Updated: Oct 3, 2019
JOSE GABRIEL ALEGRIA SABOGAL
The Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima.
This is a book I always come back to. From all of the author's vast selection of work, I believe this is the novel that best crystallizes his fascinating and disturbing ideas of beauty and aesthetics. This notion ultimately becomes a form of Kalliphobia, a loathing of the extreme beauty of the Pavilion, viewed as the manifestation of a sacred order which should be kept unseen. The book is a boiling cauldron of aesthetic and spiritual struggle, bringing the reader inside the mind of an insane arsonist.
A secondary choice would be Ángeles Apócrifos en America Virreinal (Apocryphal Angels in Viceregal America) by Ramón Mujica Pinilla. Certainly no less fascinating for me (but currently only available in Spanish as far as I know), it lays out an underground spiritual history during the renaissance and Baroque periods – along with the theological interpretations of the new world as a Theophany, and its prophetic implications. The book is mainly focused on the apocryphal doctrine of the seven angels revealed to the Franciscan priest Amadeus of Portugal in the XV century, recorded in his later condemned book of prophecies called Apocalipsis Nova, a cult that made a strong impact at the time, yet remains relatively unknown by current historiography.
Dances of Ancient Poland – Wanda Landowska
Fighting against changing times, harpsichordist Landowska wanted to keep her instrument alive. To do so, she had her own reconstruction of one built, and endeavoured to revive Baroque and early music (meaning material composed before 1750), all which gives her recordings a distinct and fascinating sound.
The art of Rhony Alhalel.
I had the pleasure of having Rhony as a teacher and as the advisor of my Bachelor thesis in fine arts. A master in many ways, he did his graduate studies at Tokyo’s Tama Art University and specialized in Japanese calligraphy under the guidance of Prof. Morita Shiryu. Rhony advocates for drawing as an artistic expression independent from painting, and fosters the crafting of one's own materials (paper and ink), based on traditional techniques.
The medium is not always the message: a brief consideration on modernity and material. Although traditional craft is defended in my work on a personal level and the body is focused as a primordial tool for walking the inner path, and although this press (Anathema) holds an important focus on the printed and bound book as an invaluable format to be preserved, it is important not to engage in the "negative puritanism" which was already a problem for the Perennialists. This means that there is a danger of being stuck in an attitude which is only a reaction against modernity but has no substance in itself other than negation. More knowledge is available today than ever before; the problem is not the medium, it is simply that most of the herd is using it wrong. It is better to seek for that substance instead of denying it, and it may manifest in unexpected forms. For "The deeds of the gods appear in many forms" (~Euripides, Alcestis).