Thelema in fiction? Thelemic fiction? Any recommendations?
Is there any good thelemic fiction around? You know, stuff where the themes come up, or where the characters happen to be thelemites of one description or another?
Promethea, of course, but other than that? Any recommendations?
Jake Arnott's impressive The Devil's Paintbrush leaps to mind as a current novel where "one of the characters happens to be a Thelemite" - well, that character is Aleister Crowley, so I'm guessing it counts!
Owner and Editor
Kenneth Grants fiction comes to mind, as well as many of the short stories in Starfire journals.
Another worth a read is The Case of the Philosopher's Ring by Randall Collins which has the added appeal of featuring one Sherlock Holmes.
Owner and Editor
Robert Anton Wilson's "Masks of the Illuminati" features AC...and James Joyce...and Albert Einstein. A really fun, thought-provoking and rollicking read!
The other Wilson, Colin, wrote a trilogy consisting of 'Ritual In The Dark', 'The Sex Diary Of Gerard Sorme', and 'God Of The Labyrinth' which exemplify certain Thelemic themes, even if they are not explicitly 'Thelemic' novels. AC is mentioned inter alia, IIRC.
By the way, "hello". I'm a long time lurker. I just thought CW's excellent novels deserved a mention on this thread.
Grant and Crowleys fiction should be a must-read.
Other authors which while not being "thelemic" in a narrow sense of the word but which would probably be of interest for a thelemite could be named: Huysmans, Perez-Reverte, Lovecraft, Castaneda, Machen, Fröding, Palahniuk, Svoboda.
2 verses from the Dhammapada spring to mind in reference to Thelema:
To leave undone
that which should be done
and to do that
which should be avoided
leads to carelessness and conceit.
It will increase confusion.
a meditation practice
focused in the body,
by avoiding that
which should not be done
and by mindfully doing
that which should be done.
I don't know if either one considers himself a "Thelemite" per se, but both Alan Moore and Grant Morrison have been heavily influenced by Crowley. Moore is a very talented writer and some of his work is, IMO, among the best comic book writing since the medium was invented. If you haven't read V for Vendetta (no the movie doesn't count) you are cheating yourself. Grant Morrison is really a Spare guy more than a Crowley guy - and I don't think he's as impressive a writer, but magic is very upfront in his work, and he's not afraid to get weird.