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HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL!


 

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Title:

How to Write a Novel!  After W. S. Maugham

   
Type of Media: Periodical.  
Name: Vanity Fair (UK).  
Issue:    
Date: 30 December 1908.  
Publisher:    
Published At: London.  
Pages:

Pages 838-840.

 
Price:

 

 
Remarks:

Published under the pseudonym of Oliver Haddo.

 

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Comments by
Aleister
Crowley:

     The Magician was, in fact, an appreciation of my genius such as I had never dreamed of inspiring. It showed me how sublime were my ambitions and reassured me on a point which sometimes worried me whether my work was worth while in a worldly sense. I had at times feared lest, superbly as my science had satisfied my own soul, it might yet miss the mark of making mankind master of its destiny.

     Well, Maugham had had his fun with me; I would have mine with him. I wrote an article for Vanity Fair (December 30th, 1908) in which I disclosed the method by which the book had been manufactured and gave parallel passages. Frank Harris would not believe that I was serious. He swore I must be making it up. He could not believe that any man would have the impudence to publish such strings of plagiarism. I had to bring a little library round to the office to prove my proposition, and Harris sat and stared, and gasped like a fish at each fresh outrage. He cut down the article to two and a half pages, but even so it was the most damning exposure of a literary crime that had ever been known. No author of even mediocre repute had ever risked his reputation by such flagrant stupra.

     Maugham took my riposte in good part. We met by chance a few weeks later, and he merely remarked that there were many thefts besides those which I had pointed out. I told him that Harris had cut down my article by two thirds for lack of space. "I almost wish", I said, "that you were an important writer."

      The Confessions of Aleister Crowley.  New York, NY.  Hill and Wang, 1969.  Pages 571-572.
 
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