IN THE MID - 1920's, roughly two blocks from where the Warlock Shop once stood, in Brooklyn Heights, lived a quiet, reclusive man, an author of short stories, who eventually divorced his wife of two years and returned to his boyhood home in Rhode Island, where he lived with his two aunts. Born on August 20, 1890, Howard Phillips Lovecraft would come to exert an impact on the literary world that dwarfs his initial successes with Weird Tales magazine in 1923. He died, tragically, at the age of 46 on March 15, 1937, a victim of cancer of the intestine and Bright's Disease. Though persons of such renown as Dashiell Hammett were to become involved in his work, anthologising it for publication both here an abroad, the reputation of a man generally conceded to be the "Father of Gothic Horror" did not really come into its own until the past few years, with the massive re-publication of his works by various houses, a volume of his selected letters, and his biography. In the July, 1975, issue The Atlantic Monthly, there appeared a story entitled "There Are More Things", written by Jorge Luis Borges, "To the memory of H.P. Lovecraft". This gesture by a man of the literary stature of Borges is certainly an indication that Lovecraft has finally ascended to his rightful place in the history of American literature, nearly forty years after his death. In the same year that Lovecraft found print in the pages of Weird Takes, another gentleman was seeing his name in print; but in the British tabloid press. We can profitably compare the essence of most of Lovecraft's short stories with the basic themes of Crowley's unique system of ceremonial Magick. While the latter was a sophisticated psychological structure, intended to bring the initiate into contact with his higher Self, via a process of individuation that is active and dynamic (being brought about by the "patient" himself) as opposed to the passive depth analysis of the Jungian adepts, Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos was meant for entertainment. Scholars, of course, are able to find higher, ulterior motives in Lovecraft's writings, as can be done with any manifestation of Art.

 

 

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Aleister Crowley - The Necronomicon

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