MALDOROR 3:1 – THE MYSTERIOUS RIDERS

Balladeer’s Blog resumes its examination of the macabre 1868 French language work The Songs of Maldoror.

THE MYSTERIOUS RIDERS 

Mysterious HorsemenThis is the First Stanza of the Third Canto (3:1). It should be no surprise to anyone that Maldoror once again presents an image of himself that contradicts much of what he has previously told the reader. In this stanza he is the Angel of the Land and is forever in the company of his lover Mario, the Angel of the Sea. The two frequently ride their horses at incredible speed along the beaches of the world, tracing the shoreline of continents and inspiring hushed superstitious whispers from the fishermen who observe them speeding by.

The pair glory in each other’s company and share a regal disdain for the human race, dismissing the planet Earth as a “craggy chamberpot”. We are told that “unlimited chains of generations” have regarded the two lovers with unease since they often appear at times of war or disease. (Readers may remember previous hints Maldoror has given that he is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse biding his time until the end of the world arrives.) Maldoror and his companion are also often sighted flying in the air overhead as hurricanes unleash massive destruction.  

Balladeer's Blog

Balladeer’s Blog

The two of them often circle the sun like Andean condors, taking sustenance from sunlight itself before reluctantly returning to the Earth. At times they prefer to be alone together in the fiery hearts of active volcanoes or at the bottom of the ocean where they observe loathsome monsters that they consider “models of gentleness compared with the bastards of humanity.” 

Sometimes in the dark of night Maldoror and Mario would slip away from the world, flying into the blackness of space to share a few kisses but, as always, would eventually have to return to the Earth, figuratively gnawing at the chains that bind them to it. They often do not even speak to each other as Maldoror wonders “What do two hearts that love say to each other?” 

Despite the joy they feel in each other’s company the pair are often melancholy because they are haunted by images of their eternal foe God “armed with his instruments of torture.” Maldoror and his companion resign themselves to enduring the travails that God sends their way and do their best to comfort each other.

Mario at one point remarks to Maldoror “I received life like a wound and I have forbidden suicide to heal the gash. I wish the Creator to contemplate this yawning crevice every hour of his eternity. That is the punishment I inflict on him.” For his part Maldoror again bitterly reflects on the fact that higher intellect brings with it nothing but a heightened sensitivity to the pain of this hellish world.

rh581-1961This stanza ends with our protagonist and his fellow horseman trying to leave their suffering behind them as they ride along losing themselves in each other. +++

“I received life like a wound” is one of my favorite lines from The Songs of Maldoror.  At any rate next time around it’s back to all-out horror as our vile main character preys on young and old alike.  

I WILL RESUME THIS LOOK AT THE SONGS OF MALDOROR SOON. CHECK BACK ONCE OR TWICE A WEEK FOR NEW INSTALLMENTS.

FOR PART ONE CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/2015/02/28/maldoror-a-neglected-masterpiece-of-surreal-horror/

FOR OTHER PARTS OF MALDOROR CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/category/maldoror/

© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

4 Comments

Filed under Maldoror

4 responses to “MALDOROR 3:1 – THE MYSTERIOUS RIDERS

  1. Pingback: SONGS OF MALDOROR: CANTO THREE GUIDE | Balladeer's Blog

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