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White Stains the Literary Remains of George Archibald Bishop a Neuropath of the Second Empire
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Written by magician and occultist Aleister Crowley and published clandestinely in 1898, White Stains is a collection of verse tracing the demise of a fictitious poet, George Archibald Bishop. His biography is given in the Preface. Crowley wrote White Stains as a refutation of the psychiatrist and pioneering sexologist Richard von Krafft-Ebing's contention in Psychopathia Sexualis that sexual perversions are a consequence of disease. Crowley's verse, which is modelled on Decadent and Symbolist poetry, explores a range of ostensible sexual aberrations. Excerpts from several poems appear in another clandestine classic, Raped on the Railway (c. 1899). White Stains was published by the London-based publisher Leonard Smithers. It was printed, in Amsterdam, on hand-made paper, in a limited edition of 100 copies. Many of these are supposed to have been destroyed by British customs officials in 1924. Crowley revised and extended White Stains' pseudo-biographical project in his wildly inventive black parody of literary erotica, Snowdrops from a Curate's Garden (c. 1904). Snowdrops from a Curate's Garden and Raped on the Railway are available from Birchgrove Press.
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