Aubrey Beardsley

Enoch Soames:
The Critical Heritage


The Calumny of Beerbohm
The Anxiety of Influence
New Light on Soames
Enoch’s Castle
In Praise of Christian Diabolism
Iconographia Fungosiana
Strange Growths
A Letter to the Editor
List of Illustrations
Le Diaboliste Catholique
Portrait Study of Enoch Soames
En Attendant
Crème de Menthe and Nicotine
A Man of Letters
Enoch Soames, Esq.
The Bad Homburg

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The Arms of a PoetEnoch Soames - The Critical Heritage
Photograph of Enoch Soames by Frederick Evans

In Praise of Christian Diabolism

“It was Milton,” he certificatively added,
“who converted me to Diabolism.”

Praise god and Satan! We glorify the name of Enoch Soames! In commemoration of his life and work, I give you the testimony of our members.
     Thank you, Enoch, for showing us the way. How, we asked in our ignorance and confusion, would it be possible for us to claim to follow the Lord and still do the Devil’s bidding? How could we speak of loving humankind, yet enjoy the chance to damn people to Hell? How might we demonstrate our scorn for worldly things, while increasing our political influence in the U. S. and getting our own Television stations?
     From Enoch came the answer: “Catholic Diabolism”. Enoch Soames led us through the wilderness to prove that no idea is too far-fetched, no prejudice too offensive, and no position too hypocritical, to those who have faith.
     We have followed his example of “trusting and encouraging” the Devil, while calling ourselves Christians. We are, praise God and Satan, the Christian Diabolist Coalition, and our numbers in the United States are growing every day.
     Like Enoch, we believe wholeheartedly in ourselves, for our wisdom and vision are greater than everyone else’s. Enoch, it is said, “never sought to propitiate his fellow-writers, never bated a jot of his arrogance about his own work or of his contempt for theirs.” And why shouldn’t we look down on everybody else, too?
     Other people might tolerate those who disagree with them, but, like Enoch, we don’t. Instead, we of the Christian Diabolist Coalition despise everyone else who has ever been. To have been is unrighteous. To have been is unclean. We believe in the holiness of the Unbeen. We would rather shout and picket and kill, to protect the rights of the Unbeen.
     It has been said that for Enoch Soames, “Diabolism seemed to be a cheerful, even a wholesome, influence in his life.” So, when we shout and picket and kill, we try to smile.
     What inspirational words Enoch has given us, in his poem called “To a Young Woman”: “Thou hast not been nor art!”
     Enoch loved the Unbeen, and so do we. We hope to step up our campaign to make more things Unbeen soon. There are lots of books, films, and television programs, for example, that will soon be joining the ranks of the Unbeen, with our help. And you won’t miss them anyway, for as Enoch has told us, everything after Milton is “second-rate”.
     The only thing we love more than the Unbeen is those who are Been Again. And with the Devil’s blessing, Enoch Soames is Been Again in 1997. Truly, this is a miracle.
     But those of you who have been to our sister- tabernacle in Preston on the site of Enoch’s birthplace, know that miracles happen there everyday. Through the mighty force of Enoch’s spirit, children with unsightly teeth have grown caps on them, bald men have grown hair implants, and women with torn and ragged cuticles have grown acrylic nails. Great are the Wonders that we have been shown.
     In the wicked days of Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley, Enoch Soames sailed unbesmirched through the rivers of moral pollution, by waterproofing his cape. The vile lusts of a lifestyle incompatible with Christian Diabolist teachings rolled off his waterproof back.
     Oh yes, there were doubters and enemies, even then. Some of you may have read that Enoch was ignored and insulted by a man named “Rothenstein”. He said that Enoch did not exist. But who cares what he said? In a good Christian Diabolist country like England, you don’t find people having a celebration and putting together volumes in tribute to somebody named “Rothenstein”, do you?
     So do not heed the blasphemers, who said that “poor old Soames was really a rather tragic figure.” Enoch’s legacy is everywhere. No, his name isn’t in the British Library catalogue. But that thing is just full of books, and, as everyone knows, books don’t matter any more.
     In 1997, Enoch is Been Again in newspapers, on the radio, and, best of all, on the Internet. Today, his name can be accessed around the world, linked up to our Christian Diabolist Coalition web site. For as the prophet foretold, “Life is web, and therein nor warp nor woof is, but web only.”
     And soon, thanks to Enoch, we will have you all in our web.

Enoch Soames