Sunday, September 16, 2007

Elves redux

Gary Lachman has an interesting piece at the Independent about a rather wonderful-sounding Covent Garden bookstore specializing in the occult and owned by Christina Oakley Harrington:
Twenty years ago, the idea of doing research on an occult subject would practically guarantee you'd be unemployed. Today that's changed and, on a visit to Treadwell's, you'll hear names like Baudrillard, Deleuze, Bataille and Foucault dropped as often as that of Aleister Crowley. It's a post-modern, post-Crowley generation here, and the results can be surprising. One of Christina's speakers was honoured with a mention in Private Eye's "Pseuds Corner". It noted Dr Stephen Alexander's lecture series on "Zoophilia", which, in a talk on Eve's encounter with the serpent and the "transhuman future", mooted the question of "sexual congress with snakes". Less challenging perhaps were the lectures by Cyril Edwards, a Germanist and respected translator of Parsifal, who is also "the world expert on elves". "He's a wonderfully engaging man," Christina said, "and he's spoken here a few times and the place was packed to the rafters." All Treadwell's visitors aren't so highbrow, though. Kelly Osbourne, whose dad has his own occult interests, pegged the shop as her favourite in some celebrity magazine. The boost was lost on Christina. "I was here when she came in but I had no idea who she was."

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