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Bewildering Stories


“Satanic Degrees”

with Cleveland W. Gibson

Antonio Bellomi’s “Satanic Degrees” appears in issue 405.

In most situations involving the Devil, it is the Devil who wins. And so it is in this tale. But is is a good story with a twist.

Now I understand about the Satanic Degrees. At least they are not issued by universities.

Well done, for writing this enjoyable tale.


In that regard, the note on Faustus seems appropriate. It’s in the episode “A Secret Agent in a Radical Cause,” in Cyrano’s The Other World.

Johann (or Jörg or Georg) Faustus (ca. 1480 - ca. 1540), was known personally to Cornelius Agrippa and Johann Tritheim; the latter denounced him as a charlatan.

Faustus claimed to have studied at the University of Krakow, which indeed boasted a school of Magic until the end of the 16th century. He is the prototype of Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus and Goethe’s Faust.

So, Cleveland, you’re not wrong to see the story’s title as potentially ambiguous.

As a note to those wondering where they might earn a Satanic degree, I’d say it’s 400 years too late to apply to the University of Krakow. But, judging by some politicians, I’m sure there are plenty of opportunities elsewhere.

Copyright © 2010 by Cleveland W. Gibson
and Bewildering Stories

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