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Literary Satanism

To: alt.religion.wicca,alt.pagan,alt.satanism
Subject: Re: Literary Satanism (was Re: Wiccan "Fluff bunnies" was Re: wiccan; getting e-mail from mad people)
Date: Mon, 09 Jun 1997 20:01:18 -0600

In article <>, (CheshireHawk) wrote:

> Also.. I've heard the term "literary Satanism".. where would that fit?

  Literary Satanism (in western literature, anyway) probably begins with
Milton's "Paradise Lost". Milton's Satan is a magnificent, courageous,
tragic character, rather in the mold of Homer's Achilles. He gets all the
best lines and the best decriptions - at the poem's start, anyhow. As the
story progresses his character becomes much pettier. Milton's God, by
contrast, is a vindictive bore all the way through. Blake thought that
Milton was unconsciously "of the devil's party" because he wrote so well
about Satan and so badly about God. Satan's character was an inspiration
to the Romantics, people like Byron, Shelley, Blake and Baudelaire. They
saw him as the archetype of the individualist who rebels against tyranny
and conformity, and also as Lucifer/Prometheus, the spirit which
liberates humans from ignorance. Satan stood for liberality. Baudelaire
wrote about him as a kind of champion of the underdog and the oppressed,
effectively a substitute Christ. The Romantics saw in Milton's Satan the
spirit of their own imagination, that which dares to "dream the
impossible dream". If you extend the term "Literary Satanism" to cover
works which don't actually mention Satan, the list would be very long
indeed. As an example, I would call Shakespeare's Cleopatra a Satanic
character - proud, sensual, individualist, looks out for number one,
refuses to submit to Caesar's authority. The play could be called Satanic
in that (IMO) it portrays her in an admiring light. That's a very brief
and sketchy account, but I hope it sheds a little light on the subject.
The literary side of things doesn't seem to get discussed much on
alt.satanism, but it shouldn't be underestimated. My own investigations
into Satanism began when I read "Paradise Lost" at 16 and fell horns over
hoofs in love...


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