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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
>>> Little, Big can be especially bewildering if
>>> you are not familiar with the symbolic devices
>>> he develops in his earlier novels.
> Hmm. By this time I suppose I'm pretty conversant with Crowley but I don'=
> know what you mean by this. LB does not seem to me to pick up on themes f=
> 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.
> 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=
> 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).


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