Friday, 12 August 2016

The Devil Speaks II

Poul Anderson, Operation Chaos (New York, 1995), pp. 25-26.

Werewolf Matuchek, unconscious, overhears part of the Satanic monologue. Diabolus ex machina?

How often do demons speak in fiction? See here and here. CS Lewis intercepts a demonic correspondence, as confirmed by James Blish's white magician, Fr. Domenico:

"'The thing that called itself Screwtape let slip to Lewis...'"
-James Blish, After Such Knowledge (London, 1991), p. 432.

Blish's Satan speaks in Miltonic verse and concludes:

"I never wanted to be God at all;
"And so, by winning all, All have I lost." (p. 520)

Lewis' friend, Ransom, confronts a demon on Venus. Speaking through a possessed man, it asks:

"'Do you not know who I am?'"
-CS Lewis, The Cosmic Trilogy (London, 1990), p. 282.

Ransom replies:

"'I know what you are...Which of them doesn't matter.'" (ibid.)

But it would have been interesting to find out.

Neil Gaiman's Morpheus sends Cain as his messenger to Lucifer Morningstar, knowing that this is the only messenger whom Lucifer cannot harm. Lucifer pulls Cain's hair up from his forehead, revealing the Mark. Cain now lives in the land of Nod, Morpheus' realm. Lucifer flies above Hell, holding Cain by his hair, and quotes:

"'Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.' Eh, little brother-killer."

- but, when Cain agrees with whatever Lord Lucifer says, the latter continues:

"We didn't say it. Milton said it. And he was blind."
-Neil Gaiman, The Sandman: Season Of Mists (New York, 1992), p. 58.

Mike Carey, succeeding Gaiman, continued to recount the words and deeds of Lucifer until the former Light Bringer disappeared into the Void, depicted by white paper.

After that excursion around the greatest works of theological and demonological fantasy, we return to Steve Matuchek as he regains his senses...

Addendum: Quoting from memory, Niven's and Pournelle's Dantean Satan, addressing our hero climbing out of Hell, says something like, "If you see God, ask Him why He has the morals of Vlad the Impaler."


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And I think it as after hearing Satan that Allen Carpenter decided he could not yet leave Hell, instead he urged Benito Mussolini to be the one to leave Inferno. At least in part to prove it was possible to leave Hell. Carpenter would remain and take over Mussolini's job of trying to persuade SOME of the damned to choose no longer to stay in Hell.

As a Catholic I don't believe this, let me hasten to add!


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And we see the fallen Vala, Melkor (who became Morgoth) speaking in JRR Tolkien's THE SILMARILLION and THE CHILDREN OF HURIN. And the fallen Maia, Sauron, also gives us some dialogue in SILMARILLION.