The Morning of the Magicians
Cover of the first edition
|Original title||Le Matin des magiciens|
Published in English
|1963 (Stein and Day)|
The Morning of the Magicians (French: Le Matin des magiciens) is a 1960 book by Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier. It became a best seller, first in French, then translated into English in 1963 as The Dawn of Magic, and in 1964 released in the United States as The Morning of the Magicians (Stein and Day; paperback in 1968 by Avon Books). A German edition was published with the title Aufbruch ins dritte Jahrtausend (Departure into the third Millennium).
In a generalized and wide ranging overview of the occult or paranormal, the book presents a collection of "raw material for speculation of the most outlandish order", discussing conspiracy theories, ancient prophecies, alchemical transmutation, a giant race that once ruled the Earth, and the Nazca Lines. It also includes speculations such as German occultism and supernatural phenomena conspiracy theory[clarification needed] that the Vril Society and the Thule Society were the philosophical precursors to the Nazi Party.
Pauwels and Bergier worked on the book during five years, compiling voluminous documentation incorporated into the BNF as Fonds Pauwels in 2007. The authors' primary aim was to arouse the curiosity of their readership, stating "Let us repeat that there will be a lot of silliness in our book, but this matters little if the book stirs up a few vocations and, to a certain degree, prepares broader tracks for research".
Cautioned by the hostile reception of the book by rationalist reviewers (notable among whom is Yves Galifret and Le crépuscule des Magiciens; "The Twilight of the Magicians"), the authors went on to pursue their interest in the paranormal in the review Planète, dedicated to what they termed réalisme fantastique (fantastic realism).
The book is the origin of the claims of a fictional "Maria Orsic", a Vienna-born Croatian-woman who was supposedly involved with the Vril Society ("Vril Gesellschaft") and vanished in 1945, going to "Aldebaran." The mythology of Maria Orsic has spread in the internet age, particularly among those inclined to Esoteric Nazism.
In a 2004 article for Skeptic Magazine, Jason Colavito wrote that the book's tales of ancient astronauts predated Erich von Däniken's works on the topic, and that the ideas are so close to the fictional works of H. P. Lovecraft such as "The Call of Cthulhu" or At the Mountains of Madness (published in 1928 and 1931, respectively) that, according to Colavito, it is probable that Lovecraft's fiction directly inspired the book.
- Adams, Deborah (2009). "Review of "The Morning of the Magicians"". Curled Up With A Good Book. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
- Hodapp, Christopher; Alice Von Kannon (31 March 2008). "18". Conspiracy Theories & Secret Societies For Dummies. For Dummies. p. 350. ISBN 978-0-470-18408-0.
- « Il y aura sans doute beaucoup de bêtises dans notre livre, répétons-le, mais il importe assez peu, si ce livre suscite quelques vocations et, dans une certaine mesure, prépare des voies plus larges à la recherche » p. 199.
- Lachman, Gary (2003). Turn Off Your Mind: The Mystic Sixties and the Dark Side of the Age of Aquarius. The Disinformation Company. ISBN 0-9713942-3-7. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- Jason Colavito (2004). "Charioteer of the Gods: An investigation into H.P. Lovecraft and the invention of ancient astronauts." Skeptic (10.4).