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Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2003 20:33:21 -0500
From: James Jordan 
Subject: Re: (urth) Crowley, then ...

         If'n you wanna search the Archives, you'll find a looooong 
discussion of LB a few years back.
         Since alga brought me up, I'll confess to starting the whole thing.
         I loved *Engine Summer* and *Great Work of Time.* I wanted to like 
LB, but the ending horrified me. Instead of being glorified in any kind of 
way that I MYSELF would like to see, they were gradually and to me 
horrifyingly reduced to mere archetypes, flat 2-dimensional playing cards, 
stript of all human depth, fated to eternal repetition.
         When I finished the book, I ripped it in half and threw it across 
the room. Yes, I found it very effective.
         But what was Crowley doing? Was my response his intention? I 
thought at the time that it was.
         For me, it was an anti-gospel novel. And initially I took it that 
Crowley deliberately set out to do just that, to horrify the reader and 
point him/her back to the Christianity that the characters leave behind a 
generation before the novel begins. I read it as revealing the appalling 
consequences of turning back to the pagan world.
         alga and others persuaded me that there was more to LB than that, 
and that if I did not like the book, it was not Crowley's intention to 
leave the reader appalled.
         I remain unsure of what Crowley's intention was, however. Was it 
just to write an interesting novel? Or does he see something good and 
wonderful in what happens to his characters? Is he arguing that a collapse 
back into an infantile and pagan world is what we all really need, and that 
the depth of character into which human beings have grown during the last 
several millennia is something to be rejected? Or is LB basically an 
         He says he wanted to write a novel presenting a "fairy religion." 
He has done so, and very effectively. I continue to think LB is a brilliant 
and effective novel. But for me, it is a very effective horror novel.



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