Balladeer’s Blog resumes its examination of the macabre 1868 French language work The Songs of Maldoror. God – Maldoror’s archrival – gets the better of him in a very crafty way this time around.
WALLOWING IN A MIRE MOST FOUL
An exhausted Maldoror is on a cliff overlooking a gravel pit far below. Overcome with fatigue our supernatural protagonist tumbles forward and falls several hundred feet to the ground below. His descent loosened a few large stones and one of them comes crashing down on top of him.
This makes a massy pulp of Maldoror’s body but naturally it quickly begins to reshape itself. To his surprise our main character finds himself wearing the body of a large hog. No matter how hard he tries he cannot cast off this form and resume his normal appearance.
Maldoror’s initial trepidation gives way to ecstacy. At last he has realized his dream of no longer being part of the human race that he despises so deeply. Even better – when he regards his reflection in the water he sees not even a trace of any remaining divinity. For all intents and purposes he is a normal hog with a finite lifespan and will one day know the peace of death.
The next days are the happiest in his long existence as the vile creature relishes his abandonment of “the race of living bacteria called humans.” He rejoices in wallowing in the mud and filth that hogs wallow in. However, Maldoror being Maldoror he fights other male hogs in battles of dominance and for access to females. His sheer ferocity enables him to win out every time and he even enjoys the wounds his opponents inflict on him in the frays. (But for once he doesn’t dwell on pain in a masochistically sensuous way.)
Having killed all the hogs and mated with all the female pigs in his general vicinity Maldoror happily crosses a stream so that he can find fresh males to kill and fresh females to mount. By the time he reaches the opposite shore the fiend is horrified to realize that he has reverted to his humanoid form and at last he understands what has transpired.
Maldoror’s archenemy God had intentionally granted him a few days of an ideal existence just for the pleasure of stripping it away from him. Maldoror cries himself to sleep for several nights afterward and pathetically takes to hanging out with various herds of swine he encounters, feebly attempting to recapture something of what he felt in his glorious days as a hog.
The mad creature ends by taking his leave of what he calls “these glorious memories, which leave behind them only the pale milky voice of eternal regret.” +++
Way back in A Throne Made of Excrement and Gold we saw God attempt to neutralize Maldoror’s threat by warping reality so that our monstrous protagonist was born beautiful and revered instead of hideous and reviled. God supposed that a happy existence might allow Maldoror to contentedly pass his life without ever actively engaging in an enmity with his Creator (or Demiurge, possibly).
Unfortunately, our main character STILL began questioning the reality God had created and even began challenging God himself, culminating, as you’ll recall, in that grotesque confrontation in God’s throne-room in Heaven. Maldoror recovered all his memories and we readers realized that no matter the circumstances Maldoror will ALWAYS turn out to be the vile monster that he is.
As I put it back then regardless of his bodily form or life circumstances he will always, inevitably “discover his inner Maldoror” and pursue his destiny as a rival of both God and Satan. This stanza is a nice variation on that, in which God tantalizes Maldoror with a little taste of happiness and then plucks it away. All’s fair given the things we’ve seen Maldoror do to God in this book.
I WILL BE EXAMINING ADDITIONAL SECTIONS VERY 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/
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