Confessions again  

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the_real_simon_iff
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15/04/2005 5:05 pm  

93, all!

Does anybody remember the recent discussion about the Confessions? Seems I can't find the original thread. Anyway, today I received a book from Caduceus Books, a Sotheby's catalogue from July 1971. Whoa! Rare AC stuff! Really rare! Most of it bought Jimmi Page. But I don't want to complain, I just found the following item:

Crowley Aleister, The Confessions, Typescripts of Parts 3-6 containing ca. 130 pages not printed by Symonds and Grant.

130 pages! Does anybody here know if these pages were included in a later edition than the 1969 Confessions (the catalogue refers to that edition)? If not, I change my mind and start complaining: I would like to read that material!

Love=Law
Lutz


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 Anonymous
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19/04/2005 10:37 am  
"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
Does anybody remember the recent discussion about the Confessions?

Certainly.

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
Seems I can't find the original thread.

Yeah. What's up with the Lashtal search engine? I can't find things sometimes. That thread is here.

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
130 pages! Does anybody here know if these pages were included in a later edition than the 1969 Confessions (the catalogue refers to that edition)? If not, I change my mind and start complaining: I would like to read that material!

So say all of us, I imagine. All the editions since have been the Symonds/Grant version; which is why there is quite a bit of keenality, to get that other material, about. Hadn't heard about who had the typescripts, so thanks for that. It doesn't say if that was the edited version, I suppose? And Red Flame has a listing for the galley proofs of Part III, annotated by A.C., described as if they were published in 1969.

Viz: http://www.redflame93.com/DeskC.html

Anyone know anything about that? And what about this item?

Wot th' hell is that?

CSM


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 Anonymous
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20/04/2005 8:58 pm  

In the introduction to the first edition of the Confessions, John Symonds writes:
" This is the text of all six volumes, after some redundancies have been removed: Crowley dictated the work to the Ape of Thoth while under the influence of heroin, which made him at times a little verbose."

By 1945, Crowley had lost the galley proofs of the third volume and the scripts of the remaining 3 volumes were scattered amongst his papers. At Symonds' urging, Crowley collected them all together and gave them to a typist to type them all up, sending a copy to Symonds and complaining that it had cost him almost £40 to get them all typed up.

From this, it should be clear that the Confessions as published by Symonds and Grant is pretty much what Crowley intended, as he himself had had it typed up, presumably correcting where necessary. As for Symonds' "redundancies", the word means stuff that wasn't necessary. I presume this to mean passages where Crowley probably repeats himself or rambles on about nothing, or stuff irrelevant to his life; anyone who has tried to have a conversation with someone stoned will know that they can go off on all sorts of tangents, and repeat themselves several times (go on, admit it, we've all done it:-))

Personally, the mention of 130 pages of "missing" stuff doesn't quite ring true to me; if there really was 130 pages of NEW, never before published Crowley material out there, it would have been published by now. Absolutely nothing of what these "extra" pages supposedly contain has ever been leaked, and I strongly suspect that if they ever surface, there will be nothing there that we don't know already. I very much doubt there are amazing revelations that have been deliberately hidden from us, or new information that enables us to look at AC in a new light. Very probably, it was left out for a perfectly simple good reason; it was rubbish.

And finally, on old paper sizes, and an old fashioned typewriter, printing double-spaced as a professional typist would do, 130 pages wouldn't contain a lot of text; if it had made it into the Confessions, printed single-spaced with a smaller font size than typescript, it would probably only amount to about 15 extra pages, if that.


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OKontrair
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20/04/2005 10:40 pm  

93

Parts 1 & 2 were published in 1929 of a projected six volumes with a seventh to be given 'free' to anyone who subscribed to the whole set.

Volume 3 was taken as far as proof stage, corrected by AC and went through a second proof stage which AC also marked up for the printer. These proof sets went to Australia with P.R.Stevenson. They are in the State Library of New South Wales.

Gerald Yorke had a copy of the whole six volume typescript. Volume 7 so far as I know never came into being. Here is his description of what he had (from a 1951 list he prepared for the Warburg with the latest datable addition by him being 1971):

L14 14 The Confessions. Being the unpublished portion. Two volumes were published by the Mandrake Press. These are the remainder.
a. (a) Typescript of Vol 3 copied from the galley proofs.
b. (b) German translation of the above, done from the original typescript and a few variations including a little more material than (a)
c. (c) These 4 Vols are headed The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage
Nos. 74 - 88 covering pp96 - 364
89 - 108 365 - 676
109 - 126 677 - 1010
127 - 138 1011 - 1234

The numbers 74 - 88 etc refer to folders containing sheaves of pages. L14 and 14 etc are Yorke's own reference numbers.

I have a copy of the 1971 Sotheby's catalogue and the item sold there is so very similar to this that I take it to be identical. It sold for £50! If you look further on in the catalogue you will find a copy of Household Gods with the name Frater Aossic inscribed. This is Kenneth Grant. My conjecture would be that the copy of Confessions sold by Sotheby's originated with Yorke's copy and was sold by Grant after he'd finished working on it for the 1969 version.

In the Karl Germer version of Magick Without Tears (1954) there are references in a footnote to entries in Confessions Volume 4 referred to by page number. It's not always clear in the Germer MWT which footnotes are his and which AC's. Some are obviously one or the other but this one could be either. AC for instance states perfectly clearly that he wrote the Tunis Comment in Paris and Germer footnotes this as 'Error, Tunis 1925'
Regardie alters the Volume 4 page numbers to conform to the 1969 (USA 1970) version of Confessions. Any one good at maths (that's me out) could probably calculate the volume of missing material by analysing the differences.

Yorke did not so far as I know relinquish his Confessions material to Symonds and Grant but must have passed over a copy. Yorke's material is, again so far as I know, in the Warburg.

Confessions itself was not written as a book but actually drew together lots of ACs other diaries and articles with some trimming and padding done to make it fit together. As an example of the kind of thing left out there is a magazine article by Crowley describing a sudden rain storm in the Sahara Desert. I don't know the name of the magazine article because I have only seen a typed out copy (by Yorke). Anyway the whole thing is in Confessions except for the opening sentence which goes something like "I filled my rucksack with tobacco and set out....."

The 1969 reference on Redflame is on a different line to the other stuff and doesn't relate to this matter.

The 'Memoirs of Aleister Crowley' book is just a porno novel drawing on newspaper reports and a very fertile imagination. Not by AC and nothing very much really to do with him.

And that's all I know. Or at least think I do.

OK


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 Anonymous
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21/04/2005 11:01 am  

I doubt that the copy sold at Sotheby's came from Grant; he has, to the best of my knowledge, kept everything. Yorke gave Grant copies of all his Crowley material, but Yorke himself sold over half of his collection before his death, and it was only the remnants that got deposited at the Warburg. Yorke sold most of his stuff to a bookdealer named Mortlake? Westlake? (I did know the name, but can't remember it exactly). Most of what Yorke sold was stuff he had more than one copy of. Crowley had got four copies of the Confessions typed up, one he gave to Symonds, and it's highly probable that he sent one to Yorke too. Yorke would probably have aquired one or both of the other copies after Crowley's death. So the pages sold at Sotheby's would most likely have originated from Yorke, whether it was Yorke himself who put them up for auction, or the bookdealer.
Symonds has only recently, in the last few years, sold off his Crowley material. The book inscribed by Aossic was probably a gift to Yorke, who later sold it.
Most original Crowley stuff that appears on the open market, such as typescripts etc, comes from the material Yorke sold, and more recently, from Symonds' collection that was sold a couple of years ago.


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the_real_simon_iff
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21/04/2005 3:59 pm  

93!

I also doubt that there are totally unknown facts or secrets about AC's life in these missing 130 pages. But you can't say that 130 pages would just sum up to ca. 15 pages of rubbish. Parts 3 to 6 of these typescripts are 1026 pages in total, so we are talking about nearly 13% of these parts of the Confessions (it still might all be rubbish although).

Also my mind is working differently sometimes. Then I feel that if these missing pages would contain just useless and uninteresting nonsense, redundancies, rubbish, etc. they would have been published (not as a book) somewhere. To keep them secret would make more sense if ...

Ah, well, fyi here is the complete description of the catalogue:

234 CROWLEY (ALEISTER) THE CONFESSIONS; TYPESCRIPTS OF PARTS 3-6 CONTAINING C. 130 PAGES NOT PRINTED BY SYMONDS AND GRANT (The Confessions, 1969), 1,026 pages, 3 parts bound in green cloth, 1 loose in a folder, some MS. annotations, 1 MS. enclosure, typescript note by P.R. Stephenson giving the provenance of Vol. 3

4to

* These typescripts are the author's continuation to Parts 1-2 published in 1929 by the Mandrake Press.

The most substantial blocks of unpublished material occur in Part IV (pp. 163-186) and Part V (pp. 156-170 and 188-201). Amomg minor differences from the printed book may be mentioned the division of the autohagiography into "stanzas" in these typescripts. A few minor passages present in the printed version do not appear here (e.g.: Part III ends c. 1 page before the book; gap in Part III, p. 23, occasioned by a loss of galley).

Included with this lot is the typescript for Part III of The Confessions in German.

I am unsure if an auction house is researching its items so well and so far as to even comparing it page for page with a printed version of such a typescript. To me it seems that this description was provided from the former owner. Also my English is not good enough to know if the word "substantial" is used in this instance referring to the quantity of missing blocks of text or the substantiality of its contents. In German the latter would be the case. This would speak against Symonds or Grant as the former owner. To me at least.

Dang. Gotta work again...

