cover image Diana at Her Bath; The Women of Rome

Diana at Her Bath; The Women of Rome

Pierre Klossowski. Eridanos Press, $17.95 (139pp) ISBN 978-0-941419-42-0

These erudite, vigorous works by the French author of The Baphomet grapple with nothing less than the nature of divinity and creation, Eros and Thanatos. In the chimerical ``Diana at Her Bath,'' the hunter Actaeon lacks the innocence attributed to him by legend: here, he deliberately accosts the chaste goddess as she bathes and even assaults her; here, she is both demonic and divine, assuming corporeal form in direct response to Actaeon's imaginings. Have the gods created mortals, or been created by them? Actaeon receives the classical punishment, and is elaborately deprived of the opportunity to tell of his experience by being transformed into a stag and then destroyed by his own hounds.``The Women of Rome'' explores eroticism as a nexus for the sacred mysteries, where the act of sex encompasses not only procreation but death and, ultimately, immortality. Less supple than ``Diana,'' the latter piece is studded with scholarly references, like a scintillating lecture by a mercurial professor. Illustrations (by the author) not seen by PW. (June)