Martin Starr – A Talk To The Caxton Club

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The Caxton Club has announced a talk by Martin P Starr – author of the excellent The Unknown God – on Friday 12 November: The Magical Book Arts of Aleister Crowley.

It sounds absolutely fascinating.

Based in Chicago, the Caxton Club is an organization of authors, binders, collectors, conservators, dealers, designers, editors, librarians, publishers, and scholars who share a common interest in the arts pertaining to the production of books. Friday, 12 November 2004

The Magical Book Arts of Aleister Crowley

Speaker: Martin P. Starr

Caxtonian Martin P. Starr, an independent scholar of Western Esotericism, will present a examination of the works of the English poet and practitioner of “Magick,” Aleister Crowley (1875-1947). Although popularly portrayed as a monster of hedonism, Crowley was also a prolific author whose books were self-designed in accordance with the esoteric symbolism of color and number which he learned in the same occult school that nurtured his contemporary W. B. Yeats. Consciously created as magical objects, with publication dates chosen for their astrological significance, Crowley’s books were in essence talismans. Although they did not bring the author money, despite their often lavish production values, posthumously these highly collectible volumes have brought him a modicum of fame as an eccentric artist of the book.

Starr, who makes his living managing the equally arcane world of information technology, has been collecting Crowley since his undergraduate days at the University of Chicago. He is the co-founder and editor of the Teitan Press, which, over the last two decades, has published a series of Crowley’s literary and occult titles. His first original book, The Unknown God: W. T. Smith and the Thelemites, a study of Crowley’s contemporary followers in North America, was published by the Teitan Press in 2003.

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