Review of Elmer Crowley: A Katabasic Nekyia by Tom Bradley Illustrated by David Aronson and Nick Patterson


‘After making careful preparations to ensure himself a proper reincarnation the dying Aleister Crowley flubs one syllable of the magickal incantation…and comes back as Elmer Fudd.’

‘The nekyia is no aimless or destructive fall into the abyss but a meaningful katabasis- it’s object the restoration of the whole man’ (Jung)


This is an extraordinary book, and as with all books of any real calibre, can be read on various levels.

My first reading was what I call the ‘reviewers skim’ where I wallowed in the outrageous imagery generated by the rollicking language and wonderful graphic illustrations (I’ll never be able to look at Bugs Bunny’s pert nether regions in the same way again).

I realised very quickly that a skim wouldn’t do Elmer Crowley justice as the illusions and allusions are not randomly generated for effect but deep and knowledgeable reference to Crowley’s life and writings, The Tibetan and Egyptian Book of the Dead and The Eleusinian Mysteries.

Simply enough, this book is twisted, fantastical and genius. It captures the feel of Crowley with his bawdy, politically incorrect irreverence, his arrogance and his committed magickal spirituality and awareness.

Elmer Fudd also encapsulates the surreal madness of life, fate, karma, belief and Loony Tunes when viewed by slipping your perceptions just a little off kilter.

Elmer Fudd, A Katabasic Nekyia isn’t simply a very good and well illustrated book or even a fantastically written mad romp; it is a journey. How the reader chooses to appreciate that journey is up to them.

I have a feeling that I will be reading this book, and taking the multi levelled journey, many more times.

I’ll close with a very relevant quote from an interview with the author by The Drill Press where he was asked, ‘what is a writer?’

The writer, on the other hand, in making an artefact, reveals an implicit awareness of time’s paradoxical untensefulness. He is making a profession of faith in the illusory nature of cause and effect, which is a huge step in uncovering the procedures of existence—how they don’t really proceed at all.

The writer is not just expelling carbon dioxide and sound waves, but is leaving behind an object that in some microcosmic way recapitulates those unproceeding procedures. What the writer does is less like monkeys grooming in a circle and more like Neanderthals sprinkling their dead with flowers.


Charlotte Rodgers



About charlottejane2002

Author of 'P is for Prostitution', 'The Bloody Sacrifice' and co-editor of 'A Contemporary Western Book of the Dead' which are all published by Mandrake of Oxford. Italian publisher Roberto Migliussi has recently released 'The Sky is a Gateway, Not a Ceiling', a book of Charlotte's collected essays printed alongside images of his own art work. Charlotte is also an artist who creates spiritually directed art works from road kill and found objects. She has had her written work printed in anthologies and various magazines and on line publications and has given presentations at many events and institutions including Edinburgh University and Brooklyn's 'Museum of Morbid Anatomy'. Her art work has been exhibited widely including at London's Chelsea Gallery and The Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute, and is soon to be shown in New York.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Review of Elmer Crowley: A Katabasic Nekyia by Tom Bradley Illustrated by David Aronson and Nick Patterson

  1. Thanks, Charlotte! Now featured on the grand, gargantuan Disinformation (73,000-hits-per-day)!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s