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Remembering René Guénon:
November 15, 1886 to January 7, 1951

Rene-guenon-1925305 words

René Guénon was born on November 15, 1886. Along with Julius Evola, Guénon was one of the leading figures in the Traditionalist school, which has deeply influenced my own outlook and the metapolitical mission and editorial agenda of Counter-Currents Publishing and North American New Right. (For a sense of my differences with Guénon, see my lecture on “Vico and the New Right.”) 

In commemoration of his birth, I wish to draw your attention to the following works on this website.

This relative handful of articles does not give a true sense of Guénon’s importance, for along with Evola, Nietzsche, and Spengler, he is also one of the most widely mentioned thinkers on this site. It is a presence, and an influence, that will only grow in time.

Those looking for an introduction to Guénon’s work should begin with the short and relatively accessible The Crisis of the Modern World. For a judicious overview of Guénon’s works, see The Essential René Guénon: Metaphysics, Tradition, and the Crisis of Modernity. My personal favorite among Guénon’s books, and the one the provides the most “empirical” access to the idea of Tradition, is Symbols of Sacred Science.

For a brief biography of Guénon, see Robin Waterfield, René Guénon and the Future of the West: The Life and Writings of a 20th-Century Metaphysician. For an interesting and readable historical/journalistic account of Traditionalism, see Mark Sedgwick, Against the Modern World: Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century.

 

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4 Comments

  1. Eos
    Posted November 15, 2014 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Paul Chacornac’s biography (published by Sophia Perennis) has more information than Waterfield’s.

  2. JJJ
    Posted November 15, 2014 at 4:00 am | Permalink

    It is also worth noting that Guenon’s studies on Hinduism (“Introduction the Study of the Hindu Doctrines,” “Man and His Becoming According to the Vedanta,” “Symbolism of the Cross” and “The Multiple States of Being”) are worth reading if one wants to know Guenon’s “meat and potatoes” understanding of Traditional mythology and symbolism. I never see these works mentioned on this site, and seems like new rightists are interested only in Guenon’s critique of modernity, without knowing the “nitty gritty” substance behind it.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted November 15, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      If you wish to write something about these books, you are welcome to submit it.

    • James O'Meara
      Posted November 17, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      “I never see these works mentioned on this site, and seems like new rightists are interested only in Guenon’s critique of modernity, without knowing the “nitty gritty” substance behind it.”

      Actually, I constantly reference all three works, most recently just last week in reviewing Don Webb’s book. You may have missed them as I don’t write essays on metaphysics as such, but the applications are there.

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