Released in the plague year of 2020 by Strange Attractor, There Is a Graveyard That Dwells In Man is a companion volume to The Moons At Your Door. Like that book, it’s an anthology of short stories selected by David Tibet, the creative mind behind the pioneering ambient industrial/apocalyptic folk project Current 93 – weird tales that have tickled his fancy and prompted his creative instincts over the years.
Two H.R. Wakefield stories bookend the collection; the first story here is A Black Solitude, which is notable for breaking from the precedent set by Wakefield’s own “He Cometh and He Passeth By” – and M.R. James’s Casting the Runes, which “He Cometh” was very much a pastiche of – by presenting a Crowley caricature who is not an antagonist but is instead presented much more sympathetically.
It’s not that Wakefield had suddenly gone full Thelemite or something – he still presents the thinly-veiled Crowley analogue as being 90% a big sleazy charlatan – but he’s much less hostile to that side of him, and he’s willing to credit the remaining 10% with some actual occult nous (but not enough to stop the culminating horror from consuming him). “He Cometh” emerged in 1928, whilst A Black Solitude was published in 1951, and evidently in the intervening years Wakefield seems to have decided that Crowley was kind of cool in his own way. (The character even has a celebrated mountaineering career, as Crowley had, which might have helped persuade Wakefield that Crowley wasn’t just a total waster.)