The Revolt of the Angels (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Arcade (ahr-KAHD), an angel who plans to lead a revolt against God (Ialdabaoth). He gathers together hundreds of thousands of rebel angels but is disappointed when Satan quashes the revolution.
Monsieur Julien Sariette
Monsieur Julien Sariette (zhoo-LYAH[N] sahr-YEHT), the meticulous librarian in charge of the extensive collection that Arcade uses to educate himself for the revolution. Sariette is confounded and frustrated because Arcade scatters the books. When a volume of Lucretius, a very rare work, is lost, Sariette’s mind snaps.
Maurice d’Esparvieu (moh-REES dehs-pahr-VYEW), a wealthy, lazy young man whose guardian angel is Arcade. After an attempt to dissuade Arcade from his plans, d’Esparvieu regards him with quiet amusement and shares his clothes and his mistress with the angel.
Madame Gilberte des Aubels
Madame Gilberte des Aubels (zheel-BEHR day-zoh-BEHL), Maurice’s mistress, who also bestows her favors on Arcade.
Satan, a sympathetic prince who, petitioned by Arcade and his army of rebels to lead the revolution against...
(The entire section is 369 words.)
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The Plot (Magill's Guide to Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature)
The library established by the first Baron d’Esparvieu, who was raised to the nobility in Napoleonic times, has fallen into neglect because the baron’s descendants have lapsed into political conservatism and religious orthodoxy. It has been consigned by the uncaring René d’Esparvieu to the care of the eccentric Julien Sariette, who regards the books as objects to be guarded jealously rather than as repositories of wisdom.
When Sariette discovers that books are disappearing or being moved about without any sign of human agency, he becomes anxious. His anxiety persists when the missing volumes turn up in the apartment of René’s son Maurice. Maurice has no idea how they got there, his own interests being confined to the pursuit of love, but on further investigation he discovers that the thief is his neglectful guardian angel, Arcade.
Arcade’s studies in natural philosophy and the history of religion have revealed to him that his maker is not quite the God Arcade previously had assumed Him to be, but a vain and ignorant “demiurge” named Ialdabaoth, whose sphere of influence is but a tiny corner of a much vaster universe. Arcade also has concluded that the microcosm in question is in a rather sorry state thanks to Ialdabaoth’s intolerance and petty tyranny. He informs Maurice that there are many lapsed guardian angels living quietly among humans, alongside the fallen angels cast out of Heaven by Ialdabaoth, and that it is high...
(The entire section is 522 words.)