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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mellon, Bollingen and Eranos

Two new books on Eranos--new to me, at least:
  • Hans Thomas Hakl, Der verborgene Geist von Eranos – Unbekannte Begegnungen von Wissenschaft und Esoterik – Eine alternative Geistesgeschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts (Verlag Neue Wissenschaft, 2001).
  • William McGuire's Bollingen: an adventure in collecting the past (Princeton University Press, 1989).
McGuire clarifies a connection between Traditionalism and Eranos that I was sure would be there somewhere, but had not myself found.

Coomaraswamy was in correspondence with Eliade from at least 1936, and also knew Heinrich Zimmer, the Indologist of German origin who was close to Mary Mellon, patroness of Bollingen. Zimmer introduced Coomaraswamy to Mellon in about 1942; Coomaraswamy arranged Eliade's first job in the US (at a preparatory school in Arizona!!) in 1947, but it was Henry Corbin who first introduced Eliade to Eranos, where he became a hit from 1950 onwards.

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