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Do What Thou Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley von [Sutin, Lawrence]
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Do What Thou Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley Kindle Edition

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Produktbeschreibungen

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The legendary Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) is a tantalizing and bizarre subject. As an occult leader, heroin addict, sexual adventurer, misogynist, and visionary, he is the inspiration for many vile Gothic protagonists. Author W. Somerset Maugham even devoted a novel, The Magician, to this chilling figure of indulgence and religious mockery. Like any good biographer, Lawrence Sutin set out to discover the man behind the myth. After considerable research, Sutin admits that Crowley was "a shameless scoffer at Christian virtue" and "a spoiled scion of a wealthy Victorian family," but he also sees him as a 20th century figure as "protean, brilliant, courageous, and flabbergasting as ever you could imagine."

Consider these facts about the man who named himself "The Great Beast": He was one of the first Westerners to seriously study Buddhism and Yoga. He radically redesigned the traditional Tarot deck (thus the "Crowley deck"). Contrary to common belief, he was never known to participate in satanic ritual--to do so would acknowledge the Christian church, which he was loathe to do (although he nicknamed his son "The Christ Child"). These are but a few of the surprising morsels one can glean from this excellent biography. Don't expect to find Crowley a likable figure. Do, however, expect to meet a flamboyant man who challenged all forms of religious, sexual, and social oppression and hence became a revered visionary and a reviled demon. --Tara West

Pressestimmen

"Sutin's perceptive study restores this controversial figure to his proper place in the history of modern spirituality."--"Publishers Weekly" (Starred review)
"A rich narrative . . . This is certainly the biography against which to measure the lurid claims and devout counterclaims prompted by the Crowley legend."--"Kirkus Reviews"
"Sutin wonderfully details the eccentricities of this puzzling man . . . The result is a fascinating, easily readable narrative about one of the most interesting cultural phenomena of the late Victorian period."--"Library Journal"
"The definitive biography . . . Sutin's work will remain a benchmark against which all future biographies of Crowley will be measured."--James Wasserman, author of "Art & Symbols of the Occult "and "The Militia of Heaven"


Sutin's perceptive study restores this controversial figure to his proper place in the history of modern spirituality. "Publishers Weekly (Starred review)"

A rich narrative . . . This is certainly the biography against which to measure the lurid claims and devout counterclaims prompted by the Crowley legend. "Kirkus Reviews"

Sutin wonderfully details the eccentricities of this puzzling man . . . The result is a fascinating, easily readable narrative about one of the most interesting cultural phenomena of the late Victorian period. "Library Journal"

The definitive biography . . . Sutin's work will remain a benchmark against which all future biographies of Crowley will be measured. "James Wasserman, author of Art & Symbols of the Occult and The Militia of Heaven""

"Sutin's perceptive study restores this controversial figure to his proper place in the history of modern spirituality." --Publishers Weekly (Starred review)

"A rich narrative . . . This is certainly the biography against which to measure the lurid claims and devout counterclaims prompted by the Crowley legend." --Kirkus Reviews

"Sutin wonderfully details the eccentricities of this puzzling man . . . The result is a fascinating, easily readable narrative about one of the most interesting cultural phenomena of the late Victorian period." --Library Journal

"The definitive biography . . . Sutin's work will remain a benchmark against which all future biographies of Crowley will be measured." --James Wasserman, author of Art & Symbols of the Occult and The Militia of Heaven


Produktinformation

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1584 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 501 Seiten
  • Verlag: St. Martin's Press (8. Juli 2014)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00KF29DO2
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
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  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen 1 Kundenrezension
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #299.811 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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This was my first biography of Aleister Crowley - and for some time, I guess, my last. While Mr. Crowley certainly was an intriguing person and biographical subject, there is just too much in the description of his life that I find downbearing, depressing, revolting or just a bit unappetitely. But that is just me and it does not diminish the biographical work done by Mr. Sutin. The book contains a wealth of details which are, as far as I can judge, well and objectively commented and assessed, especially with regard to Crowley's artistic and magickal work. The book is well written and very readable and - the aforesaid notwithstanding - worth reading. I would have expected a more extensive bibliography - although just now, having finished the book yesterday, I would not really want to immediately read more on the subject of Mr. Crowley, but for my later use, maybe, or those who would want to dig deeper.
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Amazon.com: 3.6 von 5 Sternen 50 Rezensionen
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Read what thou Wilt... 27. Januar 2008
Von J. Lamberson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Lawrence Sutin gives a thorough look into the life of Aleister Crowley, who was dubbed "the wickedest man alive." Mr. Sutin portrays Crowley with an honest, and open mind, giving the reader a complete and very real idea of who this man was.
Crowley was an interesting man to read about. He was an apiring poet, a very skilled chess player and mountain climber. He published many books on "magick", as he called it. Magick was what he was most well remembered for, dedicating most of his life to this calling. His first introduction to magick was through the "Order of the Golden Dawn," an organization who's members at the time included many contemporary poets and artists.
Crowley would eventually break away from the Golden Dawn, and start his own philosophy of sorts called "Thelema," (the greek word for "will") which is still being practiced and studied to this day.
Crowley studied buddhism and tantra, incorporating them into "Thelema, along with what he learned from the Golden Dawn. His use of drugs was well known, and documented in his book, "Diary of a Drug Fiend." He used some drugs for spiritual purposes, but later fell deep into opium addiction.
All in all, Crowley's life was filled with accomplishments more so than failures. It's a shame that he got more recognition in death, than in life. His books sell much more today than they ever did in his day. At least he left a legacy behind. A legacy that will "endure to the end," much like his magick name, "Perdurabo."
2.0 von 5 Sternen How Sutin managed to make Crowley's life so dull and dry is utterly beyond me 13. März 2017
Von Hannah Kolesar - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
How Sutin managed to make Crowley's life so dull and dry is utterly beyond me. Was looking for new insight, instead got a nap.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent 3. Februar 2017
Von Janicot - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Gives the facts of Crowley's life clearly and succinctly while offering lucid and penetrating insights into the scope of what he was trying to accomplish.
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A little sympathy for the devil... 19. Januar 2009
Von Mark Nadja - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Crowley is one of those characters who endure by reason of what can be a rather cultish following--in other words, those who find him influential tend to idolize him and resist any tendency toward his iconic deflation. So Suster's ultimately even-handed biography of the Great Beast--and Beast he often was--is likely to rub a good many devotees the wrong way. Neither fawning, nor derisive, Suster admirably succeeds in treading a middle path in review of Crowley's controversial life and legacy...both of which remain, in the final analysis, difficult of assessment.