Love=Law
Lutz


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Anonymous
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21/04/2005 11:48 pm  

Hello all. There seem to be many misconceptions cropping up on this thread. I write as one who has had a long interest in these matters, and have met and known a number of the people named, as well as spending the equivalent of several months studying in the Warburg on a daily basis throughout the late eighties and early nineties.
The Sotheby's material mentioned all came (posthumously) from the collection of Norman Robb, the Australian bookseller who was a friend of Yorke's. There is quite a bit about him in Keith Richmond's Progradior and the Beast. The material at that auction was largely bought on behalf of Jimmy Page, The University of Texas (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center) and I believe, although am not certain, Kenneth Anger. It had nothing to do with Grant.
Yorke did not "sell over half of his collection to Mortlake before his death." Harold Mortlake was a bookseller who supplied Yorke with Crowley material, and Yorke did dispose of a few duplicates to him. Certainly not 'half his collection.' Even a cursory glance at what is in the Warburg would assure that it is not "only the remnants." Yorke was quite fanatical about his collection and kept everything except a few 'ordinary' duplicates that he had to buy as part of 'job lots' to get other material that he required. That is the very reason why he went out of its way - despite a lot of difficulty - to get his collection a permanent home in the Warburg (they weren't that keen to have it at all - it doesn't fit in with their general theme at all). A tiny amount of rare material (some typescripts etc.) that had been Yorke's apparently ended up with Mortlake, but this would not amount to a fraction of one percent of what is in the Warburg, and it seems probable that it was simply stuff Yorke had 'at home' when he died, and it was disposed of - along with his non-Crowley books - to Mortlake by his family, who probably didn't have a clue what it was. Note I say probable - unlike most of what's written here this is surmise rather than certainty, but it is the obvious explanation.
Typescripts of the Confessions circulated for years, but Vol. III, which reached page proofs, was considered lost, except for a (not very good) German translation in typescript, until Norman Robb (see above) got in touch with Crowley's old publisher, P. R. Stephensen, and discovered he still had the original proofs (now in the Mitchell Library). Robb had several typescripts of the proofs made, and supplied Yorke with one, now in the Warburg (unless some rotter has stolen it!). It was of course Robb's typescript that was in the auction. Yorke had been trying to trace a copy of the third vol. of the Confessions for years, and it was he that Yorke that encouraged Robb to track down Stephensen. Correspondence about all of this is in the Warburg.
Yorke supplied Symonds and Grant with the typescripts of The Confessions, including the third volume, which he'd got from Robb a decade earlier. Thus they had access to it when they did their abridgement. I've seen it, and indeed have a copy. It does include quite a bit of material that wasn't published in the abridgement, but no more than they left out of the first two vols. If you want a sense of the extent of the abridgement, get hold of a copy of the original Mandrake edition of the first 2 vols. of the Confessions, and read that against the Symonds and Grant edition. They did quite a bit of pruning, mostly of stuff they considered inconsequential, like details of his mountaineering. No conspiracy as such, just (quite heavy) editing, and a bit sad for those, like myself, who happen to like mountaineering! Sorry, but Symonds and Grant would not be my choice of editors for AC.
Symonds never had much Crowley material at all. He didn't collect and only temporarily had possession of some of AC's estate before passing it on to Germer (though he took his time about it). When I first met Symonds some twenty years ago and visited his house, he had only ONE Crowley item, a drawing, and lamented that he'd sold the few things he'd had very cheaply years before. Subsequent to that he bought a few Firsts at auction - which he then resold ..... I sometimes wonder whether the buyer realised that they were buying items that he'd got only recently ... or thought they'd come more or less direct from the Beast himself.
As I said, all the material in that particular Sotheby's auction from Robb. I haven't got my copy of the catalogue at hand, but if there was an Aossic book in it, Robb got it from Grant, or perhaps it was passed to him via Yorke as a gift (remember Robb was the source of the typescript of the third volume). Yorke was RICH and certainly did not need to sell things, nor did he except in the case of a FEW duplicates.
Kenneth Grant secretly sold off the Crowley high points of his collection about fifteen years ago, via two well-known English dealers. As far as I know it was only his Crowley firsts - no manuscripts or letters, and no Spare material. I have no idea why, but the obvious guess would be he needed the money. The best of the books were truly unique, and included first editions of the Holy Books, and Aceldama (two of the rarest that I recall seeing). In some he had removed or attempted to remove his 'Aossic' signature and sigil, but in others it was still quite visible (presumably to remove it would have wrecked the book).
Sorry, but it is simply nonsense to say that "Most original Crowley stuff that appears on the open market, such as typescripts etc, comes from the material Yorke sold, and more recently, from Symonds' collection that was sold a couple of years ago." I repeat, Symonds had NOTHING original, and Yorke disposed of very little. I think the writer is mistakenly referring to the Crowleyana from the Naylor collection (which was put together over fifteen or so years from a wide variety of sources, and was dispersed by Ben Fernee. It included some recent Symonds letters etc pertaining to the republication of the Confessions, as well as some Yorke material acquired from Mortlake. Perhaps that is why Alastrum is confused on the matter. It was just one of a number of collections of books that have been sold in the last two decades. Fortunately, Crowley books, typescripts etc. turn up in all sorts of unlikely places.
Finally, there is a WEALTH of unpublished Crowley material - a lot of which is far more interesting than the bits that Symonds and Grant left out of the Confessions, though a full edition of that would still be something to see!. Aside from hundreds of GOOD letters, and thousands of ones that aren't really of any consequence, there are things like the 'Royal Court' diaries from the 1940s, each of which is a book in itself, to name just a few.. The reason these haven't been published is the copyright issue. Now that it has - in some jurisdictions anyway - been settled, they may be published, though the OTO has spoken of doing some things for decades, but produced very little. Don't hold your breath boys and girls, though hopes springs eternal.
Finally, the Harvey 'Memoirs of Aleister Crowley' that someone asked about is crap. Its basically a sensational pot-boiler that someone cobbled together from 'The Great Beast.' Its entirely derivative nonsense, with nothing original, which is why its fallen into justifiable obscurity.


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lashtal
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22/04/2005 12:13 am  

Thank you, "Curmudgeon", for a wonderfully informative post...

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 Anonymous
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22/04/2005 12:40 am  

I agree; very informative, and thanks for clearing a few points up. If I may be allowed a word in my defence though, I was not "confused", nor was I spouting from the top of my head; my information came from a well-known bookdealer in Thelemic items. Perhaps he had been misinformed... although, I have seen it written elsewhere that Yorke's collection in the 1950's was apparently far greater than what now resides in the Warburg. As I wasn't even born then, and never met Yorke, I can't vouch for the accuracy of that, but it does seem odd that other people who did know Yorke seem to think this. Then again, the Warburg has not been scrupulous in its care of Yorke's collection; I know for a fact that items I have personally seen there in the 90's are no longer in the collection, presumably stolen.


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Anonymous
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22/04/2005 3:04 am  

Forgive me if I caused offense Alastrum, my reply was written in great haste, and was perhaps a bit intemperate. Also, I have a deep and profound respect for Gerald Yorke, and took a certain amount of offense myself at the suggestion that he'd sold off much of his collection. As is well known, he took an oath to do all he could to gather and preserve the work of the Beast and I believe he fulfilled it to the best of his ability.
Frankly, if the "well-known Thelemic bookseller" said that Yorke had sold much of his collection (other than obvious duplicates), I'm sure he was simply wrong. Aside from the fact that I (and many others) were around at the time and know that he didn't, there is no evidence that Mortlake had more than a tiny amount - he produced no catalogues listing huge quantities of AC treasures, there is no-one around saying "yes .... remember all these wonderful Crowley things Harold had" etc etc. In fact, how many readers of this can honestly say they'd even heard of Mortlake until now - surely they would have if he'd dispersed half the largest collection of Crowleyana in the world!
Sadly Alastrum, you are ABSOLUTELY right about the amount of theft at the Warburg, particularly in the early years. It would have made Yorke weep.
Given this theft, I would say that anyone should be VERY suspicious of any AC rarity they are offered with marks of Yorke's ownership on it (he was a manic annotator, and had a distinctive handwriting, and usually intialled everything), unless they are absolutely sure that it has a legitimate provenance. A suspicious cynic might say that it could well be in the interests of some who are likely to sell or handle such (stolen, or at least possibly stolen) items to overstate the amount of Yorke material that might have legitimately ended up on the market place, and could deliberately have spread disinformation to that effect, which could well have been repeated in good faith by others (as with Alastrum). Of course none of us are suspicious cynics though.
Alastrum, I am curious about your statement that "I have seen it written elsewhere that Yorke's collection in the 1950's was apparently far greater than what now resides in the Warburg" - can I ask where that was? Would be very interested as to who said this. Cheers, and again apologies if I seemed snappy - don't admit to being a curmudgeon for nothing!


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 Anonymous
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22/04/2005 8:31 am  

Ta very much, Mr. Curmudgeon! That really was most informative. The letters are another very interesting issue. I have heard that the correspondence with that Portuguese chap is particularly good. One can only hope that these things sort themselves out in the fullness of time.

CSM


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Anonymous
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22/04/2005 9:17 am  

Just before someone blasts me ...perhaps deservedly ... it suddenly occured to me that it might have been Gerald Mortlake not Harold as I said (all in haste from memory). The major lot of material held by Mortlake that had definitely been in Yorke's hands related to the Thoth tarot, and ended up in the Naylor collection, later sold by Caduceus. As far as I'm aware no-one knows the details of how Mortlake ended up with this, though if anyone finds a receipt or some correspondence in which Yorke refers to selling it I'm willing to stand corrected! Until then my guess is it was acquired after Yorke's death. Sorry this has nothing to do with the Confessions.


