anges demons

Are you fur or feathers?


According to De Socrate à Tintin* (Socrates to Tintin), a learned tome published by Rennes University Press, angels and devils are back in favour. In this erudite compilation of papers, a group of historians shows how the belief in good and evil spirits lies at the heart of all religions, whether monotheistic or polytheistic, and demonstrate the keen interest these supernatural beings have always aroused. It does indeed seem clear that the tradition is grounded in tenets no philosophy or ethical system has ever succeeded in jettisoning. Belief in angels and devils is a way of differentiating good from evil and true from false, but also day from night, sun from moon, light from darkness, just from unjust, the elect from the damned. And, anatomically, feathers from fur. It's in their embodied forms, as portrayed in images, that the concepts of angel and devil acquire their full richness, flavour and ambiguity. Mind and matter, pure and impure, distinguish­ed by depicting angels with wings (feathers) and devils
covered in hair (fur).


Devilish angels and angelic devils
The mystery of good, evil and seduc­tion underlies the story of Adam, Eve and the apple. Some still debate the sex of angels while the rest of us are trying to fathom what exactly makes a devil of either sex so attractive. And we ourselves, are we angel or devil when in thrall to desire? A devil playing on the ambiguity of seduction, or an angel
cross-dressing as a devil? Here fashion and the Zeitgeist are merg­ing more than ever: in unisex fashion – tomboy, trans or andro­gy­nous – gender blending is inno­va­tive and sexy. But can we choose? Let's go for the irresistible comfort of wool imitating the down that becomes feathers, which over evolutionary aeons morphed into nails and claws. After all, doesn't the Devil wear Prada?