Camille Flammarion and Sardou

December 22, 2009

House of Zoroastre

some more Sardou, from

Mysterious psychic forces
by Camille Flammarion 1909

Camille Flammarion was a famous French astronomer, early science fiction writer and spiritualist.

About Sadou he writes:

These curious drawings prove indubitably that the signature ” Bernard Palissy, of Jupiter,” is apocryphal and that the hand of Victorien Sardou was not directed by a spirit from that planet. Nor was it the gifted author himself who planned these sketches and executed them in accordance with a definite plan. They were made while he was in the condition of mediumship. A person is not magnetized, nor hypnotized, nor put to sleep in any way while in that state. But the brain is not ignorant of what is taking place: its cells perform their functions, and act (doubtless by a reflex movement) upon the motor nerves. At that time we all thought Jupiter was inhabited by a superior race of beings. The spiritistic communications were the reflex of the general ideas in the air.

Interesting the interest in early spiritualists in life on different planets, which can be seen as a precursor to modern interest in UFOs. But a key difference is that the spiritualists such as Sardou and Helene Smith only spoke of extraterrestrials of communicating telepathically, not by physically visiting the earth. I would say that it was only the invention of the airplane that added a new element to the “general ideas in the air”, and the automatic accounts of extraterrestrial contact was changed to be actual physical contact and abduction from visitors in UFOs. In this way the modern abductee accounts can be seen in the same light as the spiritualist accounts of alien life, as some form of subconscience/semi-conscience narrative.

A very interesting book, much information about automatic writing too.

Also think googlehand is flashing a gang sign



December 19, 2009


Annales des Sciences Psychiques, Volume 18 1908
Les dessins médiumniques de Machner

Only thing I could find with images, 6 black and white.

Zeitschrift für Parapsychologie 1904
Kurze Notizen

German article, no images.  Doesn’t translate very nicely with google translate but has some info.

Le Satanisme et la Magie

December 18, 2009

try to find all the images used in Le Message Automatique

Le Satanisme et la Magie
by Jules Bois, illustrated by Henry de Malvost.

not automatic I don’t think but cool anyway

Les Incubes et les Succubes

Les Incubes et les Succubes, reproduced on page 16 of The Automatic Message from Atlas

Frau Assmann

December 16, 2009

work by Frau Assmann

A very unfortunately named German automatic painter from Halle, active around 1909.

Was interested in spiritualism and participated in seances but had no artistic training or interest into one day “the spirit” told her she could paint. Following that she would have uncontrollable urge to paint which she would do for several hours at a time in a trance state. Had previously also engaged in automatic writing so we could see this as her training herself to enter mediumistic state. Her interest in spiritualism is important only in that it introduced her to these practices and gave her a desire to answer to non conscience thoughts.

Interesting that this appends to Breton’s belief that automatic writing would liberate literature and make everyone a poet, in this case liberating this woman into being an artist.

Had an exhibit in Berlin and a series of postcards printed in 1908, can’t find color reproductions anywhere.

Assmann in the Annals of Psychical Science (egad!) with 4 images:
The Annals of Psychical Science 1908

Doesn’t sound much better in French (think this is mostly a translation of the english article, only 1 picture):
Annales des Sciences Psychiques 1908

2 articles in German, no pics. Not only is “Assmann” a very funny name its also very popular in Germany, many prolific butt-menschen make searching very hard.

Zeitschrift für Psychologie und Physiologie der Sinnesorgane, Volume 49 1908

Zeitschrift für Parapsychologie 1907

Then loe  and behold the best article is in New York Times archive (only partial pen and ink picture but lots if info):

New York Times Jan 17, 1909

Victorien Sardou #2

December 12, 2009

The Strange Freak of a Great Man, Everbody’s Magazine Sept 1899

Sympathetic article despite the title, details his automatic drawings. Small reproductions of House of Swedenborg and House of Mozart. Also examples of his non-automatic drawing for comparison.

House of Swedenborg

House of Mozart

Bonus article Women Who Wear Trousers and Men Who Wear Petticoats

women who wear trousers

Victorien Sardou

December 12, 2009

Borderland iv 1897

Quartier des Animaux chez Zoroaster

Most of this issue is devoted to French spiritualism.

Lots of info on Victorien Sardou

Interview with M. Sardou

Discusses his interest in mediumship and his own automatic drawings

And very graciously the maître sits me down at a small table near the window, and brings forward a large portfolio, from which he draws one by one the most fantastic, weird, and wonderful drawings I have ever seen. Nothing can describe them. There is the house of Zoroaster, all in flaming stars and fiery elements ; there is the house of Swedenborg, which has been published here, I believe; and, most strange of all, there is the house of Mozart, drawn in tiny crotchets, quavers, clé de sols, and clé de fas, in most intricate and marvellous designs, symmetrical and yet diverse. Some lines and curves are so perfert as to be impossible to reproduce without the aid of instruments of precision. All these abodes are supposed to be situated in Jupiter. M. Sardou believes them to be purely symbolical.

Quartier des Animaux chez Zoroaster

also extracts from his play and letters.

Article on spiritualism in Paris

Gives a sense of popularity/diversity of spiritualism in France at end of 19th century.