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 Anonymous
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22/04/2005 7:50 pm  

Kenneth Grant secretly sold off the Crowley high points of his collection about fifteen years ago, via two well-known English dealers. As far as I know it was only his Crowley firsts - no manuscripts or letters, and no Spare material. I have no idea why, but the obvious guess would be he needed the money. The best of the books were truly unique, and included first editions of the Holy Books, and Aceldama (two of the rarest that I recall seeing). In some he had removed or attempted to remove his 'Aossic' signature and sigil, but in others it was still quite visible (presumably to remove it would have wrecked the book).

This intrigued me, so I made some enquiries. While it is true that Grant maintains a working library, rather than hang on to books forever, it is NOT true to say that he would give up books given him as gifts by the very man who gave him his greatest direction in life. Grant has NOT sold his Crowley firsts, at least such as he has. I don't think he ever even had Acaldema. This seems to me to be merely a case (and I believe it is quite common in the book trade) of someone thinking of how much more they could get for a Crowley first edition if it was signed by Kenneth Grant. Any inscriptions would therefore be forgeries. To the best of my knowledge, very little original Grant material has found its way onto the market (and I know because I've tried to get hold of it! They won't even sell direct, never mind to a dealer.)


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 Anonymous
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22/04/2005 7:59 pm  

Sorry, forgot to answer your question about Yorkes collection. I honestly can't remember exactly where I read this, but I think it was either in an exchange of letters between Louis Wilkinson and Frieda Harris, or in an article about them and their relationship with Yorke. Something about Yorke getting his hands on absolutely everything... they feared it, and wished to prevent it, if possible.


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Anonymous
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23/04/2005 1:01 am  

Alastrum. Sorry - I wasn't clear. I certainly didn't say that Grant ""would give up books given him as gifts by the very man who gave him his greatest direction in life." None of the books in the collection was inscribed by Crowley to Grant, nor (as I said) were there any of the letters, typescripts etc. which we no Grant has. Nor do I think that Crowley would even have had copies of works like Aceldama etc. to give him at the late stage of his life when they met. The conclusion is that the books that were sold were things that Grant had himself bought over the intervening years.
There is no question about their authenticity. As I said, the collection was sold anonymously - it was not claimed to be Grant's. The ownership marks that were in the books were all sigils or "Aossic." Frankly neither the sellers, nor most of the buyers even knew who "Aossic" was at that stage. You have to remember that at that stage Grant didn't have the stature he does now - I can remember piles of the limited edition of Crowley's Magical Record SIGNED by he and Symonds sitting on REMAINDER tables only a few years earlier (the first of Images and Oracles was remaindered too, as was the now much sought after Outside the Circles of Time). Aside from anything else, there would have been no point in forging marks of Grant's ownership as the books were not sold as having anything to do with him, nor at that stage would it have increased the value if they had. Its only in the last decade - and only SOME dealers that put a significant value on Grant's signature.
I can assure you the buyer of the Aceldama and some of the others had no clue who this Aossic person was when he bought it, and certainly wouldn't have paid more for it as a result. Indeed he is an 'old school' Thelemite who is at best dubious about Grant's innovative approach to Thelema. He simply wanted a first of Aceldama!
In short, there is no doubt that a significant number of the books in the lot once belonged to Grant. Given the overall quality and rarity of the collection, and the fact that it was sold strictly anonymously, the logical conclusion is that it was him quietly selling off some high points of his collection. There may be another explanation, but I can't think what.
As I said I have no idea why, other than fund raising To be honest, I suspect that they probably were sold to dealers rather than acquaintances to avoid all the problems of people wanting things they couldn't afford (lets face it most occultist don't have a lot of money, and we were talking real rarities here), the difficulty of determining a fair price when selling to friends, avoiding people's noses getting out of joint in squabbles over who got which treasure, and the need to hound them if they didn't pay, etc. etc. By selling to reputable dealers he got a high percentage of the (then) market value, paid on the spot, no trouble. Think about it - if it were me in that situation I'd have done exactly the same thing. And I'd keep mum about it for the same reasons!
I do know a number of people that acquired pieces from the collection, and have asked the owner of Aceldama to send scans to Paul. If he'll be so kind he can either post them or email them to you, so you know this isn't all a fantasy. Cheers. Curmudgeon


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lashtal
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23/04/2005 1:12 am  
"curmudgeon" wrote:
I do know a number of people that acquired pieces from the collection, and have asked the owner of Aceldama to send scans to Paul. If he'll be so kind he can either post them or email them to you, so you know this isn't all a fantasy.

Thanks - I'll forward them to Alastrum...

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lashtal
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23/04/2005 3:14 am  

Images forwarded...

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 Anonymous
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23/04/2005 12:24 pm  

Curmudgeon, you say that no-one would have known who Grant was when these books were sold, and talk about editions of Grant's books being remaindered, as if these two events were related. But 'The Magical Record of the Beast 666' was published in 1972, and 'Images & Oracles of AOS' was published in 1975: you said in an earlier post that the Crowley firsts were sold "fifteen years ago", which by my reckoning is 1990. Now, while it is true to say that perhaps not as many people back in 1972 and 1975 knew who Kenneth Grant was, by 1990 a lot of people knew who he was, certainly in Thelemic and Crowleyana circles. In 1990, Grant's "stature" was no less than it is today, and while as an author he may not be that familiar to the general public, to people who buy Crowley first editions he would be very well-known indeed!

Secondly, there are many Crowley books that Grant has never even owned in ANY edition, first, paperback, or anything. Grant's primary interest has always been Magick: he's not a book-collector for collecting's sake, and works such as Acaldema, and other early Crowley works, just don't interest him. Also not interesting to him is "fund-raising"; money has never been Grant's motivation. He is, in fact, what used to be called "a gentleman of means" and has absolutely no need to occasionally sell a few bits and pieces from his collection to pay the gas bill!

Thirdly, just consider the logic: you say that these books were "secretly" sold; but then they have Grant's personal sigil emblazoned across them! Not very "secret" is it? Grant has been using that sigil since the late 30's/early 40's, and it has appeared as a letterhead on his personal stationary from then until the present day, so many people over the years will have had access to it, even before it appeared in publication. Anonymity can never be guaranteed, especially if one leaves one's name in a book, so to imply that Grant wished to dispose of some of his collection "secretly" just doesn't sound right. Why would he do this "secretly" when he could probably get more money by selling them openly? (If indeed money was the motive, as you repeatedly suggest?). Why sell "secretly" at all, in fact? What's to hide? Grant's ownership would give the items a genuine and respected provenance, so it makes no sense to hide this fact. Don't you think that, over the years, Grant hasn't had countless offers for his Crowleyana, or his Spare's, and probably from very wealthy collectors? Yet, despite undoubtedly high offers, he's never parted with anything. I myself know of several offers of purchase to the Grant's for various items, (not just Crowleyana, but Spare material, Steffi's artwork etc), and they have consistently refused to sell anything. I also know someone who has a large collection of Spare artwork, greater than Grant's, and who would dearly love to own one or two of Grant's pieces, and would quite happily pay more than they would fetch on the open market for the privilege of doing so, but Grant emphatically will not sell. So "fund-raising" can hardly be a consideration here. Your argument as to why he wouldn't sell to other occultists is built on the shakiest of foundations: these are the very people most likely to buy the material anyway, whether it came direct from Grant or via a bookdealer! Who else would even be interested? So why insert an unecessary middleman?

Fourthly, it is a fact that people pay more for signed books than unsigned; people will pay more for a Crowley book if it is signed by Crowley. People will also pay more for a Grant book if it is signed by Grant. Even 15 years ago, an unsigned copy of "Outside the Circles of Time" was selling for £150, today almost £250. Some of our own signed deluxe editions of Grant's work, sell for £400 or more on the open market. It is unfortunately very common in the antique and collectible book trade for signatures to be forged, and what better deal for a bookdealer to offer than a Crowley first edition that appeared to have been once owned by Kenneth Grant? Depending on your point of view, a book by the greatest occultist of the 20th century signed by the second greatest? It's a bookseller's dream! I do not wish to suggest that the person who sold these books actually forged the signatures or sigils themselves as I have no proof of that, but there is no doubt these are forgeries. Having looked at the scans you kindly sent, I can say categorically, this is NOT Kenneth Grant's handwriting. And even a 6 yr old could copy the sigil. You say there can be no doubt of their authenticity, but I'm afraid there is every doubt. It's the way of the world: as long as there is demand, someone will supply. I would suggest therefore, that the reason these books are described as "secretly sold" is simply because the inscriptions etc are faked, and the forger didn't want the sale coming to general attention, and perhaps getting back to Grant.

Finally, forgive me, but I saved my Ace until last: we simply asked him! The answer is "No". They didn't come from him.


