Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Huysman's Fear Over La Bas

Perhaps as fascinating as the novel itself is the story behind it: Huysmans was a thorough researcher when writing novels, and La-Bas was no exception. Huysmans began a relationship with Henrietta Maillat, a woman who claimed to have had experiences with incubi and succubi, and through her he met Berthe Courriere, Louis Van Haecke, and ultimately the famous occultist Joseph-Antoine Boullain. Boullain supplied Huysmans with rare documentation on rites, sexual rituals, and Satanic belief. After the publication of La-Bas, Huysmans worried for his own safety, firmly believing that the Rosicrucians, who were angered by his novel, were casting evil spells on him (Boullain had died around this time, playing further on Huysmans' paranoia).

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