The Magician is a novel originally published in 1908. In this tale, the magician Oliver Haddo, a caricature of Aleister Crowley, attempts to create life. Crowley wrote a critique of this book under the pen name Oliver Haddo, in which he accused Maugham of plagiarism.
Maugham wrote The Magician in London, after he had spent some time living in Paris, where he met Aleister Crowley. The novel was later republished with a foreword by Maugham entitled A Fragment of Autobiography.
'I went in search of my art, often incurring danger of life. I have not been ashamed to learn that which seemed useful to me even from vagabonds, hangmen, and barbers. We know that a lover will go far to meet the woman he adores; how much more will the lover of Wisdom be tempted to go in search of his divine mistress.'