Snowdrops from a Curate’s Garden – Aleister Crowley

snowdrops curate's garden crowley
Snowdrops from a Curate’s Garden – Aleister Crowley

Birchgrove Press – 2011 (First published 1904)

Aleister Crowley was a mystic, a poet, an Irish Republican, a mountaineer, a propagandist, a dead-beat dad, a spy, a pilgrim, a preacher and a problem when he was stoned. He was also a bit of a pervert.

This is a collection of his dirtier writings. I wouldn’t really consider it pornography or erotica – it’s really just filth. I don’t mean that in a derogatory way either. This is literally page after page of gross-out material.

The bulk of the text is made up of The Nameless Novel. Crowley wrote this while his wife, Rose Kelly, was recovering from the birth of their daughter Lilith. Every day he’d write a new chapter and give it to her that evening to make her laugh. The story is about the life of an Archbishop, and each chapter aims to be more repulsive than the last. This is a challenge when the opening chapter starts off with the following passage:

“Good, by Jesus!” cried the Countess, as, with her fat arse poised warily over the ascetic face of the Archbishop, she lolloped a great gob of greasy spend from the throat of her bulging cunt into the gaping mouth of the half-choked ecclesiastic.”

After this, the Archbishop takes a massive shit in the Countess’s mouth and then stabs her in the guts and sticks his cock in the wound…

It gets worse when the pig arrives:

“From his dripping schnickel frothed a hot stiff stream of greenish piss at an incalculable pace, while from his pink arse dripped the faeculent and pultaceous turdlings which we associate with a diet of wash.

The stench was intolerable. Minute by minute passed by, and still the unsurpassed bladder of the unclean animal of the Semite and the Mussulman shot out its hissing torrents. Her greedy mouth frothed and seethed with the o’erflowing billows; for the poor lass’s throat, do what she might—and she had done her best to swallow many a slimestick, thereby noticeably enlarging the passage—was still too small to dispose of the formidable current of urine with which her too complaisant lover now furnished her. Her merkin too dripped over the odd ends of the champion stool. “The gospel hall is full” whispered the Archbishop. “They will have to hold an overflow meeting in the arsehole.”

Sure enough, the delicate-minded girl now turned her attention to the part in question. By her incomparable gift of suction, which years of practice and not a little natural aptitude had bestowed upon her rectum, she absorbed the bulk of the faeces; while any unconsidered trifles stuck in her abundant and curly pubic hair.”

Yep. You’ve just read about a pig filling both ends of a woman’s body with shit. And guess what folks – it gets worse again! When the Archbishop’s gay lover dies, things get quite nasty indeed:

“I flung myself upon the dear corpse; I buggered him night and day, entirely surpassing—for I was now come to my strength—the childish efforts upon the queenly butter-boat of E…..d’s debauched ruler. As the work of putrefaction proceeded—and the stench was awful, for S…y’s little leaven had pervaded his whole lump—I rammed my arse-wedge frantically into his holes as they formed, as if in the insane hope of damming the damage of damned death’s fell flood. Indeed for a week or so I did more than this. The patient actually gained weight. But time tells on the strongest. In the second week I kept barely level: in the third he steadily lost ground: in the fourth he fell to pieces under me: in the fifth I sedulously and conscientiously buggered the pieces one by one: but it was no good. Steven Jimson was (in the immortal word of Poe) a nearly liquid mass of loathsome, of detestable putrescence. Do not think for a moment that my affection was shaken by so slight a circumstance! But I assure you—nay! I swear it to you upon this holy Relic! (he produced a piece of the True Touch-her-home, with the Magdalen’s clap-juice sticking to it still, and reverently kissed it)—that there was not one ounce of that body of love that could reasonably be firky-toodled any more. As long as anything that could be called Viscosity was inherent in the mass, I jounced it like a man. But this soon ceased: I reluctantly withdrew. Yet such was my love for my darling that I buggered a hole clean through his tombstone, and for six months I never left the hallowed spot.”

There’s other parts about fucking the Queen and a woman with an extendable, elastic clitoris. Things get worse and worse until the Archbishop describes the sadistic blood orgy at his father’s secret island full of negro slaves in the West Indies. I’m not going to quote that section here. I am quite sure that the whole point of this book is to be gross and offensive, but this particular section will probably be a little bit too much for most modern readers, even as a deliberately offensive joke.

After The Nameless Novel, there’s a few short stories and a bunch of dirty poems that were added on to provide enough material for a book. These are largely about eating poo and buggery. Some of them are quite funny. Here’s a nameless song:

Bugger me gently. Bertie! My arse is rather sore:
Tinkety – tunkety – tinkety – funk! I haven’t been long a whore.
Mash the shit into gravy! Make me slimy and slick!
Tinkety – tunkety – tinkety – tunkety! That’s what does the trick!

Bugger me gently. Bertie! My arse is rather tight.
Tinkers – tunkety – tinkety – tunk! We’ll ram each other all night!
Bugger me gently, Bertie or I’ll blow off your balls with a fart!
Tinkety – tunkety – tinkety – tunkety! Softly now, dear heart!

Oh Bertie, I’m in heaven! I see the golden walls!
Tinkety – tunkety – tinkety – tunkety! Shove it up to the balls!
Jesus is waiting for me with the Holy Ghost up his bum:
Tinkety – tunkety – tinkety – tunk! You bloody sod, you’ve come!

Honestly, of all the stuff I’ve read by Crowley, I found this the most enjoyable. I’ll take childish toilet humour over cabalistic mysticism every time.