Re: RARA-AVIS: Angel Heart/Falling Angel

From: Patrick King (
Date: 07 Aug 2008

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    --- On Thu, 8/7/08, Nathan Cain <> wrote:

    The Millipede Press edition of Falling Angel has an essay by Hjortsberg says he did do research, but admits he couldn't find anything that had any bearing on the ritual at the center of the book and soul switching so he just made it up from scratch, so that's not really based on anything.


    I think it's possible that, to avoid a lot of crank letters and painting himself into a literary corner, Hjorstberg may not have told the truth about his research to the interviewer. The central ritual, itself, was observed in the book so not too explicit. But the book is very accurate on the subject of occult mythos. There is certainly plenty of information on the theory of soul switching, and during the time Hjorstberg was writing FALLING ANGEL, New York City was a hot bed of occult activity with many bookstores devoted to occult literature and occult organizations meeting nightly and warring magically with each other. To research that central ritual Hjorstberg needed to look no further than the Gnostic Mass. The Mass of the Phoenix, Star Ruby or Star Saphire are the logical additional rituals to read. They certainly bear on what he was exploring. I doubt that he made the entire basis of the book out of his imagination. If he did, perhaps Jung is right
     about the collective unconscious.

    Patrick King


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