COLLIN PLANCY DICTIONNAIRE INFERNAL PDF

The Marginalia Review of Books There, between the entry for a seventeenth-century Anglican theologian named Assheton and one for the Levantine goddess Astarte, is the demon Astaroth. Not an entirely inappropriate connection, for the Dominican inquisitor Sebastian Michaelis, who classified the demons he encountered as an exorcist at the infamous monastery of Loudun in the seventeenth century, associated Astaroth with the new rationalist philosophies that were just being born in France. As he labored at subsequent editions, however, the secular folklorist found himself more and more pulled in by the lure of demonology, a passion which would eventually lead him, by the s, to enthusiastically embrace Catholicism. Le Breton chose to depict Behemoth as a bipedal version of the latter, clutching his hairy, engorged belly like some sort of malevolent Ganesh.

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The Marginalia Review of Books There, between the entry for a seventeenth-century Anglican theologian named Assheton and one for the Levantine goddess Astarte, is the demon Astaroth. Not an entirely inappropriate connection, for the Dominican inquisitor Sebastian Michaelis, who classified the demons he encountered as an exorcist at the infamous monastery of Loudun in the seventeenth century, associated Astaroth with the new rationalist philosophies that were just being born in France.

As he labored at subsequent editions, however, the secular folklorist found himself more and more pulled in by the lure of demonology, a passion which would eventually lead him, by the s, to enthusiastically embrace Catholicism.

Le Breton chose to depict Behemoth as a bipedal version of the latter, clutching his hairy, engorged belly like some sort of malevolent Ganesh.

He was born in , only four years after the crowning or most condemnatory event of the Enlightenment: the French Revolution. Like his uncle, Collin de Plancy was originally a partisan of liberty, equality, and fraternity, an enthused reader of Voltaire and a zealous rationalist and skeptic; also like his uncle, he would ultimately see himself reconciled to that Church he had rejected, though with a detour through the darker corners of demonology. Collin de Plancy did not just convince himself that demons were real, but indeed he developed a wish to control them through language, a desire as fervent as that of his Enlightenment forebears to categorize and define words and ideas in dictionaries and encyclopedias.

The demonologist was a man stuck between logic and faith, the salon and the Hellfire club, who heard the screams of horrific monsters while writing with the sober pen of a naturalist.

The dictionary was sober, rational, and practical. Etymology was like dissection, another Enlightenment innovation, and the dictionary a sort of dissection theater. Is it a dictionary by name only, or could the affinities touch a deeper vein? And this yearning towards completion and the all-encompassing is not just a superficial similarity, for in their obsessions with words and language, the grimoire and the dictionary share a common faith — that mere verbal pronouncements have the ability to rewrite reality itself.

Both kinds of book are partisans of a Platonist philosophy that sees a type of word magic as being able to enact transformations in real life. For the rationalist lexicographer this means that mastery of rhetoric and syntax can affect our lives through the ability to explicate and convince; for the wizard this means that the magic of words can conjure alteration.

Whether that order is supernatural or natural is somewhat incidental; that there is structure to the system is what is important. Ours has always been, and always shall be, a demon-haunted world.

But, with apologies to C. Lewis, what grimoires prove is not that demons exist, but that they can be tamed. Share this:.

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Dictionnaire Infernal

History[ edit ] Dictionnaire Infernal was first published in and then divided into two volumes, with six reprints—and many changes—between and This book attempts to provide an account of all the knowledge concerning superstitions and demonology. A review in read: Anecdotes of the nineteenth century or stories, recent anecdotes, features and little known words, singular adventures, various quotations, compilations and curious pieces, to be used for the history of the customs and the mind of the century in which we live, compared with centuries past. The cover page for the edition reads: Infernal Dictionary, or, a Universal Library on the beings, characters, books, deeds, and causes which pertain to the manifestations and magic of trafficking with Hell; divinations, occult sciences, grimoires , marvels, errors, prejudices, traditions, folktales, the various superstitions, and generally all manner of marvellous, surprising, mysterious, and supernatural beliefs. Influenced by Voltaire , Collin de Plancy initially did not believe in superstition. For example, the book reassures its contemporaries as to the torments of Hell: "To deny that there are sorrows and rewards after death is to deny the existence of God; since God exists, it must be necessarily so. But only God could know the punishments meted out to the guilty, or the place that holds them.

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The demons of Jacques Auguste Simon Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal

Ed Simon explores the work and how at its heart lies an unlikely but pertinent synthesis of the Enlightenment and the occult. There, between the entry for a seventeenth-century Anglican theologian named Assheton and one for the Levantine goddess Astarte, is the demon Astaroth. Not an entirely inappropriate connection, for the Dominican inquisitor Sebastian Michaelis, who classified the demons he encountered as an exorcist at the infamous monastery of Loudun in the seventeenth century, associated Astaroth with the new rationalist philosophies that were just being born in France. As he labored at subsequent editions, however, the secular folklorist found himself more and more pulled in by the lure of demonology, a passion which would eventually lead him, by the s, to enthusiastically embrace Catholicism. Le Breton chose to depict Behemoth as a bipedal version of the latter, clutching his hairy, engorged belly like some sort of malevolent Ganesh. This connection between the ideals of the Enlightenment and the old world of magic and superstition from which these demons sprung was, in many ways, made literal by the figure of Collin de Plancy himself.

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