A Satanic Reader
Flowers From Hell: A Satanic Reader 1st edition
”The Devil, as Nikolas Schreck brings home in his fascinating and scholarly introduction to Flowers From Hell – A Satanic Reader, represents not only a triumph of the imagination but, more importantly, the triumph of imagination. Old Nick, as we know from his serpentine solicitations towards Eve, has always represented choice over blind obedience, knowledge over ignorance. No wonder, therefore, that artists have long sought to tap his creative muse. The Bible, you heathens may be surprised to learn, is somewhat sketchy on His Satanic Majesty; it was only with the development of the organised church that Christianity required a symbol of utter malevolence to represent the binary opposite of utter good. Inevitably artists and writers have worked on the old man with a relish, which Schreck’s judicious selection illustrates beautifully, bringing together literary behemoths and the odd Satanist for a whistle-stop tour of imagination’s darkest regions. Encompassing, among others, Milton’s seminal Satan, the fallen warrior hero angel beloved by the Romantics, Dante’s desolate Inferno, ‘All hope abandon ye who enter here’ and Aleister Crowey’s cognoscenti viewpoint along with illustrations from the likes of Albrecht Durer and Gustave Dore, this edition proves that as well as the best music, The Devil also has the best books.”
“What a good idea! A Satanic Reader which samples some of the major infernal texts from the renaissance to the present … The illustrations are appropriate and plentiful … But the most outstanding aspect of this timely volume is Schreck’s thirty page introduction, which is a model of precise, assured scholarship without an ounce of excess verbiage, or the type of wooly circumlocution of which the typical Left-Hand Path occultist is so fond. In the wake of Schreck’s previous book from Creation (The Satanic Screen) this comes as further confirmation that Nikolas Schreck is without dount the most cogent commentator working in the ‘satanic underground’ at the present.”
Fortean Times review
”The appropriately named Nikolas Schreck provides the scholar of the Fallen Angel with a selection from some of the greatest literary minds of all time in an attempt to show the growth of Old Scratch as a character. As Schreck rightly points out, Satan isn’t really mentioned much in the Bible: instead the Devil as we know him has evolved from the minds of authors throughout history. Schreck gives us a collage of deranged monks, scientists, decadents and (most worryingly) a single MP … Schreck has chosen well, including some rare and unexpected gems. … Schreck doesn’t take the Devil over-seriously … Schreck has also chosen a series of artworks to break up his text: these are all excellent, and illustrate Schreck’s ‘development of Satan’ almost as well as the readings. … an excellent reader … anyone who wants to trace one of the most enduring of all characters over the past 700 years would do well to run out and buy this book. A Devil of a good read. Rating: 9 out of 10.”
Michael A. Aquino, Flowers From Hell: Open Letter to the Author, Scroll of Set
”I have both collected and/or read just about everything available in the English language on Satan & Satanism. … it didn’t take me long to realize that the preponderance of such material was puerile, Christian-hysterical, and/or simply an emotional vent for frustrated or guilt-obsessed pundits. .. As I came to be something of an ‘expert witness’, at least, in this field, I lamented the absence of a really discriminating anthology of such writings – by an editor with not only an orientation similar to mine, but with the literary genius to overview such works, for better or worse, with exactly that enlightenment which the Prince of Darkness both symbolizes and imparts.
All existing collections lacked anything close to such a metaphysical backbone. … Therefore your Flowers From Hell is not only a masterpiece in itself, but in my personal experience serves to close a literary wound in my side that has bled well-nigh as long as Amfortas’. For this healing too I am grateful! Where your Introduction is concerned, I am by now no stranger to either your eloquence or your scholarship, hence was not in the least surprised at its competence. The need for such a thoughtful analysis is all the greater because of the twin assaults upon the dignity of the Devil over the past twenty years from adolescent counterculture grotesques on one hand and fundamentalist sex/crime lunatics on the other.
We are all familiar with Anton LaVey’s Satanic Bible: its social splash, its uneasy juggling of Satanism and atheism, its presentation of a Satan who seemed as much con artist as demigod. In its more fiery polemics it was as much of a hood ornament for Satanism as it could be, but in the last analysis it fell far short of its ambitious title.
While you chose a more Baudelairean name for your book, I daresay it is in its essence the Satanic Bible as it truly and inevitably wanted to be written. What more need be said?”