For other uses, see Baphomet disambiguation. The Baphomet is a transgressive piece of experimental fiction authored by Pierre Klossowski. Klossowski wrote his original French novel in , but it was not translated into English until , when a translation by Sophie Hawke and Stephen Sartorelli was published by Marsilio Press. Narrative[ edit ] Given that its structure is nonlinear, the following attempts to provide some coherence to the narrative of this book. Baphomet itself was a fabled idol that the medieval Knights Templar supposedly worshipped, until the violent suppression of their order, for heresy and sodomy in In this narrative, the ghosts of Templar monks reassemble each year to commemorate their immolation, and engage in demonic possession of unwary animals and small children.
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Shelves: 60s-re-de-construction , france , theory , read-in What is this? A metaphysical novel, often far more metaphysics than novel, concerning various theological and gnostic questions on the fate of souls post-body, eternal return, whether identity is inherently unchangeable across lives, even or is circumstanial and corruptible. The writing is generally dense and theoretical, with arguments wound to and fro in long inextricable sentences, to the point of either requiring multiple re-readings, or just surrender to confusion for pages on end.
To be What is this? To be fair, I recall similar experiences with certain philosophical texts which were far beyond me in the past. Pure theory is often a stretch for me. Who was this written for, anyway? Check the dedication: To Michel Foucault Oh. Never mind. Not that my ability to understand anything is in any way a standard of quality, but I have to wonder how many readers are likely to put in the work on a text of abstract theology about debaucherous Templar souls awaiting Judgement.
Though the weirdness of the latter does make for some pretty memorable moments. I was all but throwing up my hands when suddenly I hit a bit about a reincarnated fly exploring a hermaphroditic body in ecstasy, and later an extended dialogue with an anteater antichrist.
The sheer weirdness strung throughout brings this up from a ponderous two-star theological text to a snappier three-star curiosity of inventive heresy. But not exactly recommended to general interest. Ruiz is philosophically dense enough on his own though in a more digestible and playful manner so I feel that some background familiarity is warranted before approaching that work.
The actual story here is entirely entertaining, but the rather stilted, circumspect delivery translation? I actually had to re-read most of the prologue to make out fully which intrigues and scandals were in effect here, but on that second pass they were delectably lurid. When I finally found a copy of this, it caught my eye in passing tucked into the theory and philosophy shelves at my favorite used book store.
Not so. Things he seems to care about: -if a soul post death and divorced from physicality is pure intention without physicality, then any impulse it feels, even anything it percieves, is the whole of its existence. Thus the potential for sin after death is far greater and more sullying than in life, when simply not acting upon impulses lessens their gravity.
I imagine that Klossowski, given his apparent earnestness, is addressing some tradition of theological doctrine which I know nothing about.
But which frames these with some vital weight and significance, and some kind of underlying intimation of reality possibly a completely blasphemous one, even. But jeez. Not even all the weird psychosexual craziness can keep me fully engaged with this. It is. I can re-read and re-read, and still not unravel the threads here.
Raul Ruiz and Milan Kundera both spring to mind as clever people who have comprehensible things to say about Eternal Return, Kundera through deft simplicity, Ruiz, through convoluted thoughts that are extremely fun to scrutinize.
This is just really tough, not so much fun, dubiously rewarding. But in no way would I consider this a successful work of fiction for any normal purposes.
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