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, and a callous user, as often threatened by his 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. This controversial individual, a frightening mixture of egomania and self-loathing, has inspired passionate--but seldom fair--assesments by historians. Sutin, by treating Crowley as a cultural phenomenon, and not simply a sorcerer or a charlatan, convinces skeptic readers that the self-styled "Beast" remains a fascinating study in eccentricity.

Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Griffin, 2002
ISBN: 9780312288976
Branch Call Number: 828.91209 CRO NVD
Characteristics: viii, 483 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Life of Aleister Crowley


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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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