by Aleister Crowley
|Publisher:||Edda Publishing Stockholm (2011)|
Reviewed by Frater U.I.F.
Edda Publishing is based in Stockholm Sweden and is dedicated to thought-provoking and visually pleasing publications. The limited edition printing of Aleister Crowley's White Stains meets the mark on both accounts. This beautiful, transgressive and passionate collection of poetry is presented in an aesthetically pleasing format with an introduction by William Breeze, a time-honored Crowley scholar. Accompanied by the impressive watercolor illustrations of artist and Edda co-manager Fredrik Söderberg, the volume complements the original text in a way that works to transmute the form as well as the substance of this small work of erotic poetry.
White Stains was first published by a young Aleister Crowley in 1898, Amsterdam. It seems that even in his youth, Crowley's wit and intelligence were with him. The original run of one hundred copies was penned under the pseudonym "George Archibald Bishop" to avoid scandal but many copies were destroyed by English customs o$ cials due to its erotic nature. Using a pen name may have been indication enough that even at the turnof-last-century, the young Crowley fully understood that he was living in a "savage country."
The poems included are predominately written in English, with two composed in French. The subjects revolve around desire, sex, spirituality and worship. They are wonderful representations of the loose artistic seeds of Crowley's coming theology, with the passion of his youth not yet fully formed.
For those who are lucky enough to locate a copy, this is a most beautiful collectible edition. Edda only has a few special edition copies left on their web site. It is well worth keeping an eye on Edda Publishing in Stockholm to see what excellent publications are upcoming.