Daily Archives: April 26, 2011

 by Aleister Crowley

Diary

 

Crowley, denounced as “the wickedest man in the world” by some contemporaries, was an early 20th-century occultist, philosopher, and writer who apparently got off on ruffling societal feathers.  Diary, Crowley’s first novel, chronicles a year in the life of young Peter Pendragon, heir to a fortune who discovers two things in life that seem worthy of his love:  heroin and a girl named Lou.  In a wild journey that might make Hunter S. Thompson envious, Peter and Lou cross Europe in a heroin- and cocaine-fueled daze, crash back to earth, and are rescued by the charismatic “King Lamus,” the proponent of a religion called Thelema.

Diary is dated, bogged down by purple prose and – for anyone who’s read Bret Easton Ellis – not particularly shocking.  And yet, despite Crowley’s florid writing and the mothball-like feel of events, the novel does raise provocative questions.  Per this “wicked” author, life is full of paradoxes, happiness is something you must work at, and you should always be true to yourself.  

 

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McLintock

 

“Not recommended for feminists.”  So says critic Leonard Maltin about this John Wayne-Maureen O’Hara comic western, but I can’t imagine why Maltin feels that way.  Could it be the spankings administered to O’Hara and Stefanie Powers by their McLintock! male co-stars?   Watch this 1963 oater – which is loosely based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, of all things – for free by clicking here.

 

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