Sunday, January 19, 2014
"'How did they ever come to that place, those desolate multitudes, gathered under Satan's ashen skies?'"
"'what the modern age has taught us is that the kingdom of hell is essentially a respectable place, where the devil is best served by remaining incognito, where sin and remorse and penitence trouble no one with their curbside importunities—'Please, sir, only a sou!'—where no one frets about angels or devils, where all good men apply themselves to becoming machines among machines, without sin because without souls.'"
Charles Baudelaire, as channeled by David Bentley Hart, in "A phantom's visit (C. B.)," First things, February 2014, 72-71. Disbelief as "a habitual insensibility to the illuminations and chastisements of beauty".