Nearly seventy years after his death Aleister Crowley, the notorious Beast 666, is only just beginning to attract serious academic attention. Even so we would not expect to find him on any mainstream university courses; he is still too much associated with occultism. So, Crowley – A Beginners Guide is not your standard beginner’s guide.
Readers may be surprised at the richness and complexity of his thought, as well as the extent of his influence. He needs background to be understood. Giving this opens fresh perspectives on much recent intellectual history.
Crowley – A Beginners Guide presents his main ideas in a straightforward and accessible format, with drawings and diagrams to place them in their historical context. It relates him to contemporary movements in art and scholarship. It describes his relationship to modernism and postmodernism, and his role in the counterculture of the sixties, as well as his continuing influence today. Interspersed are entertaining stories of his life and reputation.
Brilliantly illustrated by John Higgins, Crowley – A Beginners Guide is a highly accessible guide to this fascinating, complex and controversial figure. It neither promotes nor condemns him, presenting hostile as well as favourable views of his character and achievement.
John S Moore is a freelance writer and independent scholar living in London. He is the author of Aleister Crowley: A Modern Master (Mandrake of Oxford, 2009) and Nietzsche – An Interpretation (AuthorsOnline Ltd, 2011) and has written on Schopenhauer, Wittgenstein and Edward Bulwer-Lytton among others. More information at www.johnsmoore.co.uk/
John Patrick Higgins is a writer and illustrator. He is the author of The Narwhal and Other stories. His second collection will be published later in the year. He writes art criticism for various magazines and is Creative Director of Shot Glass Theatre Company. He lives in Belfast, which he continues to find extraordinary.
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