The chapter places the argument of the book in relation to the most important work on the relation between modernism and the occult over the last 20 years. In challenging the conclusions of much of this work, the chapter argues that occult discourses need to be seen as engaging with the idea of magic, and that a particular reading of magical ideas in the late 19th and early 20th centuries can open up a new way of thinking about modernist uses of occult discourses. The chapter also introduces new ways of thinking both of the idea of experiment and of mimesis, concepts that will be central to the argument in the rest of the book, and argues that modernists needed magical mimesis in order to construct their experiments.
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