I heard from a little bird, whose Song is as that of a Harp, that the April 2015 issue of the Fortean Times has an article on Albin Grau, producer of 'Nosferatu', artist and occultist. The article itself is - surprise! - full of error and nonsense... but the pictures are nice.
Yes, I read this over the weekend and noted the garbled account of Albin Grau's involvement with Crowley at the 1925 Weida Convocation. Was contemplating sending FT an email about it, but then considered if there was much point in doing this.
Would anyone know the precise reference of Albin Grau's negative comments on The Book of the Law - the ones that John Symonds was so fond of quoting in the various recensions of his biography of Crowley. The detailed account of the events in Thuringia in 1925 that he gave finally in 'The Beast 666' are the best published account of which I know. Any other opinions ?
Main thrust of the article is on the 'occult messages' that Grau slipped in to Nosferatu particulaly in the occult symbolism of the documents shown in the film, the letters and contracts to Count Orlok. They do contain magic squares and talismans inspired by several in The Key of Solomon but I could not discern any precise significance. The film itself, is a superb work of art, of course.
Satan'sAdvocaat - not having the Symond's material at hand I cannot compare it against the German sources. If you read German however, I can highly recommend Volker Lechler's recent Tränker biography, which covers Weida Conference within the context of the German esoteric scene of the time. It bears keeping in mind, however, that there was no translation of Liber AL available to the German Pansophists until just before Crowley's arrival. In fact, Tränker penned a letter thanking Max Schneider for sending over his translation only one day before Crowley & Co. stepped off the train in Gera!
Also, given that Grau along with Eugen Grosche founded the Fraternitas Saturni, ostensibly a Thelemic order even if not controlled by AC, I expect that his difficulties may have been more with the man than the message. This is further suggested by Grau's making contact with Metzger in his later years.
I once made available an English translation of Grau's Liber I - The Book of the Zero-Hour on Lashtal, though I cannot find it in the Downloads section. This Liber does show the relationship between Grau and Therion - so I'll send it as a pdf file to anybody interested. Just PM me your e-mail, if you're interested.
William did err, if ever so slightly: The FS is indeed a Thelemic order - not merely ostensibly, although this is open to interpretation.
thanks Markus, i would be delighted to read Liber Null. I suspect I downloaded your translation and squirrelled it away somewhere, so if you could send it to me via the usual channels.
Thank you William and Markus for your responses. Unfortunately, I do not read German, although I did skim through Grau's Liber I online the other day - it did look interesting - therefore, I may well take up your offer and PM you, Markus.
Symonds does mention Max Schneider's speedy translation of Liber AL and both Tranker's and Grau's reactions to its contents. For those not familiar with Grau's assessment of it, I will quote it here:
"Unhappily, too late I have been made acquainted with the contents of Liber Legis, a book branded with the triple KEOU. I thus to my horror got a real glimpse of the future reconstruction, as planned by the A.'.A.'., of a primitive world order which suggests the blackest days of Atlantis. If these ideas had been clearly in my knowledge at the time, Sir Crowley may rest assured that I would not have put myself so certainly before the chariot of the A.'.A.'. and been invited the 'boot' for services rendered in good faith, however poor and defective they may appear in Sir Crowley's eyes. The Germans have had this 'boot' too often without unfortunately learning wisdom thereby..."
So there you have it. Symonds makes a point about the prophetic nature of these comments, but does not give any source for the actual quotation itself. In 'The Beast 666' the word KEOU is followed by "(sic)". Raises the question of how Grau's attitude may have changed, or how he managed to divorce his own personal interpretation of Thelema from the text of Liber Al !
Lack of proper citation strikes again! I was speaking with a archivist recently who indicated that she cannot bring herself to lend texts lacking proper citation and bibliographic information any sort of credibility...
I will check through my sources to see if anything pops up or perhaps someone else may lend a hand here.
There is a translation here, Markus, though I'm not certain it's yours.
yes, that's it!