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Anonymous
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23/04/2005 10:41 pm  

Hello Alastrum, Sorry I've opened a can of worms here, and I don't have time or enthusiasm to reply at length.
I realise it was actually about nineteen years ago that the collection was sold - I did say I was writing from memory. I maintain Grant's material wasn't at a premium then. The prices you speak of are what modern LIMITED EDITIONS are selling for NOW. Its not relevant to what was happening nearly two decades ago. I can recall buying original Spare artwork twenty five years ago for less than fifty quid - under a weeks average wage. Now you'd be paying several months average wage for a truly nice Spare. Same has happened with K Grant . Sorry, but twenty years ago a book signed by him was just a niceish curiosity, but it didn't push up the price much, if at all. Things change, and none of this is intended as any disrespect to K Grant, nor do I deny KG's works sell for a lot now, though i maintain saner dealers would not put a huge price just on his signature (different if its in a nicely bound limited edition book).
You've seen the scans - there is no denying it a first edition of Aceldama - the first edition of Crowley's first book, very limited. It is a true rarity, one of the most desireable Crowley items, and has been so as long as he's been collected.. All due respect but no-one in their right mind would have forged a signature of someone not that well known (then) in a book like that, which was then was extremely valuable in its own right and risked ruining it. Sorry, but that's daft!
There were also things like the Holy Books, the Rodin booklets, etc. etc. in the collection. These aren't the sort of material that just pops up daily - it was obviously an amazingly specialised collection - in fact probably the nicest small lot of AC books I've seen on the market in a quarter of a century - and it only contained 'high points' (the seller and obviously kept the 'normal' books that they must have had too). Whoever owned it had obviously put it together carefully over decades. Someone like that is hardly likely to forge things, and if they were going to forge something it would surely have been an inscription from Crowley. You have to admit that even now that would increase the value ten times more than KG's! As I said, they weren't even sold as Grant's, and - I repeat - as far as I know at least some - I can't speak for all) of the buyers did even not know at the time that Aossic was KG. Really it wasn't that well known. I didn't know it then, and I've obviously been around a while!
Finally if you look, you'll see the inscription wasn't 'emblazoned' all over the copy of Aceldama - it was actually largely hidden under the foldovers of the jap vellum wrappers. It is also pretty faded - the Frater Aossic is barely legible, looks as if someone might have tried to 'lift' it. The buyer wasn't even aware that it was there as it happens, until later when he carefully lifted the wrappers. No point arguing about the signature - the 'Frater Aossic' sigs. I've seen all look like that but .... we could just go on.
Finally. presumably, if he wanted it secret then, he wants it secret now ...
Anyway, you clearly have a firm opinion on the matter, and I remain convinced that the logical conclusion is that the material was Grants, and I don't think the twain shall meet. Lets leave it at that - and let the good folk at Lashtal have their forum back. I don't think we can continue this without falling into one of those "is" "isn't" "is" "isn't" type dialogues which do no-one any good. Maybe there is some other explanation, but I'm blowed if I can see it. Sincerely. Curmudgeon


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23/04/2005 11:11 pm  

Blimey! Well there you go folks! It just goes to show what I've said all along: the single strongest factor in all of magick is BELIEF. And even in the face of all the evidence, and a straight statement from the man himself, we still have someone who prefers his own belief to the actual facts. Now THAT'S what I call magick! 😀

I repeat, Grant HAS NOT sold the Crowley firsts he owns. I repeat, Grant never owned some of the titles you mention, and why would he sell his edition of the Holy Books? All you say to the contrary is only fantasy on your part; if he had, then there would be a physical record of the transaction, either a letter from Grant to the dealer, or a receipt, or a record of payment to Grant etc. Have you seen such, or are you merely supposing, or merely repeating what someone else has told you? If so, please post scans here or send privately.... but I seriously doubt any exist, as the sale did not take place.
And now, when your assertions are challenged, you start changing them, moving dates around etc. Doesn't bode too well for your accuracy in other remarks, I'm afraid....

And to add further insult, you imply that Grant has lied to us, his Order members and publishers, and lied over such a silly, trivial thing as whether he sold a copy of poems!!! I ask you? Kenneth Grant is a gentleman, in an era that has largely lost the meaning of the word; his integrity is impeccable, and to insinuate he has lied is beyond the pale... shame on you sir. Shame indeed.


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Anonymous
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24/04/2005 5:37 am  

blimey! cool it please Alastrum. I simply said that if someone had a reason to keep things secret once, they may still have a reason to do so. I certainly did NOT say Kenneth Grant was a liar. I have no way of knowing how the question to him was posed, by whom, and in what way he answered it. You seem determined to twist everything I say into the most negative possible light. For sanity's sake lets end it here.
I thought the evidence spoke for itself. Honestly I don't give a flying fidget whether KG sold off some of his books or not 20 years ago. If you asked him, and he clearly says he didn't, then I'm sure he didn't.
All I know is someone DID secretly sell off a small collection of exceptional books, which were of a quality that suggested that they had been assembled by someone with tremendous knowledge, skill, and passion - and obviously over a long period. A number had KGs ownership signature. The obvious conclusion was that it was KG who sold them. If he clearly said he didn't, then he didn't, and it is a very weird mystery. Lets leave it at that. Go in peace.


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lashtal
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24/04/2005 8:57 am  

Back to "The Confessions"...

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
The most substantial blocks of unpublished material occur in Part IV (pp. 163-186) and Part V (pp. 156-170 and 188-201). Amomg minor differences from the printed book may be mentioned the division of the autohagiography into "stanzas" in these typescripts. A few minor passages present in the printed version do not appear here (e.g.: Part III ends c. 1 page before the book; gap in Part III, p. 23, occasioned by a loss of galley).

It has been pointed out to me that there are two extracts from the "unabridged" Confessions that can be compared with the same parts of the Symonds and Grant edition: the Introduction to Liber 418 in The Equinox IV(2) was apparently taken verbatim from the typescript of The Confessions, as was Appendix IX of Magick.

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 Anonymous
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24/04/2005 1:00 pm  

Hold on, my Curmudgeonly friend, you misinterpreted my tone; it was only 'mock' offense! I should perhaps have put a few more 'smileys' in there. I was only teasing you 😀

Of course you didn't say Grant was a liar. But it was the "logical conclusion" of your remarks. I was merely trying to point out how you have built an entire "history" of events based on mere supposition, without any hard facts, and then presented it as truth, when in fact all you have seen is a few books with Grant's magical name written in them, and leapt to your own conclusions. Unfortunately, although elaborately constructed, your "history" is based on too tenuous a foundation, an assumption in the first place that the signatures were real. I don't blame you for that, most people are honest and trusting, and that's precisely what unscrupulous individuals take advantage of in order to make a few bob. But it's not Grant's handwriting, he didn't own those books, and he himself says he didn't sell them; that should be enough real evidence for most people to accept. As you correctly point out, no-one really gives a **** whether he sold a few books or not, which completely blows away any need for "secrecy", then or now.

The lesson for us all, I suppose, is not to assume a "signed" book is everything it appears to be. I read somewhere that if all Ernest Hemingway's "signed firsts" were real, then he must have spent more time signing them than writing them!

Sorry Paul, for having diverted the thread somewhat 😀


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lashtal
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24/04/2005 2:28 pm  

Ok...

I've thoroughly enjoyed the recent developments on this forum - they raise some very interesting points.

I think we've reached a natural conclusion to the "he sold/he didn't sell" chat for now, though, unless of course someone has some more evidence either way. In which case, a new thread would probably be appropriate.

Back to the_real_simn_iff's thread on The Confessions, though...

I think this too raises some very important issues. Crowley's published material has been edited by a number of individuals, each with their own particular perspectives. Regardie, Symonds & Grant, Hymenaeus Alpha and Hymenaeus Beta, amongst others...

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OKontrair
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25/04/2005 12:00 am  

93

When I unjustifiably conjectured the blameless Mr Grant into this thread I was referring to the July 1971 Sotheby's catalogue that The Real Simon Iff mentioned. In that catalogue the only book that had the ownership inscription 'Aossic' was Household Gods and it fetched an uninspiring £15. The Aceldama in that catalogue was an ordinary wrappered copy, uncut and it changed hands for £70. Bargain of the geologic epoch was Chicago May, signed by AC but a bit scruffy which went for £8. There is every possibility that Alastrum and Curmudgeon are both correct but about different things.

Anyway back to boring. In the previous thread I assessed the material excluded from the 1969/70 edition of Confessions as about 14% compared with the 1929 first editions of Volumes 1 & 2.

There isn't enough information to calculate accurately the extent of the material not present in the remaining two thirds. But there is enough to have a rough stab.

Ignore Volume 3 which was typed from the pageproofs and is a special case. Besides which the typescript page numbers (in the catalogue I'm using) start at 96 rather than 1.
Any hyphens from here on are hyphens not minus signs.

According to the Warburg entry for the Confessions typescript, Volume 4 has 309 typed pages (367-676) which correspond to 152 pages (509-661) after editing by Messrs.Symonds & Grant. Therefore each page of finished Confessions Vol 4 required 2.03 pages of typescript.

Volume 5 (677-1010 = 333pages) corresponds to pages 665-788 (123 pages) of the 1969 edition. So Volume 5 required 2.7 pages for each finished page. This is the most heavily reduced volume.

Volume 6 (1011-1234 of typescript = 223 pages) occupies pages 791-923 (132pp) of the 1969 edition. This is the most lightly edited volume at 1.68 typed pages per finished page. The ratio of typescript to finished page, even if not edited at all, therefore cannot be less than 1.68 because if it were then material would have to have been added in to volume 6.

If all the Volumes were edited as lightly as Vol 6, the 865 pages of typescript (of Vols. 4,5,6 only) would have generated 514 pages of finished book as against the 407 actual pages. There is an assumption in these calculations that each Volume of typescript was typed equally densely which is why I have excluded Vol 3 from the calculations.

Considering Volume 4 alone because the smallest sample is least likely to include anomalies we find that in the 1954 edition of Magick Without Tears there is a reference in a footnote to Confessions Volume 4 pp369-371 and another reference to Volume 4 pp590-598. Regardie gives the equivalent pages in the 1973 MWT as p595et seq. for the first example and p676 et seq. (it is actually 680) for the second. Pages 369 - 598 of the typescript for volume 4 (229 typed pages) therefore yield only 595 - 680 (85 pages) of the finished book. This consumes 2.69 typed pages per finished page. As the average for volume 4 is 2.03 then the 229 pages of typescript might otherwise have yielded 112 pages instead of 85. That gives 27 pages (not necessarily whole pages or consecutive pages just 27 pages worth of the kind of stuff I like). If the editors had stayed in bed for Volume four or lost their scissors and given Vol.4 the Vol.6 treatment this would have given (229 divided 1.68 = 136 minus 85 = 51 extra pages).

These calculations can't possibly be accurate but I think they point to a probability of there being more than 15 pages and my predisposing prejudices incline me to think it probably wasn't rubbish.

