Requiem for the Abyss

Dr. Rinaldi's Horror Cabinet

Society—an inferno of saviors!

—Emile Cioran

No one reads the decadents much anymore, maybe it is because we have moved the world into a deeper, more intense age of decadence and decline. Never before have so many artists and writers been so obsessed with various processes and manifestations of decay and drawn so much life, so much creative energy, from the very decadence they decry. In this trope, civilization itself is the corpse upon which the decadent sensibility feeds, nourished by the prospect of its own annihilation.

Isn’t this the dark truth of our age, the fetid resilience of murderous critique, the endless vision and revision describing the various charnel house delights of climacteric disaster, the small apocalypses of the human into the post-human drift. Are we not salacious vampires feeding off the dying corpse of Western Civilization, helping it along with our never-ending display of anathemas and academic disquisitions.

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