BRAQUEMARD: THE CLAVICLE OF GILLES DE RAIS by Martin Bladh
154 x 204mm, 142 pages, Colour printed, Perfect bound, Softcover, 2022
A remarkable work. A book of darkest sorcery; an instruction in necromancy and spirit work through one inheritance in Bladh's literary genealogy:
Giles Dr Rais. Crusader; noble; war hero; child killer; alchemist; and penitent condemned, killed for all the crowd to see in holy pageant, a spectacle carried now in the blood of the West as horror fable refracted and scattered across centuries and forms. Fairy tale. Horror movie. Patriarchal warning. Political scapegoat. And template to alchemical transformation. It is this aspect especially that Bladh accents with his Braquemard, taking up the double edged blade from his direct antecedents in Bataille and Artaud.
Here Bladh uses ritual and structure and a measured musicality in repeating sets of 3 and 7. Like Artaud, the space here becomes experience and Bladh leaves the steps by which the sorcery ignites. Like Bataille, the sacred inversion in examining the black godless chasm, as one observes the Holy Hours or as one would invoke the saints, unveils a secret metaphysics that the larger culture insists should remain hidden and neutralized in our shared schema.
But the philosopher's stone is a journey of One. A divine aspiration firing on hubris and mania and passion and a growing, accelerating abyss.
First you are your fable, then you are your failure, then you are your formal instructions for a thing you have never known.