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the_real_simon_iff
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25/04/2005 2:23 pm  

93!

Does anybody know why the hell Parts 3 to 6 were headed "The sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage"? I remember that in H.C. Birven's recollections of Aleister Crowley, that he seemingly wrote before the Symonds/Grant Confessions were published, he is always referring to these parts of the Confessions under that "The Sacred Magic of Abramelin" title and he is also clearly referring to certain Stanzas, as the Confessions were supposed to be divided in Stanzas like the first two by Mandrake in fact were. I always thought that Birven was confusing things, but it seems he wasn't. He was in contact with Yorke and states that at the time he wrote his recollections down, parts 3 to 6 were presumed lost and that only the German translation by Martha Küntzel had survived. Since at that time (the late 60ies) the German and Swiss OTOs might have looked much more promising to Yorke than the American, maybe the Confessions sold at Sotheby's in 1971 were coming from this side? Just a guess and not really important though. I will check tonight when I am back home if I can find anything interesting in the Birven AC biography (that appeared in some twenty Oriflamme numbers from The Psychosophische Gesellschaft in the late 60ies or early 70ies).

Love=Law
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the_real_simon_iff
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25/04/2005 9:53 pm  

93!

Thanks to Lashtal for his hint. I just checked the Symonds/Grant Confessions with the Introduction to The Vision and The Voice, that is taken from the typescript of Volume IV of the Confessions, probably unabridged or - as you will see - much less edited than the Symonds/Grant work. Well, since I have still a lot of work to do tonight (won't find the time to check the Swiss Oriflammes therefore) I stopped comparing after finding the first block of "redundant rubbish" that I take the liberty to quote in full. I just checked the beginning and endings of full block and did not compare each sentence. Well, here is the first missing block:

"I never let myself forget the rocks which have baffled me: the Coolin Crack on Beachy Head (curse it!), the direct way up the Deep Ghyll Pillar (damn it!), the East face of the Dent Blanche (blast it!). I hardly ever plume myself even on my poetry unless I am very depressed. I prefer to dwell on my ignorance of various subjects—a quite inexhaustible list; and the superficiality of my knowledge of the few of which I know what little I do. I meditate on my mistakes in dealing with mankind, my innocence of their most obvious characteristics. My simplicity is such that I often wonder if I am not half-witted—on practically every matter which men who can hardly read, and have certainly never read a book worth reading, understand with every part of their minds better than I understand with any part of mine, even in what I have studied with sweat, at the cost of eyesight, sleep and digestion.I seem to those who know me at all a rather exceptional type of genius, with more education, intelligence, insight, experience of every world but that of commerce, out of the common beyond all whooping. One of the most distinguished writers on science and mathematics told me last year that I had more courage than any other man he had met. (He was himself one of seven survivors of fifty-odd men who went to Serbia to fight typhus.) He said that my mind possessed more analytical power and acumen than anyone he had ever known. (He was intimately associated with Einstein, and had spent many hours in talking over and working out his equations with him.) I could only look down and wonder if I was not wearing yellow stockings, and cross garters!

I consider myself worth a place in the Museum of at least most provincial towns as a coward. What courage I have comes partly from shame at being so timid and sensitive. There are times when I cannot force myself to face a commonplace commercial person on perfectiy routine business. I have funked keeping an appointment with a girl, both when I wanted her badly and when I didn't care the toss of a coin, either for fear that she might snub or insult me, or else that I might hurt her feelings or insult her by failure to persuade her that I was the ideal man. I have turned back from a climb that I know I could do with one hand tied behind me. I have backed away with apologetic amiability from a fat, bullying blackguard that I could have (and should have) admonished with a hook to the jaw. I have stood hungry in front of a restaurant for fear that I might somehow make the other guests laugh. In fact, I am afraid to do practically anything which is done as a matter of course by the most bashful, sensitive, obsequious slave that ever let himself be chained by a stiff collar, handcuffed by linen wrist-bands, straight-waistcotted by a frock coat, jailed in an office, and turned the mental treadmill adding up accounts till his worthless, worn out, wasted carcass is thrown, at the best, to rot idly in a semi-detached "villa," or to serve the rest of its sentence in the workhouse.

Against this: I seem able to do, without a moment's hesitation or fear, exactly those things which even the bravest and most powerful and free regard as unimaginably dreadful; things which they do not dare to dream of doing; even if they did, would daunt them more than death. Plenty of men who smoke and chat under drum-fire turn pale when I mention casually as a common-place and natural act something that seems to be no more remarkable than eating my dinner. When, at last, they believe, they stammer something in their incredulity, that such courage as mine is impossible. They either pretend to be shocked, or look upon me ever after as a mixture of maniac and God. I never feared to tell the truth, to face a man when there was really dan¬ger, to act on my convictions with absolute candour in every kind of circumstance, to take my life in my hand in the matter of mountains, oceans, rapids, wild beasts, or murderous men, and so on—without thinking twice about it.

It may be that I was congenitally a coward all round, and in training myself not to turn tail I paid attention only to the points which seemed to be the most serious. It should really aid diagnosis that I funk calling on a friendly publisher with a Proposition which he will probably accept—to our mutual profit—but I walk straight into the lair of a creditor to tell him that I can't pay him, or to Scotland Yard when someone warns me that a warrant has been issued for my arrest. These are both cases of talking business. The point may be either that suggested above, or else that I do not fear my foes, knowing that they are powerless to hurt me, while my heart faints to meet a friend, because love is my heel of Achilles. Terror! the thought that they may prove unkind or untrue, or that I myself may somehow fail to command their respect and affection. That is my vulnerable point, and there a barbless arrow, shot by a child in careless ardour, can pierce me to the quick.

As to my mind, the present volume should offer some evidence as to how it is accustomed to deal with commonplace subjects. The sole result of its operations has been to assure me that it is totally useless for its presumptive purpose. There is evidently little danger of my feeling puffed up about it."

Well, I don't see that's this is really important news, but is it rubbish? Or redundant? Or even boring? If you take AC not "only" as a magician but also as a poet, an essayist, a gentleman, and what not, which he surely all above many other personalities is, I feel the need to see a new, really unabridged version of "The Confessions" even stronger now.

So far for now. As I said, this is only the first block of difference. The introduction of The Vision And The Voice has 22 pages, chapter 66 (which forms this introduction) has 14 pages. They do not seem to differ a lot in words per page. The quote here filled two and a half pages.

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lashtal
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25/04/2005 10:53 pm  

Lutz,

93

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
Thanks to Lashtal for his hint... Well, I don't see that's this is really important news, but is it rubbish? Or redundant? Or even boring? If you take AC not "only" as a magician but also as a poet, an essayist, a gentleman, and what not, which he surely all above many other personalities is, I feel the need to see a new, really unabridged version of "The Confessions" even stronger now.

I agree with you absolutely: you have expressed succinctly my precise feelings on the matter. I would contend that very few readers purchased The Confessions in order to gain further insight into what Symonds and Grant thought of Crowley...

93 93/93
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lashtal
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25/04/2005 11:35 pm  

From The Vision And The Voice With Commentary - The Equinox Volume IV Number 2 (Samuel Weiser 1998):

As the best introductions to the history and import of these workings are Crowley's own accounts in his Confessions, these have been excerpted and adapted to introduce each working. [Footnote: The typsecript was used; an unabridged edition is in preparation.]

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the_real_simon_iff
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26/04/2005 12:31 pm  

93!

So, what we can do now, is hoping, demanding, urging, praying and whatevering that the parties "in charge" visit this website regularly (which I am sure they do) and conclude that there is a market for a new edition of the Confessions, preferably in six volumes (or seven, if they have the obscure seventh one), in stanzas, unabridged, not unlike the two Mandrake editions and then find the time and means to act (which according to the footnote mentioned by Lashtal is a plan since 1998).

Hopefully they also feel the same about our wishes for

- The Collected Letters of AC
- The Collected Diaries of AC
- Leah Hirsig Bio
etc.

And if that is all done there's surely much more to hope, demand, urge, pray and whatever for...

Just dreaming...

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lashtal
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26/04/2005 1:43 pm  

93

Without giving away anything said to me in confidence, I think we're in for some exciting developments.

The copyright holder has announced the following as being in various stages of development:

    a reconstruction of The Equinox III:2
    a new edition of The Gospel According To St George Bernard Shaw
    at least one new issue of The Equinox, some of the contents of which are described in recent issues
    an unabridged edition of The Confessions
    an unabridged edition of the Commentaries

Of course, it's not just the quantity that's important: relatively recently we've had the definitive editions of Magick, Astrology, The Law Is For All, The Vision And The Voice, and so many others. Not to mention the publication of some remarkable biographies, including the best one yet, by Richard Kaczynski, an excellent one by John Symonds (The Beast 666), and very good ones by Lawrence Sutin and the late Martin Booth.

Oh, and according to Dr Kaczynski's site, he's working on an annotated edition of The Sword Of Song.

Not a bad prospectus for the writings of an obscure English eccentric who died more than half a century ago!

93 93/93
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OKontrair
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26/04/2005 2:09 pm  

93,

I am a potential customer for any of these projected works but will delay shelf building for the moment. I do hope that the new Confessions is in volumes rather than one great colossus. Colossi like Liber ABA are wonderful in so many ways but convenience of use is not their strongest point. There are at least four reasons why it would have been better as a set of volumes.

I will try and append a scan of a reference to the Volume Seven I referred to earlier. It was projected in 1924 and never came to anything so any proposed contents must surely have been worked into the eventual six that make up the typescript. It is from Gerald Yorke's list of his collection and describes a publisher's prospectus.

