Tentatively, Convenience's Reviews > The Confessions of Aleister Crowley: An Autohagiography

The Confessions of Aleister Crowley by Aleister Crowley
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bookshelves: biography, occult

I found 3 editions of this in the GoodReads database - 1 of the others calls it an "autobiography" & one just calls it "The Confessions of Aleister Crowley". "Autohagiography" means "autobiography of a saint" so reducing that to a mere "autobiography" is completely out of the spirit of the bk. I was tempted to create a new bookshelf here esp in this bk's honor: "megalomania" - but that's too easy a shot. Crowley was far from stupid & there's plenty of humor in his writings. &, besides, I read all, what was it?, 1300 pages?, of this so there was plenty in it to keep my attn.

This is another example of something non-fiction that I read a long time ago that I still remember substantial details from - once again demonstrating that I sortof escape into fictional worlds & then forget them but I remember things that somehow resonate more w/ 'real life'.

Crowley had inherited wealth & lived it up as a result - gradually living the high life less & less as the money ran out & he had no self-support skills other than parasitism to pull him thru - a not-too-atypical trajectory of the rich-&-useless. Reading his description of his early yrs as a failed mountain climber are (apparently unintentionally) a hilarious look at the imbecilic egomania of British aristocrats. Crowley's full of self-praise & then ridicules the sherpas who're assisting him. W/ apparently no self-irony he writes about how one of the sherpas wdn't've died if they'd only listened to his great genius & wisdom. Somehow it doesn't seem to've occurred to him that maybe if he'd carried his own voluminous luggage & slept outside, like the sherpas did, instead of climbing in relative luxury & sleeping in a heated tent, he might not have survived the trip either.

Later one gets to read about Crowley's being the greatest poet of the turn of the century. Funny, he seems like a complete hack to me. Of course, Crowley's reknowned for doing things like leaving piles of cocaine around to prove that he can refrain from using such things if need be. Then he died a heroin addict. Nice try, Aleister. In later yrs, he was in the US before &/or during WWII & connected to a German society connected w/ nazism. His claim? That he was a spy for the Brits. Somehow, I'm not convinced.

Still, don't get me wrong. I like Crowley. I've read quite a few of his bks. I wonder if he was really as insufferable a megalomaniac in person as he comes across here. In a bk of mine I reference this as "pompous blatherings" but at least Crowley didn't lead a dull life.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
July 24, 1988 – Finished Reading
April 26, 2008 – Shelved
April 26, 2008 – Shelved as: biography
April 26, 2008 – Shelved as: occult

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by Michael (new)

Michael What about the connection to Hubbard?


Tentatively, Convenience Yeah, I've read/heard about that from various sources. It looks like Crowley shd've learned a bit more from Hubbard about how to milk his followers for all they're worth, eh? If Crowley was the Great Beast 666, I wonder what Hubbard was? The Great Least ATM?

message 3: by Michael (new)

Michael Oh yeah, baby, Hubbard has screwed a lot more people out of their psyches and bank accounts than Crowley ever did, though it was said that, during the height of the anti-fascist fervor in England in the 40's, Crowley was the most hated man in the British Isles. That's probably why he came over here and took L. Ron (just a touch away from Enron) under his wing. Too bad that Hubbard was never so hounded out of this country that Die-and-antics and Sigh-'n-gallogy could have been avoided before Tom "In-the-Closet" Cruise and John Ravolta took the cunt tree by storm.

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