By Robert Ziegler

An interdisciplinary research of the supernatural and the occult in fin-de-siècle France (1870-1914), the current quantity examines the explosion of curiosity in devil-worship, magic and mysticism either from a historic viewpoint and during research of key literary works of the period. 

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Johannes’s social gathering of the sacrifice of the dignity of Melchizedek, the place the officiant’s gown is embellished with a logo “in the shape of an the wrong way up move. ” just like the Hanged guy represented within the Arcanum of the Tarot, the inverted move “signifies that the priest Melchizedek needs to die within the flesh in order that he can reside back in Christ, assuming the facility of the incarnate observe who was once made guy and died for us. ”83 The Satanist forty-one not like the embodiment of the note as flesh and blood the devoted eat, the Satanist’s objective is to intellectualize hope and invent new transgressions of the soul. this is often what Huysmans, in Certains, identifies because the singular imaginative and prescient of Félicien Rops who, in his sequence Sataniques, captures lust that is going past the actual. As Huysmans comments, the satan is manifested in wishes that go beyond corporeity – that illustrate morbid delectation whose impact, Huysmans says, is to “spiritualize ordure. ”84 Abstention from sinful acts promotes a large inflation of in charge impulses, a fact that Rops communicates in his representation for Le Vice suprême (Supreme Vice). There, the writer, Joséphin Péladan, describes the final word in evil in phrases like these Huysmans makes use of in his research of Rops: “To adore the demon or to like evil; those are concrete or summary expressions of a similar act. there's blindness in instinctual delight, there's insanity within the perpetration of sinful deeds, yet to conceive of or theorize evil calls for a relaxed operation of the brain. this can be the superb Vice. ”85 The semioclastic crimes performed by way of worshippers of devil raise actual acts of violence to the extent of the metaphysical. Diabolical infanticides, just like the robbery of consecrated wafers, are assaults on our bodies in addition to assaults on purity as image. The murderers who reduce a child’s throat, drink his blood, or consume his center search to rematerialize the sacramental which means of the Eucharist. They do what Léo Taxil accomplishes at the point of blasphemy-as-ridicule whilst he calls Communion bread “Jesus grub. ”86 Satanism and the recovery of chaos towards the anti-spiritual pursuits Huysmans ascribes to Luciferians, he proposes his personal paintings as a dialectic of elevating and reducing, the inventive sublimation of art’s fabric and its next re-embodiment as textual sustenance. even as, he contrasts Satanism’s move towards chaos and incoherence with the unifying precept of literature that replaces contingency with which means. In her statement at the demiurge, Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel contrasts the approaches of divine construction, which emphasize ordering, naming, isolating, and structuring, with the anarchic goals of Sade’s hero, whose target, she says, is “not to annihilate issues yet to dissolve and metamorphose them after breaking down the molecules. ”87 In opposing God, who replaces nonsense with intelligence and who gathers disparate entities into recognizable kinds, the Satanist seeks a recovery of randomness and fragmentation.

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