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OKontrair
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26/04/2005 2:18 pm  

93,

My attachment failed so I'll type in the contents:

"16. The Confessions of Aleister Crowley: a 4-page 4to prospectus, issued bt Herbert
Clarke, 338 rue Saint Honore, Paris, announcing the book in seven volumes (6 vols and
a supplementary 7th volume issued gratis to subscribers) at £17 17s the set.
Paris, 1924. This was not issued."

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26/04/2005 3:05 pm  

The most depressing thing about this thread is how everyone seems to be getting bogged down in trivia. Can we get back to magick for a moment, or is that too much to ask? May I suggest that Crowley's most fervent wish was that we who followed him didn't waste our lives picking over his bones looking for tidbits, but boldly strode forward into enlightenment ourselves. Does knowing the absolute minutae of one man's life help us in any way to achieve this? I would argue it doesn't, and this is, I think perhaps what was meant when passages edited from his works are described as "redundancies", meaning (very probably) not at all useful to the aspiring magician. Don't forget, his works were edited by a PRACTISING magician (Grant), with this in mind; that the principal reason for being interested in Crowley was very probably a desire to achieve enlightenment for oneself, rather than to become supremely knowledgable about Crowley's life, or his musings on "commonplace subjects". Of what practical use is this, if you are a magician? None. Nada. Zip. Zero. Great if you are a historian, or a biographer (and no, I argue you cannot be both a magician AND a historian, because being a historian as well means you are getting sidetracked away from magick by trivial details).
The obsessive poring over Crowley's literary works is more akin to that of any other "fan club" of any other famous author. But do the devotees of (say) D.H. Lawrence write brilliant literature themselves, or do they just sit around and discuss his work and life in context? I'd say it was the latter. But Crowley doesn't, I believe, belong in this category; he was much more than that. I believe we owe it to ourselves to forge ahead, to achieve the state of Thelema ourselves, if we wish to truly honour his life and work.

What do you think would happen if Crowley came back from the dead and you met him?
"Mr Crowley", you'd proudly say, "I've got all your first editions!"
"Ummm... thanks", he'd reply. "And...?"
"And I've researched your life more than anyone else, and I've read all your diaries, and every word you ever wrote! I even know what you had for breakfast the day before you died!"
"Fascinating", he'd say, "and have you achieved the Knowledge and Conversation of your Holy Guardian Angel?"
"Er... not yet", you'd say, "because I've spent the last 15 years in the Warburg!"
He would snort derisively and turn away....

The desire to rise above one's fellow human beings, to achieve some sort of "status", and the respect of one's peers, is, although ultimately illusory, still a very real motivational force. I venture to suggest that a good way to achieve this, if you truly desire it, is to stop running around seeking "lost" passages of text about nothing much in particular, and instead take the Next Step...


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lashtal
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26/04/2005 5:05 pm  

Alastrum,

Here we go again! I thought we'd done this to death after the Thelema Beyond Crowley conference.

"Alastrum" wrote:
The most depressing thing about this thread is how everyone seems to be getting bogged down in trivia. Can we get back to magick for a moment, or is that too much to ask?

It's certainly not too much to ask, if that's what people want to talk about here. Only, it's not what people are chosing to talk about in this particular thread, which is but one thread out of the 243 on LAShTAL.COM's Discussion Forums.

Does knowing the absolute minutae of one man's life help us in any way to achieve this?

Actually, I suspect that in the case of Crowley it does, at least in so far as his role of "Prophet" of the New Aeon is concerned, but, once again, your desire to set yourself up in opposition means that you've completely missed the point. At the top of every page of LAShTAL.COM is a banner, rather attractively designed by Mark Durant, and that banner succinctly describes the site as "Home of The Aleister Crowley Society". This site has never professed to be "about" anything other than Aleister Crowley, his followers and Thelema, and the influence of them on media and culture.

As I've said so many times before, this is not an "occult" site - it's a site intended to be visited by those many individuals who are interested in Crowley and his impact. My personal view, for what it's worth, again as stated many times on the site, is that Crowley's lasting contributions are literary and as the creator of a religion of great beauty and power. "Magick" was just one aspect of an enormously varied life.

This is, I think perhaps what was meant when passages edited from his works are described as "redundancies", meaning (very probably) not at all useful to the aspiring magician. Don't forget, his works were edited by a PRACTISING magician (Grant), with this in mind; that the principal reason for being interested in Crowley was very probably a desire to achieve enlightenment for oneself

You really don't get it, do you? This is exactly what people are objecting to: the editing by a minor figure of the writings of a greater one, with an agenda that differs from that of the latter. Crowley didn't write The Confessions to appeal just to the magician, any more than he wrote them just to appeal to the mountaineer, chess player, artist, whatever. He wrote them as the account of his life, sometimes immodest, sometimes a little fanciful - but always entertain. I've read enough of Mr Grant's output to realise that his opinion of what Crowley was "about" matches neither mine, nor those of many modern Crowley experts. Don't get me wrong: I've read all his books and respect what he's trying to achieve. But when I buy Crowley's books, it's Crowley I want to read, not Crowley filtered through the antipathy of Symonds and the imagination of Mr Grant.

In any case, wasn't John Symonds also involved with Mr Grant in the editing? And didn't he have an interest in the life of Crowley, given that he has spent much of his life producing at least five editions of his biography of the man, and none of his life, so far as I know, as a Thelemite or a magician?

I argue you cannot be both a magician AND a historian, because being a historian as well means you are getting sidetracked away from magick by trivial details.

Nonsense! Does my enjoyment of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, the music of Led Zeppelin and the language, religion and architecture of Ancient Egypt, "sidetrack" me from the Great Work?

The obsessive poring over Crowley's literary works is more akin to that of any other "fan club" of any other famous author.

And that's effectively not a long way from what the Aleister Crowley Society part of LAShTAL.COM's remit sets out to achieve. In any case, does that make "Starfire" a Grant fanzine?

What do you think would happen if Crowley came back from the dead and you met him?

Who do you mean by "you"?

I'd be comfortable with what I am achieving for Thelema and for his memory and reputation. A rather more interesting question might be what he'd make of his various editors, commentators and biographers!

Stop running around seeking "lost" passages of text about nothing much in particular, and instead take the Next Step...

And perhaps develop the humility to accept that some people might be quite capable of doing both?

Always a pleasure to hear from you,

Paul
@lashtal.com">webmaster@lashtal.com

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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the_real_simon_iff
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26/04/2005 5:16 pm  

93, Alastrum!

You're absolutely right in many ways. You just missed that this is not a forum for Magicians only, I would not dare to call myself one. Nor would I dare to say I am historian. I am a collector at best and so in your words part of a fan club. Why not? This raises the question if a Thelemite has to be a magician and I would say no. But besides this: AC demanded to believe no-one. So why should I assert that the editings of Mr. Grant or Hymenaeus Beta or Alpha or Motta or any other practising magician should do me any better than the real unabridged thing? I could be a follower of any of those, AC included, or I could try to figure out for my own. Maybe I find that Grant's editing is much more to my liking then Mr. Motta's. Maybe not. I just want the right to start from the same point as these two (minus knowing AC personally in Grant's case).

And I think you are wrong about AC coming back. In my humble opinion he would say: "You have all the firsts? So you're rich? Listen, there is still stuff to publish..." Maybe he would just move on when he finds out I am not rich...

Love=Law
Lutz


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 Anonymous
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26/04/2005 8:03 pm  

Firstly, rather than going over any old ground, I think what I have to add to this discussion IS relevant to the editing of Crowley's work, which is indeed what this topic is about.

I think Paul has put it most succinctly when he says he objects to the editing of a major figure by a minor one. It's that "minor" bit I object to. As an occultist (and I think, despite the other areas of Crowley's life, this is the most important) Crowley achieved a certain level of 'spiritual attainment'. Agreed? I also think that other people can also achieve, and have achieved, this level. I think Grant is one of them. Now, by "level", I do NOT mean 'volume of literary output' or 'impact on society' or 'degree of fame', I mean achieved the same 'spiritual level'. In this respect, and in this respect only, I regard Grant as Crowley's equal, or pretty damn close, just as I would regard any person, male or female, who has achieved enlightenment and is following their True Will, as also being Crowley's equal. (Besides, if it's not possible to achieve the same level as Crowley, we might as well all give up now :D)

When Crowley produced his own version of Legge's I Ching, he claimed that he didn't need to know Chinese but his initiated understanding helped him get a better sense of the texts' meaning than Legge ever could. I go along with this; Crowley's version, though not as detailed as Legge's, is still sublime, as is his Tao Teh Ching. What I'm trying to say is that, by comparison, because Grant has also achieved this level of 'initiated understanding', he is, in my opinion, better placed than almost anyone to edit Crowley's work. After all, not only is he highly sympathetic to Crowley, he is also a Thelemite, a practising magician, and has an initiated understanding of AC's work. There are, in my opinion, no other Crowley editors that have all of these qualities to the same degree as Grant.
Now you may disagree with ANY editing, and would prefer to read everything as originally written; but do you apply this to Crowley's I Ching, and insist on going back to Legge's version? Or do you go further and learn ancient Chinese, so as to read the 'original' text in it's untranslated, original form, not "filtered through" Crowley's attitude towards the text or authors? I doubt it; I suspect you trust Crowley's 'initiated understanding'.

I'm merely suggesting that you put aside any predjudices about Grant's own work and views, and trust Grant's initiated understanding too. Or do you perhaps consider yourselves or others better able to edit Crowley?

