The Devil’s Bookshelf

Here we will present a list (which will be added to periodically) of recommended reading for souls wandering the abyss. These books are culled from our own personal library, fiction and  nonfiction. Reading books, by books we mean with a cover and pages made of paper, is fun and good for your brain.

READ BOOKS! Read challenging books! We dare you to think for yourself! It is imperative for true seekers, and seekers of Truth, to dare to embrace the darkness – within and without – in order to behold the light.

“I must create a system or be enslaved by another mans; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.”

– William Blake

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Let our first inspiration be:

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We recommend the edition edited by Yale’s Prof. of English David Scott Kastan, which is 427 pages including introduction.

Paradise Lost   by: John Milton  

“Evil be thou my good”   Book 4. 110

The first version, published in 1667, consisted of ten books with over ten thousand lines of verse. A second edition followed in 1674, arranged into twelve books. It is considered by critics to be Milton’s major work, and it helped solidify his reputation as one of the greatest English poets of his time.

The poem, which opens with the fall of the rebel angels from Heaven, concerns the Biblical story of the Fall of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Milton’s purpose, stated in Book I, is to “justify the ways of God to men”. However, there is a detectable sympathy for the Fallen angel Lucifer, the Devil Satan, in this work which has lead to some speculation regarding Milton’s true spiritual allegiances. It is a magnificent epic poem worthy of much study and contemplation.

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Unless you can read French, do yourself a favor and read the 2001 translation by Brendan King published by Dedalus Books.

Là-bas  by: Joris-Karl Huysmans

“Who did you think you’d meet here, saints?”  p.247

Là-Bas, translated as Down There or The Damned, is a novel by the French writer Joris-Karl Huysmans, first published in 1891. It is Huysmans’ most famous work after À rebours. Là-Bas deals with the subject of Satanism in contemporary France, and the novel stirred a certain amount of controversy on its first appearance.

The plot of Là-Bas concerns the novelist Durtal, who is disgusted by the emptiness and vulgarity of the modern world. He seeks relief by turning to the study of the Middle Ages and begins to research the life of the notorious 15th-century child-murderer Gilles de Rais. Through his contacts in Paris (notably Dr. Johannes, modeled after Joseph-Antoine Boullan), Durtal finds out that Satanism is not simply a thing of the past but alive in turn of the century France. He embarks on an investigation of the occult underworld with the help of his lover Madame Chantelouve. The novel culminates with a description of a black mass.

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1st American edition 1955, hardcover

The Satanic Mass; A Sociological and Criminal Study   by: H.T.F. Rhodes

Rather a rare book with loads of general information on the Black Mass. Mr Rhodes starts by showing how the “rite and idea of Satan” has its origin in primitive myth; he traces its evolution through the Manichaeans, Cathars, the witch cult and the Templars down to the 17th century, where it was caught up in a vicious crime wave, and then to the 18th century when it became in England the monstrous plaything of rakes and dandies. The affair of the Gibourg Mass and La Voisin is covered, as well as the contributions of Eugene Vintras and J.K. Huysmans, and up to Crowley’s Gnostic Mass.

An even better book along the same idea is:

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The Satanic Cult   by: Gerhard Zacharias

Translated by Christine Trollope (seriously?!, Christian trollop?! Some editor must have snickered up his sleeve at that one!). First published in English in 1980. German edition first published in 1964. An important work on the subject but also rather rare. Part One: The Origins, deals with the religious and cultural basis of Satan Worship, the Sociological Aspects of Satanic Movements, and the Psychopathological Features of Satan Worship. Part Two covers Documents Relating to the Satanic Cult and the Black Mass: from fringe manifestations of the Satan Cult in the first centuries of the Christian Era to the Romantics and Satanic phenomena in Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, and Romance-speaking countries.