Yet another AC biog!
Came across this, 'Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics' by someone called Marco Pasi (a leading authority? 😉 ) It's a £50 hardback due to appear sometime in 2012.
Thanks for the link, tc. Knowing Marco by reputation and his presence here, this should be well worth a read.
Owner and Editor
I am looking for a long time forward to see this publication in print in the English language!
I have read the Italian version more than once and I can say that in my opinion it is one of the most cogent and 'academically' precise books on AC ever written.
I actually would say he is a leading authority on the subject 😉
I received the German copy today. By the looks of it, it is a very good book. I was/am particularly interested in Julius Evola's take on AC, which Pasi goes into. Seemingly, Evola considered AC a true initiate and a follower of the Left Hand Path. Pasi also gives us a glimpse of what volume three of the Group of Ur's "Magic as a Science of the Self" contains on AC, namely parts of Liber Aleph. Pasi raises the interesting question of how on earth Evola had access to Liber Aleph in the late 1920s.
once you have had a chance to read it I would be interested in your review and whether it might be a good book for the layman, a German reader not very familiar with either Crowley or the context in which he was operating.
Its another one of those "kinks in time"! 🙂
I have had the english version pre-ordered on amazon for what seems like an eternity. it has been a long time since i looked forward to reading a book as much. His review of recent Crowley Biogs
is razor sharp, and if it is any indication of the quality of 'The Temptation of Politics' it iwll be well worth the wait!
I'm tempted to gather together all biogs and write a 'super' biog, mixing all the best research from each into one book!
Davyp93: Thanx very much for the link to the excellent review by Pasi, which has me very eager to see his book in English translation.
yes, that was quite interesting. Inspired, i began reading Pasi's other essays available at academia.eu and quickly saw that his essay "Knight of Spermatophagy" about Belgian
spiritualist, Chevalier Georges Le Clément de Saint-Marcq, had been published in the volume 'Hidden Intercourses', a text which also contained essays by Hugh B. Urban (yes, i be!) and John Patrick Deveney. While the hardback is going for over 200 ducats the trade is only 30 so, good rat that i am, i pushed the lever and now my reward is sitting in front of me. Thanks, Davyp93!
glad to be of help folks 🙂
Now that I've finished reading the German edition of the book, my two cents. Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics deals mainly with AC's take on politics. As such Dr. Pasi gives a quick review of his life before discussing the various phases AC went through politically. In particular Pasi relies on AC's communications with his more or less politically minded friends and associates, e.g. Fuller, Pessoa, Viereck, etc. which takes up a large part of the book and makes for an informing and interesting read. As this aspect of AC's life has hitherto not received a lot of attention we learn quite a bit about the Old Goat, especially since Pasi manages to place AC into his political and social context. We therefore now know much more about "where he was coming from", and ultimately it is this which makes the book a worthwhile read for the Thelemite.
Marco Pasi has written the book in a scholarly, i.e. scientific style, and has done so very well indeed. Since he is concentrating on a small aspect of AC's life the book is of little to no use for people who just want to get a general idea of the Beast. This text is useful for those who already have a good general knowledge of the man. So, if you're new to AC, don't read this just yet, if, however, you're familiar with him, then this is an excellent book for acquiring background information usually not taken into consideration.
Pasi's style is highly unbiased, and mostly very scientific. This is the real merit of this study: AC is now no longer a depraved nut studied by some wierdos from the intellectual and moral fringes of society, but has become the subject of serious scholarly research.
I do have some minor quibbles, but cannot be sure whether these are owing to Pasi, the translator (who did an excellent job), or proof-reader. The only big shortcoming is that Pasi uses terms such as "right wing" and "left wing" without defining what they mean, and irrespective of their having undergone huge shifts in meaning. The NSDAP is thus a "right wing extremist" party, even though at that time they were certainly considered "left wing". For the next edition I suggest that Dr. Pasi clear this up, and I also suggest giving the proof-reader 12 strokes of the cane and 15 "Our Fathers" for his slumberous work ethic.
