yo MODERN GERMAN LITERATURE metaphorically the worship of evil instead of good - then it is as a matter of fact nothing new in German literature: it is defiantly expressed in the old ballad of Tannhauser and in the Tannhauser legend familiar to all from Wagner's opera; and even such a dog- gedly moral poet as Schiller wrote, in his effervescent youth, a Satanist poem (Der Venuswageri). Here already the devil and Venus are one. Satanism is in any case, as the reverse of the accepted standard of moral conduct, a modern version of medieval dualism, But the medieval parallel is illusory. What this modern Satanism springs from can be stated at least approximately: its literary ori- gins are, firstly, Baudelaire's poetry; secondly, the anti-Christian individualism of Nietzsche; thirdly, that cult of refined physical sensations of which the gospel is Huysmans' A. rebours; and fourthly, the sensation of Oscar Wilde's trial and the morbid thrill of his Salome, which, in Max Reinhardt's setting, was one of the most frequently produced plays of the period. So far as sexual cruelty is a part of Satanism (e.g. as handled by Gerhart Haupt- mann, or by Eduard Stucken in Die weissen Gotter, or in the numer- ous studies of incest) it derives from the earlier and crude pathology of the Marquis de Sade (1740-1814) and the Austrian novelist LEOPOLD VON SACHER-MASOCH1 (1835-94). There is a ritual as well as a gospel of Satanism, and the culmination of this ritual is the Black Mass,2 which for Huysmans' hero des Esseintes precedes his surrender to the (to him) sensual fascination of Catholicism. In German literature it occurs notably in Bierbaum's Prin^ Kuckuck, Kurt Martens' ILoman aus der Decadence, and (in barbaric splendour) in Eduard Stucken's Die weissen Gotter\ but primarily and as an inherent part of his sexual mysticism in the tales of Prsybyszewski, 'der deutsche Sataniker*. Przybyszewski's hero is always himself in his speculative capacity. Totenmesse (1893) shows this personal hero tortured by sexual atrophy due to cerebral hypertrophy (which we are to understand is the curse and abnormality of civilization); and he tries to lash this shrunk feeling into primitive plenitude by plunging into wild orgies. In vain, however; for such excitation of the senses cannot be more than the spurt of a dying flame. Physical deviation from the norm might be unobjectionable 1 Sacher-Masoch's heroes show their love by using the riding-whip, often in a lurid Slav milieu (he was a native of Lemberg in Galicia). Typical novels of his are Das Vermacbtnis Kains> Venus im Pe/%, Die Seeknfdngerin. Masochism is derived from his name (pp. 32, 34). 2 There is a detailed description of a Black Mass in Huysmans' La-Bas (i 890).