Eric Mayer

Byzantine Blog

Get Email Updates
Cruel Music
Diana Rowland
Martin Edwards
Electric Grandmother
Jane Finnis
Keith Snyder
My Incredibly Unremarkable Life
Mysterious Musings
Mystery of a Shrinking Violet
The Rap Sheet
reenie's reach
Thoughts from Crow Cottage
This Writing Life
Woodstock's Blog
Email Me

Admin Password

Remember Me

1482209 Curiosities served
Share on Facebook

A Night in the Luxembourg
Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Read/Post Comments (2)

According to Remy de Gourmont's A Night in the Luxembourg, the aged God of the Old Testament is living in semi-retirement on Jupiter and Jesus was only taking advice from one of other God-like humans who long since conquered the solar system. Does that make this 1906 French novel science fiction?

This is one of the books I've been reading by authors, obscure to me, mentioned in the 1916 compendium of best books I wrote about a few days ago.

Most of A Night in the Luxembourg is the contents of a hastily scribbled manuscript found sitting beside the head of a young man slumped dead at his desk. The most natural of deaths, rules the doctor, looking from the writing-desk to the wildly disordered bed. "Sexual followed by cerebral excesses."

But is it really so simple?

According to the manuscript, the dead man, Sandy Rose, met a stranger in front of the statue of the Virgin in Saint-Surplice church, who invited him to take a walk in the Luxembourg gardens and learn the secrets of the gods. A winter night turns into a summer day and the mysterious stranger talks, and talks and talks.

The gods, it turns out, are not immortal or omnipotent, but merely appear so compared to human beings.

"The idea of God is only the shadow of man projected in the infinite."

This particular god has taken a particular interest in educating the people of earth about the nature of things, but his pupils have all got it wrong. Jesus had too many disciples who muddled the message, for example. Epicurus most nearly got it right.

"Human wisdom is to live as if one were never to die and to gather the present minute as if it were to be eternal."

Oh and three goddesses, in human form, show up too. Rather taxing on the human system it turns out.

"The rose of your gardens, the woman of your civilisation, these are two creations that make you the equals of the gods."

According to the translator, Arthur Ransome, the book created a sensation when it was published in France. Like most sensations it is long forgotten, replaced by newer scandals, fads and bandwagons. However it remains a fascinating piece of eccentric philosophy.

Read/Post Comments (2)

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Back to Top

Powered by JournalScape © 2001-2010 All rights reserved.
All content rights reserved by the author.