<<< Continued from previous page

Crowley, apparently, expended much energy denying that he had homosexual tendencies, but there's considerable evidence to the contrary. As a young student at Trinity College in Oxford, he fell in love with a long-haired blond - no, not a female; a female impersonator, Jerome Pollitt. And this was only the first of numerous homosexual encounters he was to have in his life. Read some of his poetry, and you'll be hard put to interpret his intensely expressed desires in the context of Koenig's analysis - that is, it reads plainly like a man who is lusting for men, not one seeking divine salvation. Homosexuality was illegal in England during Crowley's lifetime - perhaps this explains at least some of his reluctance to come out of the closet - and perhaps adopting the notion that bodily fluids were the elixir of eternal life was a tactic he used to rationalize having sex with men and thereby temper the shame he was reported to have felt because of it. Who knows.

I'm not going to go any further with this - are you relieved? - but I do want to get back to the question Crowley raises for booksellers. The fact is that he devoted much of his life to the teaching and practice of occult Magick. Practitioners take this stuff seriously. I'm guessing that most of them would argue that they aren't hurting anybody and should be left to practice their Magick freely.

Ok, fine, but if you come down on the side of those who see this Crowley's brand of Magick abominable - and I'm guessing here that some, maybe many of you do - what will you do if you come across a Crowley title? Destroy it? Sell it anyway? Will your decision depend on its value? If it's a $5 paperback, sure, it'll be easy to toss, but come across an original printing of White Stains (noting that most of the original 100 copies were destroyed by the British government and only a handful remain), and you could be looking at something that could be worth tens of thousands, also something that you could make a case for possessing significant historical value. Will you still be able to toss it? Do you have a price?

These are hard questions for me to answer, and I'm not going to attempt to answer them here. What I would like to do is get some feedback. If you feel comfortable expressing your thoughts publicly, there's a lively discussion on the topic in BookThink's forum.

If not, please feel free to write me, anonymously or not: editor@bookthink.com

Later this month, I'll do a follow-up article that will examine these same issues in more depth, and hopefully we can emerge with some clarity about where the lines should be drawn, if at all.

>>>>>Read Part II of this article - The Most Evil Man in the World? Part II: Drawing Lines in the Bookselling Sand - or Not>>>>>

Enter Book Title or ISBN

Powered by FetchBook.Info
New & Used Books