Remembering René Guénon:
November 15, 1886–January 7, 1951
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.
- Alain de Benoist, “Spiritual Authority and Temporal Power,” trans. Jon Graham
- Julius Evola, “René Guénon: East and West,” trans. anonymous, rev. Greg Johnson
- Greg Johnson, “Metapolitics and Occult Warfare,” Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 (French translation here)
- Edouard Rix, “Remembering René Guénon,” trans. Greg Johnson
- Harry Oldmeadow, “Biography of René Guénon”
- Thomas F. Bertonneau, “The Kali Yuga: René Guénon’s Critique of Modernity”
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 and Paul Chacornac’s The Simple Life of René Guénon. 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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