As a publisher myself, I know of very little work that goes to press unedited. I've read countless books where the author thanks their editor in an 'acknowledgements' page for the judicial 'tightening up' and 'honing down' of their text, and suggestions made for clarification etc. Hardly any books are published exactly as the author originally wrote them, unless they are self-published (and many of those, particularly occult books, would have benefited from editing!) Editing is not automatically 'A Very Bad Thing'. And in any case, "editor" is a bit of a catch-all title; it doesn't necessarily mean 'cutting out' it rather means 'preparing for publication', which can include cutting out.
If only Austin Spare had had an editor! I am inclined because of this, to believe that Crowley would have approved of the Confessions as published in it's latest form. Besides, has anyone here actually seen the very typescript he gave to Symonds, that Symonds worked from? It may differ substantially from the other typescripts floating about that perhaps reflect more closely the old Mandrake editions. Maybe it was Crowley himself who dropped the stanzas and edited passages out? Wouldn't that change things?

I really don't understand your antipathy towards Symonds & Grant over this issue. True, Symonds didn't like Crowley that much, and I share with you your feelings about that. But, like it or not, he was Crowley's Literary Executor, and the Confessions would never have been published at that time without him. Thank heavens for Grant's involvement then, to temper, if only slightly, Symonds' antipathy, and to explain some of the finer points of magick to him. Let's face it, none of us would be here talking today if these books hadn't appeared back then.

Let's also be clear about one thing: Grant's involvement in the editing of the Confessions (and other Crowley books) was pretty much limited to "magickal consultant". He was not sitting at home going through the typescripts with a red pen; as Literary Executor, that was Symonds' responsibility. Grant's contribution was mostly to ADD footnotes, not take anything out.

So, yes, I am defending Kenneth Grant, but not out of any loyalty I might feel to the man, rather simply because I keep reading, time and time again, comments from people who think he did a hatchet job on Crowley's work, (as if it was some sort of competition between him and Symonds as to who could cut the most:-D) when this quite simply isn't true. I don't regard Grant as a "minor" figure, for the reasons I explained above, and I object to Grant being attacked in this way, being lumped in with Symonds as if he shared the same attitudes to Crowley, which he clearly doesn't.

My comments about achieving enlightenment ourselves were meant to imply, that if we really want to understand Crowley's life and work, we should really meet him on his own level, otherwise no amount of study will help us. In this respect, I believe that a Thelemite DOES practise magick, or they are not really a Thelemite, just a Thelemic sympathiser.

Finally, Paul, I apologise for not making myself clearer; Of course your enjoyment of those things do not sidetrack you; what I meant was in the study of the same subject i.e. an obsessive study of the architecture of Ancient Egypt would of neccessity detract from your study of the religion of Ancient Egypt. Although the two are complimentary, and cannot perhaps be studied independantly, the narrowing of attention to one area detracts from the other. In the same sense, the too close a focussing on one area of Crowley's work (his literary output) shifts attention away from another (Crowley's desire for everyone to find their True Will). In other words, not seeing the wood for the trees. I still maintain that an initiated understanding of Crowley's work is the best way forward, rather than worrying too much what may or may not have been edited out.

Now, I've said enough, so I'll shut up for a while 😀


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the_real_simon_iff
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26/04/2005 10:37 pm  

93!

Just a few last thoughts from my side too:

Unabridged does not mean unedited. I think the two and a half pages from the allegedly unabridged typescript in the VaV intro clearly shows that. If they (the two and a half pages) had been printed and Symonds/Grant (or really whoever) have footnoted it with "This is redundant rubbish and won't help you on your way to enlightenment" I think a fine editing job would have been done. Also I don't feel anyone here thinks bad about the work that Grant (maybe not Symonds) did with the Confessions and his contribution to Thelema as a whole. But times have changed. Maybe the abridgments in the Confessions were all because of financial reasons, to make a really long book only a long one. Those reasons are in my opinion obsolete too today.

I always enjoy a director's cut, sometimes it's better, sometimes not, but most of the time it says more about the director.

I think everything Alastrum said may be right in some way, but it just doesn't go with the Confessions. To say the Hag was meant as a means for enlightenment or as a magickal study guide is simply wrong in my opinion. So why edit and abridge it with such a goal?

I am looking forward to the upcoming new editions Lashtal mentioned. And to the new Kenneth Grant books too.

Love=Law
Lutz


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lashtal
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26/04/2005 10:57 pm  

Hi Alastrum,

"Alastrum" wrote:
I'm merely suggesting that you put aside any predjudices about Grant's own work and views

Now that's an odd comment! I've collected and read Grant's books over more than two decades and made quite clear in my post that I "respect what he is trying to achieve".

I really don't understand your antipathy towards Symonds & Grant over this issue.

Again, Robert, I don't know where you get this from. "Antipathy" and "prejudice"? Earlier in this thread, I referred to Symonds' "excellent" biography, The Beast 666, and I'm always very respectful of Mr Grant - as our email correspondence away from this Forum shows. I think their editing of Magical And Philosophical Commentaries On The Book Of The Law was excellent.

Let's also be clear about one thing: Grant's involvement in the editing of the Confessions (and other Crowley books) was pretty much limited to "magickal consultant". He was not sitting at home going through the typescripts with a red pen; as Literary Executor, that was Symonds' responsibility. Grant's contribution was mostly to ADD footnotes, not take anything out.

But hasn't the whole thrust of your argument in the Forum been that Grant did remove text from The Confessions because, as you said, "passages edited from his works are described as "redundancies", meaning (very probably) not at all useful to the aspiring magician. Don't forget, his works were edited by a PRACTISING magician (Grant), with this in mind".

So, yes, I am defending Kenneth Grant

Actually, I don't think you need to. I don't think anyone has been anything but respectful of him on these Forums.

Take care,

Paul
@lashtal.com">webmaster@lashtal.com

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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 Anonymous
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27/04/2005 7:46 am  
"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
I am a collector at best and so in your words part of a fan club. Why not? This raises the question if a Thelemite has to be a magician and I would say no. But besides this: AC demanded to believe no-one.

In my reading of it (and, having been rereading Liber Aleph in the last few days, I have been reminded of the gender issue here; so look not grisly upon me, ladies!! - if there are any wasting their time with this trivia; which I, for one, enjoy, by the way), I'd say that A.C. thought that to be a man and to be a magician are identical. And I'd say that he saw as his work the exhortation of the Juperterian qualities, particularly, to inspire men to be more than the spiritual eunuchs that he saw around him. But then, of course, he also accepted a broad definition of magick; so ritual-in-rooms isn't the only way to do it. But this is off-topic so I'll leave it at that.

"lashtal" wrote:
Actually, I don't think you need to. I don't think anyone has been anything but respectful of him on these Forums.

That sounds like a challenge...

CSM


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Anonymous
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29/04/2005 10:49 am  

A fascinating discussion one a little overdue. I have to agree with Alastrum on many of the points raised. Books in themselves are not magic, nor does ownership of any one particular book make you a magician.

Frankly, theres too many bloody collectors and magical historians, people buying signed and limited edition books and then placing them on the shelf. I know someone with 7 signed Grants but who has no time for Grant as a writer or magician. Why? Waiting for him to die so he can hit Ebay with them.

If you simply own the books, as Alastrum says, you are a sympathiser at best. As AOS commented, you have to live it - and sadly for many, no amount of expensive texts will assist them in rising beyond petty matters like who has the leather-bound limited edition numbered 93.

Having gone through a period without haveing ANY magical texts whatsoever, I can actually say that in some ways I found my magical work expanded and increased during this time. Crowley wrote a lot of books, do you need them all? Absolutely not and its silly to suggest otherwise.

In fact, one could argue, that if availability of books on the occult dwindled to nil, actualy magical activity would probably increase.

And please, talk of new editions of Crowley books is hugely depressing. By "copyright holders", one can only assume you mean the Califake. So, lets wait with baited breath for tatty softcovers with bad printing, bizarre editing and annotations from California. Not quite what the Old Man had in mind methinks.

Los


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lashtal
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29/04/2005 6:19 pm  

Hi Loscult,

"loscult" wrote:
Talk of new editions of Crowley books is hugely depressing. By "copyright holders", one can only assume you mean the Califake. So, lets wait with baited breath for tatty softcovers with bad printing, bizarre editing and annotations from California.

That's got to be a Yellow Card for: "Using your first post on LAShTAL.COM to have a gratuitous and not entirely factual pop at an organisation that you don't like but that some visitors to this site find rewarding".

One more Yellow Card and you get a Red Card - and you wouldn't like a Red Card!

😉

Tut tut!

Paul
@lashtal.com">webmaster@lashtal.com
(Not a member of any organisations.)

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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 Anonymous
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30/04/2005 8:40 am  

Now things have settled down a bit, I'll make a few comments on what I think are the salient points. Let's see if I can get through it without even a yellow card. Though, as an Aussie is presently being referred to in the UK as the "Black Prince", and as a practitioner of the "Black Arts" (i.e. of electioneering), I think I'd better watch my step.

Firstly, I think that the Scholar versus Magician opposition is a furphy. I have for years quoted a Sufi saying: Beware lest ye fall too far from the path, lest ye become - a Scholar! (Sharp intake of breath from the assembled faithful.) However, some reading, study, investigation, critical analysis and so on is, obviously, required. Equally obviously, one can go overboard; so, as in so many things it is a question of balance and wisdom. And I don't believe that even the aforementioned Black Prince would be arguing for the expulsion of that immigrant historian from the Isle of the Magicians. (Oh, they were all immigrants? Shhh...!)

However, what Alastrum has attempted to do here, in my estimation, is to defend his position with this spurious criticism. But first I shall say this: if anyone here feels that they're overloaded with A.C. trivia, please go outside and do your Resh or whatever. For the rest: while I enjoy observing the serpentine weaving of the Thelemic Current through pop culture (and I only read the other day, in an old Lashtal news item, that a book about A.C. had topped the Sth. Korean best-selller list - astounding!), there is still an important point of substance here that is being obscured by this criticism.