Still, Suster makes a fair and reasonable accounting of this legacy. A good deal of the problem lies with Crowley's own tendency to mythologize the events of his life inasmuch as this egoistic inflation was part of the technique of his magick. What most outright scoffers fail to understand is that magick is as much a matter of metaphor and imagination, not simply lying, as the mundane adjudge, but a kind of sleight-of-hand with reality itself. There is a thin line between self-inflation for purposes of magickal attainment and mere self-delusion and that is always an issue when assessing Crowley but it's a mistake often made by the "uninitiated" to suppose that Crowley was nothing more than a failed poseur because he died physically broken, drug-addicted, materially impoverished, and largely ridiculed where he wasn't outright ignored by his contemporaries.

True magick, after all, is not about waving magic wands around and producing bushels of money--that kind of Harry Potter stuff is the hocus-pocus which the hoi polloi associates with the word "magic." As Crowley was at some pains to point out, true magick is a matter of self-exploration at its most intense and extreme, of challenging and expanding to its furthest limit what it means to be a human being. Magick is poetry applied to life--and in this sense Crowley's life reads as a 20th century Odyssey.

Suster takes the measure of Crowley not as god or devil, but as a man who would recreate himself as myth--and therefore simultaneously both man and myth. That is the challenge Suster--and any future biographer of Crowley--faces: to separate the man and myth, but not separate them so much that you lose the truth altogether, because the true Crowley is less than one and more than the other.

There is a good deal made here about Crowley's bisexuality--in particular his homosexual side--and how it informed, formed, and, in some cases, de-formed his life...which might rankle the more macho-oriented types who often take the Beast as their magickal model of satanic masculinity. But these are generally the types who, just as much as the hysterical moralists, misinterpret what Crowley was really about. One can easily imagine, and enjoy, the confused reaction of such hero-worshippers to the revelations here that Crowley engaged in lifelong homosexual practices, performing in the passive role in a persona that he referred to as "Alice." Aleister Crowley, the ominous shaven-headed Baphomet of the famous dead-eye photo, a boy-toy with a feminine alter-ego? Do What Thou Wilt--deal with it.

According to Suster, Crowley, a product of his times, had a little trouble dealing with it himself--but defiantly stood in opposition to his times in this, his unconventional sexuality, as so much else. Crowley was prophetic, not only for the pronouncements in his texts, but, perhaps, even more, in his very embodiment of the contradictions in the world in which he lived, and the cataclysmic changes that were soon to come--changes we are continuing to feel the results of today. As a result, Crowley, as prophet, not to mention as a poet, magician, thinker, was accorded little respect in his own time; but that really shouldnt surprise anyone. By his very nature, a prophet isn't living in his own time, but in the future, and thus, can only be appreciated in retrospect, by the world he foresaw. But in his own day, to the world in which he lives, such a man as Crowley can only be a monster, a fool, a lunatic, and an irregularity. It's this imbalance that Suster attempts to redress, and, in my opinion, succeeds in doing.

We are all, in some respects, the magickal children of Aleister Crowley. But like all children, we take for granted our progenitors. Already, even a man such as Crowley seems somewhat quaint, outdated, even conventional. If so, it's a testament to the accuracy of his foresight and the truth of his message. Lest we forget, it was Crowley who described our world before it ever existed--and whose works remain of value in describing how it works...and, for the adept, how to work it.

Suster's book is a substantial attempt to put into order a supremely disordered life, to preserve a human picture of Crowley, his life and his work, that allows the reader--both magically inclined and not--an approach to the Beast. Whether one decides to get into the cage with it and learn more is left to the reader's discretion.

All this aside, *Do What Thou Wilt* is simply a good read. Lively, surprisingly well-written ((all too many biographies don't seem to be written by real writers)), and apparently well-researched, it's a book you're likely to find hard to put down. One gets the sense that Suster knows a considerable amount not only about his subject, Aleister Crowley, but his subject's subject, magick. Here, in a book that must be regarded as right now the definitive text on the life of Crowley, we have a down-to-earth, unsensational accounting of an out-of-this-world, sensational life. *Do What Thou Wilt* but I recommend this book without reservation.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Five Stars 1. Dezember 2016
Von Heather - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
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