Balladeer’s Blog resumes its examination of the macabre 1868 French language work The Songs of Maldoror. This is one of the most twisted sections of a book loaded with them. And be forewarned … when I say this is twisted I mean TWISTED. You’ve been warned.
THE RED LANTERN AT TWILIGHT
All of the action in this stanza takes place at twilight and the first moments of darkness. The supernatural being Maldoror comes upon a French brothel that used to be a convent centuries before. A rough wooden bridge leads across a stream of filth to the establishment. Customers take their leave by crawling out through a grate into a courtyard littered with chickens and chicken filth.
The courtyard also contains a tub full of dirty water which most of the prostitutes “clean” themselves in after an appointment. One particularly kinky prostitute instead lies down amid the filth and lets the chickens peck her clean, including digging out the semen from her vagina. When they’re done, the bloodied and naked woman returns to work. (Sadly, live chicken bidets failed to catch on.)
Maldoror tells us a sign over the gateway of the bridge reads “One day his friends awaited in vain a young man who crossed this fatal threshold.” Inside a barricaded room of the brothel a long, thick serpentine creature thrashes and thrashes, incapable of breaking down the blockaded door or bursting through the stone walls of the aged building.
The serpentine creature tells Maldoror that it was once a hair from God’s head, given life when the deity was in the throes of orgasm with one of the prostitutes in the brothel. The hair fell to the floor from God’s head during his climax and has been growing and evolving ever since.
The voice of God fills the room begging the living hair not to reveal any more of his secrets. He assures the hair that, now that he knows it is there he will come to retrieve it when the sun fully sets and he has the cover of darkness. Spitefully the hair continues regaling our main character with details of God’s activities in the house of prostitution.
God’s round of lovemaking with the woman is described in lurid detail. The serpentine hair states that God has an armpit fetish and mockingly describes him burying his face in the underarms of the prostitute. The actual sex act between the deity and his bought woman is described in genuinely pornographic detail.
Moving from the ridiculous to the prurient to the blasphemous, the hair describes what happened next. Just as Jesus’ voice summoned forth Lazarus from the dead we’re told that God’s loud, frantic sex-talk to the prostitute summoned forth the dead nuns buried centuries ago in the catacombs of the former convent.
The zombified nuns shambled up from the depths of the building but while they were on their way God’s orgasm ran its course and he disgustedly rejected the woman in his arms. Longing now for violence God called in one of the male clients of the brothel and shredded all his flesh from his body, letting the meat fall to the floor beside the fallen hair.
The client, with his muscles and organs on display like the man escaping the Cenobites in Hellraiser, stumbled out of the room before collapsing in death from his wounds. Maldoror realizes that must have been the young man referred to in the warning sign over the bridge.
The serpent-figure goes on to describe how God washed himself with his own spittle, then, surrounded by the arriving zombie-nuns, fled back to Heaven in shame. The angels in Heaven were aware of God’s debauchery in the house of prostitution and word even reached Lucifer in Hell. That fallen angel regaled his subordinate demons with mockery and denouncements of God over his misadventure.
God still hoped to keep word of the events from his human creations, however, and now that night has officially fallen he appears in the barricaded room with Maldoror and his serpentine living hair. God explains that the scars that now line his face were gouged in by the trickle of his own semen as it spattered the room during his explosive ejaculation. And also by rivulets of blood from the man he slew.
The zombified nuns have sensed God’s return and have shambled up from the catacombs again, forcing their way in as God retrieves his living hair and escapes back to Heaven. For his part Maldoror, thoroughly turned off by his renewed disgust with his archrival God, chooses not to partake of the brothel’s women and departs.
Once he has crossed back over the bridge he removes the warning sign that had hung there and puts up a new one. Our protagonist is so disturbed by seeing God figuratively stripped naked like this that he vows to never relate to anyone what he witnessed in the former convent turned brothel. Naturally he broke his word and shared the bizarre spectacle with the entire world. +++
This lengthy section brings the 3rd Canto to a close. Three down and three to go as we begin the 4th Canto next time.
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/
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