Balladeer’s Blog resumes its examination of the macabre 1868 French language work The Songs of Maldoror. The forces of Hell once again attack Maldoror this time around.
A PEDESTAL OF IDEAL PERVERSITY
The supernatural being Maldoror is wandering through a jungle region of South America. Readers may remember the author Isidore Ducasse was born and grew up in Uruguay so he was reasonably familiar with the area.
An enormous boa constrictor (or other boa sup-species) has wrapped itself around our narrator in an attempt to crush him. As the battle between them rages Maldoror eventually realizes this is no ordinary serpent he is grappling with. Rather, it is Lucifer himself, incarnate in snake form. As he fights to free himself from the seemingly infinite folds of his opponent Maldoror gives vent to his usual disdain for Lucifer, whom he views as a pathetic figure already defeated by God.
As the struggle continues our protagonist expresses outrage that the fallen angel dares to attack him, who was his mentor in Heaven. Yes, in this stanza Maldoror restates his claim that he was one of the angels who remained neutral in the war between God and Lucifer. This time he adds a new wrinkle, however.
In addition to having been a tutelary deity for various Secret Societies and occult lodges on Earth, Maldoror now goes even further and states that he was the entity who first sowed the seeds of rebellion in Lucifer long ago. He claims that – as he later did with human beings – he instilled Lucifer with enough intelligence to defy God.
Entering into previously untrod esoteric territory Maldoror for once gives us contradictory information about someone besides just himself. This time around the enigmatic being addresses Lucifer as if he was both the serpent in the Garden of Eden AND the Messiah. This refers to an obscure teaching through numerology, the same system that gave the world 666 as the number of the Beast. In this teaching the name of the serpent in the garden has a numerical value of 358, which, oddly enough, is also the number of the Messiah.
In the irrational circles that take numerology seriously any two metaphysical entities who share the same value are automatically one and the same entity, hence, the serpent IS the Messiah. That interpretation leads to a lot of silly paths, none of which are relevant to The Songs of Maldoror so I won’t bother pursuing that line of thought any further. Suffice it to say Maldoror seems to take it seriously and considers Jesus Christ to simply have been Lucifer being defeated by God a second time. (OR that Jesus was not the Messiah after all, but there’s no point in going down the endless roads that the whole “358” lore leads to.)
At any rate Maldoror regards Lucifer as being a perpetual loser in his cosmic struggle with God whereas he himself remains in the field of combat and is a much more worthy adversary of God/ The Demiurge. Maldoror emerges victorious against the mammoth serpent he is fighting and with supreme contempt spends the rest of the stanza heaping insults upon his vanquished foe.
Our narrator equates himself with the various pagan deities who triumphed over serpents and describes Lucifer as a lowly snake crawling on the floor at the base of the pedestals that hold revered sculptures of the serpent-slayers. He once again claims that Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve, was his agent on Earth and that the descendants of Seth (Sethian Gnostics if you believe any of this nonsense) are like his own kin.
Maldoror predicts a day when he will have conquered both God and Satan and he will then drive them from Heaven and Hell respectively, so he can rule over both. He boasts to Satan that he will condemn him to eternal wandering, without even the comfort of his Hellish legions of fallen angels for companionship. Maldoror boasts that the Devil will roam a world ruled by Maldoror’s own (the descendants of Seth) and that he would do well not to raise their ire, lest they also strike him down in defeat.
Our main character closes by telling his beaten opponent that he will make his way to the coast so that he can take in the sights of the sea, because he desires “a sight more peaceful and more virtuous than thee!” +++
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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