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maandag 16 februari 2009

Crowley bio

Ruud Vermeer's Aleister Crowley chronicles the life of one of the more influential occult writers. Crowley is best known for his work on the Thelema religion and the controversies surrounding his way of life.

I first come into contact with his work on holiday. Someone I met on the road introduced me to his book on yoga and meditation. I only read the first 50 pages or so, but I was impressed by the clarity of his writing. Up until I didn't have the time to go deeper into his ideas. Since, he wrote quite a lot, it's good to know beforehand what is essential and what isn't. So when I saw this biography in a second-hand bookshop for a reasonable price I bought it immediately.

Unfortunately, the contents of this bio are a bit weak. Although all the aspects of his thinking and his life are there, the writing is not very captivating. Events just happen one after another and that's about it. Even when an attempt is made to explain some events or background to his ideas, it only scratches the surface. The book is good to give you a quick overview of Crowley's life and works, but nothing more than that. The author is clearly a fan of Crowley, nevertheless his description is not very flattering. After reading this book, Crowley strikes me as a narcissistic fils-à-papa, with a penchant for the occult and pompous poetry, who apparently had a certain amount of charisma.

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