Do What Thou Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley

Do What Thou Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley

by Lawrence Sutin
     
 

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

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Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312288976
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
01/16/2002
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
906,680
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.11(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsvii
Introduction1
An Overview of the Magical Tradition, in Which It Is Suggested
that the Raging Battle Between Jesus and Satan Be
(For the Moment) Set Aside in Order that the True
Nature of the Magus Be Understood
One15
The Strange Transformation of One Edward Alexander ("Alick")
Crowley, a Pious Christian Boy of the Late Victorian Upper
Class, Into Aleister Crowley, Poet, Gent., and Magical Adept
in Waiting (1875-98)
Two49
In Which Aleister Crowley Takes the Magical Name Perdurabo
("I Shall Endure to the End") But Appears to Lose His Way
Amidst the Schisms of The Golden Dawn and the Temptations
of the Vale of Tears (1898-1900)
Three80
Years of Wandering in Which Crowley Pursues the Heights
of Magic and Mountains, Embraces Buddhism, Then
Abandons All for the Love of a Woman and the Life
of Country Laird (1900-04)
Four117
The Birth of the New Aeon (1904-05)
Five148
The Assault on Kanchenjunga, the Establishment of a
New Magical Order, and the Wanderlusts of a Magus
(1905-08)
Six192
The Creation of The Equinox, the Rites of Eleusis,
and a Confrontation in the Sahara with the God
of Chaos (1909-14)
Seven242
In Exile in America, Crowley Endures Poverty and
Accusations of Treason as Ordeals Necessary to Becoming
a Magus (1914-19)
Eight278
The Founding and the Ruin of the Abbey
of Thelema (1920-23)
Nine310
Ten A Staged Suicide, an Unavenged Libel, and the
Equinox of the Gods (1930-36)351
Eleven The Final Years of a Magus in the Guise of a
Disreputable Old Man (1937-47)382
EPILOGUE An Assortment of Posthumous Assessments and
Developments421
Endnotes425
Selected Bibliography465
Index467

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