Do What Thou Wilt

Do What Thou Wilt

A Life of Aleister Crowley

Book - 2002
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Aleister Crowley was a blustery coward, an arrogant, misogynistic racist with fascist leanings, as often threatened by his own sexuality as he claimed to be liberated by it. But he was also a groundbreaking poet and an iconoclastic visionary whose literary and cultural legacies extend far beyond the limits of his reputation. Treating Crowley as a cultural phenomenon, Sutin here reveals the frightening mixture of egomania and self-loathing that makes this self-styled 'Beast' a fascinating study in eccentricity. 'A rich narrative' - Kirkus Reviews
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Griffin, 2002
ISBN: 9780312288976
0312288972
Branch Call Number: 828.91209 CRO NVD
Characteristics: viii, 483 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Life of Aleister Crowley

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Matthew_Wild
Feb 09, 2016

Exhaustive rather than interpretive, Sutin has sifted through everything written by or about Crowley. It's at its strongest when digging out pithy eyewitness observations about the Beast and his boorish behaviour, especially the gulf between these shoddy human interactions and his claims to be a prophet of a new age.

The reader is left to make up their own mind about Crowley's many and highly inflated literary and mystical claims (mine is that he was Toad of Toad Hall incarnate). It's an approach that can meander at times, especially with self-aggrandizing accounts of magical operations and all those trainspotterly occult grades.

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