Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Book of Lies: Liber CCCXXXIII (1912)


Author: Frater Perdurabo (Aleister Crowley)  |  Page Count: 200

'The more necessary anything appears to my mind, the more certain it is that I only assert a limitation.'

To give it its full title, 'The Book of Lies: Which is also Falsely Called BREAKS. The Wanderings or Falsifications of the One Thought of Frater Perdurabo, which Thought is itself Untrue. Liber CCCXXXIII', is perhaps the most accessible of Crowley's published works. The deeper, hidden meanings relating to his magickal philosophies are there to be deciphered and will, no doubt, be recognisable to members of the A∴A∴ and O.T.O., but there's enough disclosure in the footnote commentaries (added later but included in most current editions) to explain certain things to the uninitiated, to enable even a complete newcomer to follow many of the Qabalistic threads and understand that structure is as important as content.

It's a fascinating read even if you've no intention of taking the study further. He was aware of his reputation—at times he even orchestrated and encouraged it—but what may surprise people is how sharp a sense of humour the ‘Great Beast’ had. The title is an indication, but there are numerous instances within the book.

Also of note is Crowley's ability to use words as succinctly and beautifully as the poets did. There’s no doubt he was well-read in philosophy and theosophy, etc, but he also shows an impressive disposition for poetry. There's some awful rhyme included throughout, but its clearly intentional. I believe that had he wished it, had his life taken a different path, he could've excelled in a different kind of art.

If you do want to connect more dots it's necessary to have a copy of The Book of the Law (Liber AL vel Legis) (1904) nearby, but know that doing so may raise more questions for the inquisitive mind than it provides answers.

5 epigrammatic forms out of 5

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