Crowley: Various difficulties having to do with the exigencies of the modern publishing world and the anomaly of what is in effect one very long novel in four parts have impeded the appearance of that volume. It will see the light, I very much hope in the company of the first three—it seems (to me) not too much to ask that they all be in print together in a form and in places where readers can get them and read them as one.
The last volume was always intended to be short, a coda, carrying the conceptions forward, maybe far forward—I was thinking of those musical compositions like Smetana's Die Moldau, which end in the skirling musical line heading off into the distance and disappearing. Sometimes you can hit upon a literary conception that is either not possible to execute, or one your own powers are not up to. The book's longer than I expected it to be but not as long as the others. Various threads are knotted. Some are dropped. The central metaphor of the book is the conception (attributed to Pythagoras) that life resembles the letter Y—a letter Pythagoras is reputed to have invented. We are continually choosing a way at the parting of a bivium, or "two-way." One way is broad and obvious; the other narrow (as in a classic Roman letter Y). The Middle Ages thought of it as the broad way of ease and pleasure, and the hard narrow way of virtue—my ways are different ones. I wanted to call the book A Y, but thought I'd given enough trouble to publishers with unspellable, unsayable titles.