Bub, S. (2014) "Die Getöteten Kinder Und Die Ästhetik Des Bösen: Zu Gustave Flauberts Salammbô Und Joris-Karl Huysmans’ Là-Bas", Arcadia, 16 pages. doi: 10.1515/arcadia-2014-0028 [German]. Abstract▼ As a provoking passage in Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov shows, the (perfidious) killing of children represents a distressing topic in the context of the aesthetics of evil. Its abhorrent character cannot be dissolved through literary stylization. In Gustave Flaubert?s novel Salammbô (1862) the Carthaginian infant sacrifice to Moloch, together with Hamilcar’s deception concerning his own son, marks an aesthetically suggestive extreme point in a nihilistic sequence of images of cruelty. In comparison to that, the motif of ritual perversion seems even to be intensified in the representation of the late medieval Satanist and child killer Gilles de Rais in J.-K. Huysmans? Là-Bas (1891), a novel which impressed, for example, Luis Buñuel who planned a film version. But Gilles de Rais, whom Durtal, Huysman’s hero and alter ego, describes as a „virtuose en douleurs et en meurtres“, turns into a penitent imploring salvation. Thus Huysmans tries to overcome a closed aestheticism by his recourse to (medieval) Christian spirituality.