a year in Ostend and lived there her "secret doctrine" wrote the bible of the theosophists. My research showed that Ensor, in his most creative period, much of the esoteric works were derived from Blavatsky. But Ensor was also friends with famous Asia-traveler, Alexandra David-Neel. She also spent some time in Ostend. I discovered such totally unexpected sources that provided insights about a painter whose life is usually seen as 'boring'. "

The book does teeter on the edge of fiction as it is not a full-blown biography, but still some interesting stuff.

1 comment:

LEE said...

wow Mrs B, on the other blogger that I also follow this girl also had books on her blog today. sorry never heard of your book that you talk about, but I never was much of a reader, math loved loved it..thank you for your book story today. do take care.