Do What Thou Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley

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9780312288976: Do What Thou Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley

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.

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Review:

The legendary Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) is a tantalizing and bizarre subject. As an occult leader, heroin addict, sexual adventurer, misogynist, and visionary, he is the inspiration for many vile Gothic protagonists. Author W. Somerset Maugham even devoted a novel, The Magician, to this chilling figure of indulgence and religious mockery. Like any good biographer, Lawrence Sutin set out to discover the man behind the myth. After considerable research, Sutin admits that Crowley was "a shameless scoffer at Christian virtue" and "a spoiled scion of a wealthy Victorian family," but he also sees him as a 20th century figure as "protean, brilliant, courageous, and flabbergasting as ever you could imagine."

Consider these facts about the man who named himself "The Great Beast": He was one of the first Westerners to seriously study Buddhism and Yoga. He radically redesigned the traditional Tarot deck (thus the "Crowley deck"). Contrary to common belief, he was never known to participate in satanic ritual--to do so would acknowledge the Christian church, which he was loathe to do (although he nicknamed his son "The Christ Child"). These are but a few of the surprising morsels one can glean from this excellent biography. Don't expect to find Crowley a likable figure. Do, however, expect to meet a flamboyant man who challenged all forms of religious, sexual, and social oppression and hence became a revered visionary and a reviled demon. --Tara West

About the Author:

Lawrence Sutin is a professor at the University of Minnesota. His previous works include Divine Invasions and Shifting Realities, on the life and works, respectively, of writer Philip K. Dick.

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Descripción St Martin s Press, United States, 2002. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New edition. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.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. Nº de ref. de la librería AAV9780312288976

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Descripción St Martin s Press, United States, 2002. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New edition. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. 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. Nº de ref. de la librería AAV9780312288976

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Descripción St Martin s Press, United States, 2002. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. New edition. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. 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. Nº de ref. de la librería BZE9780312288976

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