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Recommendation for Crowley's Bio

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The Happy Squirrel  The Happy Squirrel is offline
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How about "A Magick Life: A Biography of Aleister Crowley" by Martin Booth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross G Caldwell View Post
I find Lawrence Sutin's Do What Thou Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley (2000) to be far richer in insight than Perdurabo. Sutin is definitely an outsider, even a critic, of Crowley, but in my estimation he gives a more mature picture of Crowley's character and development over time than Kaczynski does. This is very important, ultimately, depending on the depth of your studies, since Crowley's life is usually presented as a circus or freak show, with little attempt to get beneath and find the man within.
I'd agree - I read both last year and found Sutin much more enlightening. I also felt that Kaczynski includes FAR too much rather extraneous matter - as in - every time Crowley meets a new person we get the full details of that person's school life, relatives and the rest - which made reading harder work than it need have been. The bits that were RELEVANT could have been brought in when they became relevant - but - for instance, when Crowley met - say - Bert Fry - there's no need for us to be told that Fry had two younger siblings; that he went to the village school and his siblings didn't, that he was particularly good at Math and Jenny Penny was his best friend.... That's the stuff of endnotes - if we even needed it at all.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Happy Squirrel View Post
So that's a "no" then Aeon418?
No, not at all. It's probably a good idea to read as many Crowley bio's as you can. Each one presents you with an opinion of Crowley. The more opinions the better, yes?

But there's a caveat. The more negative bio's tend to go hand in hand with shoddy research. A good example would be "The Beast Demystified" by Roger Hutchinson. Putting to one side Hutchinson's dismissive/hostile tone, it does appear that he actually did some honest research. But at a certain point he seems to have given up. As a result the text is "salted" with made up facts and outright fictions.

I love the bit where he claims Dion Fortune was at W.B. Yeats side during the "Battle of Blythe Road". What??? Fortune was only 10 years old at the time.

Other biographies that haven't been mentioned so far:

A Magick Life by Martin Booth. Reasonably balanced. Booth admits that he's not an expert on the esoteric. But, being a poet himself, he does appreciate Crowley as a literary figure.

MegaTherion by Francis King. A competent and readable biography.

The Legacy of the Beast by Gerald Suster. Part bio, part examination of Crowley's ideas and influence. It was an influential book in my early years. And I still have a soft spot for it.

Then there are the John Symonds biographies. "The Great Beast." "The King of the Shadow Realm." Openly hostile, sensationalist, and highly critical. Yet Symonds was an official literary executor of Crowley's estate. Some think Symonds stabbed Crowley in the back (Harris was of this opinion). While others think he was merely being pragmatic by presenting the public with the Crowley they all wanted to see, and thereby kept his name alive after his death.

Are you not entertained?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsqJFIJ5lLs
Top   #13
The Happy Squirrel  The Happy Squirrel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeon418 View Post
No, not at all. It's probably a good idea to read as many Crowley bio's as you can. Each one presents you with an opinion of Crowley. The more opinions the better, yes?



But there's a caveat. The more negative bio's tend to go hand in hand with shoddy research. A good example would be "The Beast Demystified" by Roger Hutchinson. Putting to one side Hutchinson's dismissive/hostile tone, it does appear that he actually did some honest research. But at a certain he seems to have given up. As a result the text is "salted" with made up facts and outright fictions.



I love the bit where he claims Dion Fortune was at W.B. Yeats side during the "Battle of Blythe Road". What??? Fortune was only 10 years old at the time.



Other biographies that haven't been mentioned so far:



A Magick Life by Martin Booth. Reasonably balanced. Booth admits that he's not an expert on the esoteric. But, being a poet himself, he does appreciate Crowley as a literary figure.



MegaTherion by Francis King. A competent and readable biography.



The Legacy of the Beast by Gerald Suster. Part bio, part examination of Crowley's ideas and influence. It was an influential book in my early years. And I still have a soft spot for it.



Then there the John Symonds biographies. "The Great Beast." "The King of the Shadow Realm." Openly hostile, sensationalist, and highly critical. Yet Symonds was an official literary executor of Crowley's estate. Some think Symonds stabbed Crowley in the back (Harris was of this opinion). While others think he was merely being pragmatic by presenting the public with the Crowley they all wanted to see, and thereby kept his name alive after his death.



Are you not entertained?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsqJFIJ5lLs

Haha I am indeed

The "Magick Life" is already on my list

I am dropping Perdurabo to 3rd on my list to be revisited some other time perhaps. I dunno I haven't decided

"Confessions" I feel is a must since it was from the horse's mouth. So that is the top of the list and in its own category.

Second on the list at the moment is "Do What Thou Wilt"

I will investigate the rest
Top   #14




 


 


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