London: Walter Scott Publishing Co., 1907.
First Edition. Hardcover. Signed by Author. Presentation Copy inscribed to his great friend, Edward Thornton. One of 500 signed copies, additionally inscribed in blue/black fountain pen on the ffe: "Dear Thornton, / Here's luck! How is it / I never hear from you? / Aleister Crowley / [22 Chancery Lane WC]" Small 4to. The first issue bound in black buckram with white lettering [light out of darkness]. A very good copy with some minor shelf wear & surface rubs; the white silk screened titles still quite sharp - a bit of light foxing to the fly leafs [Signed by Aleister Crowley beneath his frontis portrait]. The book contains four essays primarily & was one of Crowley's own favourite works. He wrote glowingly of it in his 'Confessions', in particular describing the final essay 'The Stone of the Philosophers' as being " really beyond praise". "I now began to see that this was schoolboyish bashfulness, and to feel my responsibility as an exponent of the hidden knowledge, to treat my prose as reverently as my verse, and (consequently) to produce masterpieces of learning and wit. The "Dedication and Counter-Dedication" of Konx Om Pax is wholly admirable and it rises to a delightful satirical climax of four stanzas on the "empty-headed Athenians". "The Wake World" is a sublime description of the Path of the Wise, rendered picturesque by the use of the symbols of the Taro, and charming by its personification of the soul as a maiden. "My name is Lola, because I am the Key of Delights, and the other children in my dream call me Lola Daydream." "Ali Sloper; or the Forty Liars" shows traces of my old vulgarity. The dramatis personae contain a lot of bad puns and personal gibes, but the dialogue shows decided improvement; and the "Essay on Truth" is bo th acute and witty, with few blemishes. "Thien Tao" gives my solution of the main ethical and philosophical problems of humanity with a description of the general method of emancipating oneself from the obsession of one's own ideas, while there are passages of remarkable eloquence. The last essay in Konx Om Pax, "The Stone of the Philosophers which is hidden in Abiegnus, the Rosicrucian Mountain of Initiation", is really beyond praise. Its genesis is interesting. I had written at odd times, but mostly during my travels with the Earl of Tankerville, a number of odd lyrics. The idea came to me that I might enhance their value by setting them in prose. I therefore wrote a symposium of a poet, a traveller, a philosophical globetrotter, an a dept, a classical scholar and a doctor. They are made to converse about the chronic calamity of society, and the poems (ostensibly written by one or other of the men) carry on the thought. The result is, in reality, a new form of art; and I certainly assisted the lyrics by giving them appropriate springboards". - A.C.
Item #32880 Price: US$9,300.00