The Necessary Devil of Twain, de Sade, Bataille and Artaud

Found : The Necessary Devil of Twain, de Sade, Bataille and Artaud

The ultimate adversary in this view is the Gnostic’s evil Demiurge who rules not only the world but who in order to do so must disguise himself as the Judeo-Christian God. If such a metaphysical reversal tends to spread confusion, disgust, and despair among the damned human race—at the same time blurring the distinction between malevolent and benevolent adversaries—it is still possible for toughened optimists to believe that this is only the destruction that precedes fresh creation. In this perspective (shared by such bold French reversers as Georges Bataille, the Marquis de Sade, E. M. Cioran, and Antonin Artaud), Twain’s moral rigorist becomes a necessary Devil who, like Wallace Stevens’ necessary angel in “Angel Surrounded by Paysans,” helps us see the earth as it truly is.

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