Finally, Pasi gives us the correspondence between AC and Pessoa, as well as the file on AC by the Italian authorities. The German edition also contains an excellent essay by the leading German Evola scholar H. T. Hakl on the relationship between AC and Evola. Let's hope that this essay makes it into the English edition (due out at the end of the year).
In all highly recommended!
Thanks Markus! I just finished an essay by Pasi "Knight of Spermatophagy" and quite enjoy his crisp, academic style & the occasional touch of dry wit. Is there much in "Versuchung" regarding Crowley's time in Berlin?
I also read "Knight of Spermatophagy" and enjoyed it very much! Highly recommended!
Yes, Pasi devotes quite some space to Crowley in Berlin. Unfortunately many of AC's diaries for this period are lost. However, you'll get a good laugh when you read up on AC's relationship with his flatmate back then - and no, I'm not giving it away!
For sale: Aleister Crowley by Marco Pasi
German language, hardbound - new:
US Media mail $3.99
International Air $11.00
Paypal or check. Please PM for payment addresses.
drat 666TSAEB, your offer came a tad too late! i had just pulled the lever at Amazon only two hours before...
And yet another book dealing with AC's life to hit the shelves soon! Due out in late November 2012 is the German language Boca do Inferno: Aleister Crowleys Verschwinden in Portugal, i.e. "Crowley's Disappearance in Portugal" by Fernando Pessoa.
It will be a hardback, published by the reputable S. Fischer publishing house, 320 pages, edited and translated by Steffen Dix (who did his phD on Pessoa).
The book will deal only with Crowley's famous stunt, as described predominantly by Pessoa.
Here's Amazon's link:
thanks Markus, it is already on my pre-purchase list at Amazon (along with Strauss' long overdue biography of Albin Grau). Also, for those who are interested in this subject, I have just received a copy of "Encontro Magick" - Miguel Roza's examination of the Pessoa/Crowley episode. While the original Hugin Editores, 2001 edition is hard to come by, there is a new edition from 2010 published by Assírio & Alvim which I ordered from this Portuguese book dealer
while most of Roza's text is in Portuguese, the English correspondence of Crowley, Pessoa, Germer, Regardie and Jaeger is also included, running about eighty pages. Also included is an English translation of Pessoa's novella 'A Boca do Inferno' which runs about sixty pages. So, even for the non-Portuguese reader, the text will be of value to those that have an interest in this affair.
Also, it seems some more exciting work has been done by Marco Pasi - published in Brown University's 'Pessoa Plural - A Journal of Fernando Pessoa Studies'. Their first issue is out and includes these tasty bits:
September 1930, Lisbon: Aleister Crowley's lost diary of his Portuguese trip
Fernando Pessoa and Aleister Crowley: New discoveries and a new analysis of the documents in the Gerald Yorke Collection
enjoy, my pretties!
Fascinating documents - many thanks.
Owner and Editor
Thanks for the interest in my work. Since I see that the English edition of my Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics has been mentioned in this thread and that there are some expectations about it, I would like to give here a small update about the date of publication. I have finally submitted the final manuscript to the publisher a few days ago. I hear that it should be published before the end of this year (2013). I know it has taken much too long to get there, but preparing this edition was a long process for several reasons. The book will be published by the UK-based publisher Acumen, and you can find a description here: http://www.acumenpublishing.co.uk/display.asp?K=e2012122016075302&dtspan=180:420&sort=sort_date/d&m=13&dc=103.
This edition has been further revised and expanded from the 2006 German version and contains some new material. One discovery I am particularly happy with is the identification of the mysterious "M", whose letters inquiring about Crowley's political activities were found in a file of the Italian secret police (I originally published the file in the first edition of the book). M's identity had eluded me for quite some time, and authors who suggested possible solutions (e.g. Richard B. Spence and Tobias Churton in their recent books on AC) couldn't make a convincing guess either. I think I now know who this person was and the answer will be in the book!
This is fantastic news, Mr. Pasi! Thanks for the update...
Thanks, Dr Pasi, and welcome to LAShTAL.COM.
Owner and Editor