View Full Version : Crowley: The Critic & Parlor Room Artiste

Howard Brown
August 25th, 2008, 03:19 PM
The State ( Columbia,S.C.)
December 7,1913
Page 11
What do you know about Aleister Crowley? Ever heard of him before? Neither had I until I found an article by him on "Art In America" in the current English Review,cheek by jowl with one by Israel Zangwill on the "Militant Suffragetes". Since then I have looked up crowley in "Who's Who", but without finding him so much as mentioned therein and all that I know about him now apart from the fact that he doesn't consider that America has produced any art of that Americans have any real culture is ( and this I read in the Times ) that he was the ringleader of those who removed the coverings that the french authorities caused to be placed over Jacob Epstein's now famous memorial to Oscar Wilde in Pere Lachaise cemetery the other night, without,apparently, getting any thanks for doing so from the sculptor thereof.
However,since he is welcomed to the pages of the periodical which publishes Masefield,Hewltt, and incidentally, John Helston, one supposes that Aleister Crowley must have some standing in the literary world, though it is worth noting that the editor of the English Review is careful to remark that Crowley's opinions are not necessarily those of the periodical. The fact is that Crowley is the superior person in excelsis,yet this article on "Art In America" contains some thought and its author reveals a wider reading of American literature than most natives can claim. he says,too, that he has lived on the prairie, and he glories in the grandeur of American scenery.
"Of American culture", he says,"I have one perfect sample. Traveling from Nagasaki to Hong Kong, two mature maidens from Massachusetts discovered that I sometimes wrote and 'took me up'. "And who" I asked, "is your favorite poet?"
"A warm flush overspread each sallow cheek as the two thin mouths exclaimed."Rossetti ! ". "And which" ( I tactlessly pursued) "which of his poems do you like best?"
"This remark closed the conversation. they had put the name Rossetti down in a notebook: and right there,culture ended."
"This I found characteristic of many American women. I have seen American girls in Italy laboriously writing down the names of more painters than I shall ever know,without any further comment than the dates at which they painted. To ask a single question on the broadest lines was to court silence; in fact, it became the most useful method in my daily life and conversation."
Crowley concedes greatness to Walt Whitman,less to Poe and still less to Emerson, and these, to him,comprise American literature. "Most of Longfellow" he declares," is pop-gun loaded with pop-corn. Bryant is on the whole even more spectacled than Longfellow and Whittier is little better than Moody and Sankey."
Canada,one gathers,Crowley esteems even less than her great neighbor. "Toronto", he says," makes a Sunday in a Scotch village seem like a hasheesh dream !"
Even this writer however is hopeful of America and his article is not wholly a "roast". "The Himalayas, he remarks, "are too big for any one to sing and America is all Himalayas of one kind or another.."
No doubt", he cocludes, "when immigration stops...when the negro problem and the Japanese problem and the labor problem and political problem and all the rest of the problems are solved, when a class arises which has time to reflect upon life instead of living it, American art will lead the world."--Hayden Church

Howard Brown
August 25th, 2008, 03:21 PM
The Oregonian
Jan. 1,1911
Page 10
London Society Leaders Gladly Pay Mystic $25 For Soul-Mate Rites
London, Dec.31st--
Fashionable devotees of occult rites in the metropolis have been offered a large selection of thrills by one Aleister Crowley, who has conducted certain ceremonials,called the "rites of Eleusis".
Women whose pastime is to come to clairvoyant oracles and women in search of soul mates paid $25 each and flocked to the entertainment provided by Magician Crowley. His idea was to tap the infinite by means of ecstasy. To produce that disconcerting condition he arranged seven ceremonies named after the planets of the zodiaceal system. Colors played a considerable part in the rites. Visitors to the rite of Mercury, for example, were recommended to wear "shot silk and mixed colors", while those attending the rite of Venus were advised to wear green or sky blue.
Crowley's rites were performed amid clouds of pungent incense calculated to half stupefy sensitive women, while the main part of each ceremony consisted of recitations from Swinburne, given in total darkness by someone with a strong American accent, aided by a badly played violin accompaniment.****
Golden harvests can be reaped in London nowadays by any pseudo-mystic clever enough to exploit the vogue for occultism that has laid hold of society women. Crowley's success is inspiring wizards from the East,black magic adepts and conjurers from the four corners of the world to look at Mayfair as their bonanza. And although all such practices when performed for profit are illegal, the police do not interfere,unless occasionally to summon a poor woman for fortune telling. Altogether,the high-class exponents of hanky panky are enjoying a good time.

***Heh,heh....remind you folks of anyone?:violin:

Dustin Gould
August 26th, 2008, 08:51 PM
Crowley the art critic?

Between sodomizing young boys and binging on heroin while locked away in the Abbey of Thelema, when did he have time to review anything? :der: