By ETHEL ARCHER.
The Equinox. 1s. net.
add nothing to the appreciation which I have written for preface
to this volume, which all should read.
the cover, and shudder!
In this masterpiece of illustration dwells the very
soul of the book,—the virgin emaciated with insatiable passion;
the verminous, illicit night-bird of a prehistoric age (the only
conceivable steed for such an one!); the turbid waters of
imagery; the lurid sky to which tentacular arms appeal to loves
too luscious for this world, are all embodied in this simple
design. The artist has seized the loathsome horror of the
book,—I feared even to sign it.
the cover and shudder; then read it if you dare!
E. J. WIELAND.
The obsurer phases of love, the more mystic side of passion,
have never been more enchantingly delineated than they are by
Ether Archer, in this delightfully vicious book. Terrible in its
naïveté, astounding in its revelations, “The Whirlpool” is the
complete morbid expression of that infinite disease of the
spirit spoken of in Thelema. For my own personal opinion I refer
readers to my exquisite introductory sonnet to the volume.
first thing one wishes to know on completing this extraordinary
volume is:—What is the author’s definition of Art? Some say
that the definition of Art is to please; I say Art is artifice;
Phil May said something which conveys nothing if translated into
Latin, and is unprintable in English.
author holds Phil Mar’s opinion she has, of course, every right
to continue printing such books; if, however, her idea of Art is
to please, then Ether Archer’s idea of pleasure is as warped as
Philistine Public this book will have but one use—it contains
just sufficient paper to set the drawing-room fire agoing in
event of returning home after the domestics have retired to
rest. Those, however, who appreciate good verse, will find just
sufficient warmth therein to read it though the fire be out.
Especially after a last glance at the wonderful cover, I think
that The World’s Pool of Sound suggests itself as an alternative
title to this thin volume. Thin but bony—nor could sweeter
marrow be found elsewhere. The volume has, I am afraid, an
unfortunate horoscope, owing no doubt to some affliction in
Virgo, with no correspondingly strong influence from the house
of Taurus. Let use leave it at that.
of the Abyss! behold Form without Soul! Of womanhood
(philosophical Weininger-womanhood!) Ether Archer is the supreme
expression. She is passion à rebours; Là-bas in excelsis. One
can imagine her writhing away from even the infamies and
hysterics of Canon Docre; or, having won her broomstick,
declining to go to the Sabbath. Hers is the glass fruit of
Murano, with its tinkling bells; hers that obscene chastity
which blasphemes love and holds the candle to vice. Hers is the
prudery and respectability which can pass through all fires
unscorched, unwarmed. Hers is the soul of the real succuba, as
that was before man idealised it away into a vampire of
Archer (God help her!) is still young; her verse halts and her
technique is faulty; it is amateurish. But she only needs a
little hard work and experience to produce the vilest ravings
that ever foamed upon the fleshless lips of a lost soul. Unless
that work redeems her. For she is as idle as she is vicious. The
book is a masterpiece of horror, in its way; every one should
read it and shudder.
HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE!
reviews are from The Equinox, Volume I, Number V, March 1911.
cover a naked girl is riding a bat over a whirlpool; craggy
white mountains are behind her and a red sky behind all.
There is fine fierceness of movement in the design; it is
certainly good. Mr. Aleister Crowley introduces Miss
Archer briefly but splendidly, with phrases of this sort:
"We find such rime-webs as abaaab-babbba and AsBCcAaBCcAaBC and
bAbAcBcBAcCDaADA, more exquisite than all the arabesques of the
Alhambra." Then Miss Archer dedicates her volume . . . "to
that secluded little world of white which gather round
. . . . O
communication of Nuit, Thoth, and Hathor, accept these poems," .
V.B.N. once more introduced Miss Archer with a sonnet:
. . . Ah!
Sappho! thou art born on earth again!
28 Miss Archer responds with a sonnet to V.B.N.) It is all
very splendid. We are left in no doubt as top the mutual
admiration of those who inhabit the "secluded little world of
white." We feel drearily sensible of our outer darkness.
Coming to Miss Archer's poetry we are obliged to notice her debt
to Swinburne, yet we find it, on the whole, good—if
not so good as Mr. Crowley and V.B.N. would have us believe.
The colour is very strong; the shades of thought are clear, and
often subtle. She sometimes indulges in the affectation of
capitals to all her substantives: "Unhallowed Imagery of
Man's Despair"; but not in the unreasonable way of many
verse-writers. The uninitiated may certainly recognize
great strength of conviction in Miss Archer, even if they
cannot, or do not wish, to appreciate it.
Poetry Review, H.M., 1912.