Date: Mon, 04 Aug 2003 11:58:22 +0100 Subject: Re: (urth) Crowley From: "Joshua A. Solomon"
> From: "Alice K. Turner" > Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2003 03:07:35 -0400 > Subject: Re: (urth) Crowley >=20 >>> Little, Big can be especially bewildering if >>> you are not familiar with the symbolic devices >>> he develops in his earlier novels. >=20 > Hmm. By this time I suppose I'm pretty conversant with Crowley but I don'= t > know what you mean by this. LB does not seem to me to pick up on themes f= rom > his three earlier books, other than details like cards and games. Not do > they seem to have a lot in common. What am I missing here? I don't actually have any of the books here with me, but off the top of my head... The colours, particularly Red and Black, but also Gray/White and Gold. Fire and Smoke (particularly cigarette smoke). And Water. I know he elucidates the elements in Little, Big, but they're there in The Deep & Engine Summer too. Not certain about Beasts. Bridges, Rings, waterstairs. The list goes on and on. If I can remember, I'll bring my copy of Little, Big (over a bridge to the island/hub) to my computer tomorrow, and see what they can produce. :-) >>> Although Crowley is certainly intrigued, >>> if not obsessed, with occult matters > (you urthlings have convinced me that Gnostic > themes in particular are explored in his novels), >>> I find it hard to pinpoint >>> where his actual sympathies lie. Smoky, like >>> the protagonist of the =C6gypt series, frequently >>> encounters strange goings-on--even falls in love >>> with a semi-fantastic creature or two--but never >>> really buys into the whole supernatural mindset. >>> I suspect that one of the reasons Crowley mines >>> the occult so heavily is because it is such a >>> convenient metaphor for fiction in general. If >>> there is a single dominant theme in Crowley's >>> work it is the creation and perpetuation of >>> stories. Crowley may believe in certain things >>> that others consider fiction; he may not. I dunno. >=20 > Crowley emphatically does not. So he says with considerable vigor in the > interview printed both in mantis's chapbook and in the > booklength -Snake's-hands- and also, slightly differently, in Locus of 20= 01 > or so. But you are correct that he finds it a useful and even beautiful > metaphor. Yeah, well I thought I would actually read the books before I got to the criticism. Which, I must say, I am looking forward to almost as much as The Translator (having awaken at 5.30 so as to finish D=E6monomania before work). --