I thank Simon Iff for that passage wherein A.C. admits to his human frailty amounting to occasional cowardice. I found it quite touching. Though A.C. used it to build himself up a bit more - which is fair enough, considering - it is quite enlightening regarding his character and how he lived all those years in the appallingly-snobbish England of the era, through all those years of the persecution. And it might well be very useful to the practical aspirant to know that even the greats quaked in their boots on occasion. That Symonds left that out begs the question of why and to me the probable answer is pretty obvious. It didn't fit the caricature that he had tried to project of the man. That expression of humility was excised because it contradicted too starkly the sorcerer's projection. And, even after all my study, even I hadn't seen that passage. Obviously, I have succeeded in avoiding some studies.

So that piece was not rubbish and one wonders what else is not. I also thank OK for his analysis of the volume sizes. That was quite helpful. However doped up A.C was at the time, I don't think that he could have written that much without having a few more, interesting things to say. And for a good illustration of how his writing of that era is appreciated, one need go no further than the readers' reviews on the Amazon page for Diary of a Drug Fiend.

Regarding Alustrum's defence of Grant:

"Alastrum" wrote:
Blimey! Well there you go folks! It just goes to show what I've said all along: the single strongest factor in all of magick is BELIEF. And even in the face of all the evidence, and a straight statement from the man himself, we still have someone who prefers his own belief to the actual facts. Now THAT'S what I call magick!

The Belief being asked for here is in Mr. Grant. There was no other "evidence" against Curmudgeon's surmise, in that little dispute. Both parties presented a circumstantial case. Both had points in their favour. What Curmudgeon did was take Mr. Grant's word for it. (And for the moment I'll accept that Grant said that and not bother with all the internet imposture that goes on. I just presume that Lashtal knows these people as he says.) That's all it came down to: the word of a gentleman, as Alustrum says that he is. He might be. I don't know the man. I do know that I don't have to accept that just because someone says he is. However, the books' provenance is no business of mine and I address it out of fairness to Curmudgeon, who was very helpful, and because it is relevant to the allied line that Alustrum put.

"Alastrum" wrote:
As an occultist (and I think, despite the other areas of Crowley's life, this is the most important) Crowley achieved a certain level of 'spiritual attainment'. Agreed?

Agreed.

"Alastrum" wrote:
I also think that other people can also achieve, and have achieved, this level. I think Grant is one of them.

I don't know. What's more, I object to the vagueness. A large part of the value of a common creed, as I understand it, is that it provides a common language and understanding. We have a system of three grades. If it is his will to claim one, then he should. And if Alustrum's wants to rely upon the spiritual attainment of another man to defend arguments about book-editing and book-selling, that's his affair. But to ask us, as presumed Thelemites, to accept that Grant has acheived "this level" without even reference to the basic grades is, to me, pretty vacuous. Has Grant claimed one of those three grades? Not to my knowledge. Maybe I haven't wasted enough of my life amongst the bats in the libraries to find out. But anyway, Alustrum then admits, in effect, that the Grant-as-Editor-Initiate argument was just another furphy.

"Alastrum" wrote:
Let's also be clear about one thing: Grant's involvement in the editing of the Confessions (and other Crowley books) was pretty much limited to "magickal consultant". He was not sitting at home going through the typescripts with a red pen; as Literary Executor, that was Symonds' responsibility. Grant's contribution was mostly to ADD footnotes, not take anything out.

So Grant the Initiate was responsible for the bodgy footnote about the museum, then?

Viz: http://www.duaut.net/Order.htm (Second paragraph.)

Before the ref reaches for a card, I shall agree that, however much better it might have been, just to get the thing published, as is, was quite an acheivement in the sixties. I don't know how much Grant contributed to that and it is not really germane to the topic. I stopped reading Grant years ago, I must admit, but mostly I'm just an agnostic regarding him. (But Symonds is fair game...)

The point is, and I believe that it is now well established, that there is a good deal more material available that is of interest to many people who are quite capable of making their own time-management decisions, thank you very much, so the news of an unexpurgated edition is most welcome. I just hope that the previous doubts are not borne out and it does appear in good binding, preferably as a six-volume, facsimile edition (one can't have everything, I know, but it would be nice), well-edited and with non-Californicentric annotations. And, I will admit, though I am no friend of the Corporation, that I do also think they have done some pretty good editions.

CSM

P.S.

"Alastrum" wrote:
Even 15 years ago, an unsigned copy of "Outside the Circles of Time" was selling for £150, today almost £250.

And to think I gave one away in the early 1980's - to a Corporationista...


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Anonymous
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01/05/2005 5:24 pm  

Firstly, a yellow card for that? For crying out loud, mainstream occultism IS dull! I could have said a lot worse. I could of rehashed the old story about them copyrighting a centuries old occult glyph. I could have said how I recently met one of the most senior figures from the Cali-whatsit in a London bookshop and how the first thing he did was thrust a copy of his most recent book into my hands and urge me to buy it. But I wont. I might get another card. 🙁

As for Grant's status - seeing as he is head of the Typhonian OTO (naming just one organisation), I don't think his 'spiritual attainment' can be in much doubt.

Yours, meekly,
Los


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the_real_simon_iff
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Posts: 1680
01/05/2005 9:13 pm  

93!

Although I am aware that it is probably useless and has absolutely nothing to do with the original goal of this thread I feel compelled to leave a little remark or two.

"loscult" wrote:
Firstly, a yellow card for that? For crying out loud, mainstream occultism IS dull!

I still don't understand what (some) "real" magicians seem to have against book collecting. Should I feel insulted? Who says one is a "better" magician if you don't collect books? Most bookcollectors also read their books. Some people don't even read a fairly short thread on a discussion forum. I think books are highly important. Mainstream? I just don't get it.

"loscult" wrote:
I could have said a lot worse. I could of rehashed the old story about them copyrighting a centuries old occult glyph. I could have said how I recently met one of the most senior figures from the Cali-whatsit in a London bookshop and how the first thing he did was thrust a copy of his most recent book into my hands and urge me to buy it. But I wont. I might get another card.

I could have said that maybe the only point here is to bring that stupid discussion finally to lasthal.com too. But I won't and feel glad I didn't...

"loscult" wrote:
As for Grant's status - seeing as he is head of the Typhonian OTO (naming just one organisation), I don't think his 'spiritual attainment' can be in much doubt.

That is my favourite - although I never wanted to get into this I just have to answer: Seeing Breeze (and before him Germer and McMurtry) is head of the Calipahte OTO (naming just one organization), I don't think his 'spiritual attainment' can be in much doubt. Well, that finally is a real proof.

Maybe someone is starting a new thread? I feel embarassed comparing different editions of the Confessions and ending up comparing the usual different thelemic parties. That is boring (well, not really boring but I also collect Peter Koenig's books so it's just not very new).

Love=Law
Lutz


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Anonymous
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02/05/2005 7:28 am  

Absolutely, caring about this stuff must be boring to a lot of people. But sitting quietly while frauds and fakes do their best to run magic into the ground is not an option any more. There is no live and let live. That attitude has got the occult where it is at present - on it's last legs.

And it must seem a stupid discussion to some people - yet the COTO has elbowed its way to officialdom like an occult George Bush and it's doctrine is now represented as being 'the truth' and it's view of Crowley and his work is sadly the one that gets presented to the world.

And an attempt at cleverness doesnt quite work - compare the TOTO and the COTO, compare their outlooks and philosophies, compare Grant and Breeze, compare what they do and say. Then try to hold in the laughter.

Los


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the_real_simon_iff
(@the_real_simon_iff)
Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1680
02/05/2005 10:22 am  

93!

"loscult" wrote:
And it must seem a stupid discussion to some people - yet the COTO has elbowed its way to officialdom like an occult George Bush and it's doctrine is now represented as being 'the truth' and it's view of Crowley and his work is sadly the one that gets presented to the world.

And that's why I (having so far no final opinion on any Thelemite organization) would so much prefer more of original and unabridged AC stuff. Maybe commented, because this would help me judging the person or persons commenting.

"loscult" wrote:
And an attempt at cleverness doesnt quite work - compare the TOTO and the COTO, compare their outlooks and philosophies, compare Grant and Breeze, compare what they do and say. Then try to hold in the laughter.

I for sure was not laughing about anyone, I just wanted to say that the position alone a person is holding in whatever organization, does not say so much about his grade of attainment. In fact I highly admire Mr. Grant on behalf of his own writings, although I am not through with all of them. If I have no direct contact to him (or his followers - I am not referring to anyone specific here) I am (at least in the beginning) solely depending on what he has written and this again leads me to my first sentence above.

And again: the only strange thing in this thread is the mixup of two completely different discussions. One about editing, abridging etc. per se, the other one about the "quality" of this editing, abridging, commenting and so on.

Love=Law
Lutz


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5298
02/05/2005 11:21 am  

Loscult,

Your comments are not helpful to the discussion about The Confessions...

"loscult" wrote:
Sitting quietly while frauds and fakes do their best to run magic into the ground is not an option ... That attitude has got the occult where it is at present - on it's last legs... COTO has elbowed its way to officialdom like an occult George Bush and it's doctrine is now represented as being 'the truth'... An attempt at cleverness doesnt quite work... TOTO and the COTO, compare their outlooks and philosophies, compare Grant and Breeze, compare what they do and say. Then try to hold in the laughter...

I'm sure such anatgonism is just your "style", but it's out-of-keeping with the general tone of LAShTAL.COM, which has managed to remain free of this sort of "my OTO is better than your OTO" nonsense.

I regret that this thread is now closed... Sorry, the_real_simon_iff - I found the posts by you, OKontrair and Curmudgeon to be amongst the most interesting yet on LAShTAL.COM. But, as my schoolmasters used to say back in the Seventies, "there's always one"!

Paul
@lashtal.com">webmaster@lashtal.com

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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