[LITERATURE] The Devil in Legend and Literature (with quotes)

I was looking over some Wikipedia articles a few months back, and noticed that there were some links to this book about Asmodeus.

The DEVIL in Legend and Literature by Maximilian Rudwin

There are no ebooks that I could find of this book, and I REALLY wanted to read it. I put forth the currency to get it, and I am impressed with it. Rudwin has written other works on the devil, but I’m not sure that it will measure up to this book from the excerpts I’ve read.

This book is definitely written from a Christian perspective, with the devil being the worst of the worst and in awe of God, but even with those sorts of excerpts or quick quips in there–it’s a REALLY interesting book. There are lots of things in here I haven’t read anywhere before.

This will be disturbing for those who don’t like writing in books. You have been warned. Research is messy.

Inside are some images of the preface and index.

I’ve highlighted a bunch of things, from things I want to quote in future articles to things that are oddly familiar to concepts I found in the timeline. One of my favorite book purchases.

An excerpt I wanted to share from the book is a English translation (by me, so grain of salt!) of a poem that I pulled together using a translation tool that I can’t remember:

The devil has a cheeky mouth. He cursed the heavens and accused God. But once in a wonderful hour did he say:

“And if heaven were a thousand times further away over the hellmoor, and led by a glowing ladder to empoor [him]: each shoot of iron thorn branches, and every step is an unthinkable pain and gray. A thousand legions of years I want to rise just to see his face once.”

The original text, for those who want it.

This excerpt lives rent free in my head right now. If I think about the appeal of such a character, it is the relativeness of the journey. Some chase self-deification, or hidden knowledge, or experiences. The journey is painful, but the idea that for a brief moment we can attain it makes it worth it.

Whoever had this book before, an “Immerman” based on the scribblings in the front cover, loved this book well. The cover was taped at its bindings to protect it from wear and tear, and the cover has a second layer of protection on it.

He’d probably be furious to see I wrote and highlighted in it–but I promise it’s in the name of research! haha

Below, I’d like to share some more quotes that I thought were worth sharing:

A Few Quotes

“The history of mankind,” said a German church historian, “would be tedious without the struggles which have sin for their background, Great periods and persons are formed by sin and suffering.

The Gospels and Epistles contain endless warnings against The Great Adversary, who, as a roaring lion, is prowling about this earth, “seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. v. 8).

…and when threatened with the wrath of the Lord, he replied: 'If he breaks out in wrath against me, I will exalt my throne above His, and I will be higher than the Most High."

“When the angels were informed,” says the father of the Church, “of God’s intention to create man after His own image…they envied man’s happiness and so revolted.” The orthodox teaching, however, is that man’s creation followed the Devil’s rebellion. Adam was created by the Lord to fill the vacancy caused in the celestial choir-stalls by the fall of the angels.…"

[From Jacob Boehme, quoting the devil on why God possesses such enmity towards him and what let to his downfall:]

“I wanted to be an author.”

He is an epic, majestic figure, a Promethean character, who vainly but valiantly opposes a power which he knows he can never conquer.

Myself am Hell,” Satan cries in the anguish of his soul.

A personal devil is always a lot more interesting than an abstraction.

we have never heard the Devil’s side of the case because God has written all the books.

He was hailed as the vindicator of reason, of freedom of thought, and of an unfettered humanity.

…Satan was the greatest enthusiast for the liberty and spontaneity of individualism, the greatest symbol of protest against tyranny, celestial or terrestrial. They predicted the day when Satan would return to his former glory in heaven.

He did not hurl also the neutral angels into hell, but, in order to give them another opportunity to choose between Him and His rival, cast them down to earth.

This is only the first few pages.

There isn’t anything COMPLETELY REMARKABLE in this set of quotes, as most of this has likely been spoken about in other texts… But as you can see, I really liked this book. I still haven’t finished it, though, finding myself sometimes on the verge of “getting too woke, I need to go back to sleep.”

As I have the time, I’ll likely add some more interesting quotes. I prefer to type them, because then they can be crawled by the search.