Hashish is honestly one of the more interesting books that I have read lately. Published in 1902 by Oscar A. H. Schmitz it is one of the first books to appear in Germany for the category of Drug Literature.
You find yourself completely immersed into these short stories of decadence, sadism, Satanism, drug use and death.
The stories included are: The Devils Lover, A Night in the Eighteenth Century, Carnival, The Sin Against the Holy Ghost, The Message, Smuggler’s Pass.
The Devils Lover is an interesting story where a German musician travels to a British town and while there is teaching music. Later on he receives a mysterious letter from an unknown individual whom he later begins having sexual relations with, the catch is he is not allowed to know what she looks like. So he envisions her as only ones imagination can and she sees him as the Devil. One can wonder how this will end.
A Night in the Eighteenth Century is a story about time travel. Finding himself in the 1700s the author finds himself at a bizarre feast turned feral in desire. A romp worthy of Blue Beard himself!
Carnival is a story of Venice. The tale of a one debauched and one holy daughter whose family has come upon bad fortune and one man’s night with both of them. Upon hearing this story the author comes to the realization of how much he has wasted his life.
The Sin Against the Holy Ghost, well, what can I say. This was one incredible tale! A priest in the care of Satan slowly and willfully plants the seeds of sin in a young nuns pure life. Later he is able to convince her that she is literally one of the Godhead who will enter Hell and suffer, then release those damned souls to heaven where she will sit next the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost. In order to do this though he must convince her to commit the unpardonable sin. The sin against the holy ghost! What she does in her dance of Salome and how it ends is pretty awesome.
The Message is the story about a meeting with a old hooker on the way home from the hashish den. Who we find out later is a messenger of death that despite his best efforts he cannot get away from. His realizations and what he learns from the experience gives him a new lease on life.
Smuggler’s Pass is a fantastic tale. A poet on his way home from his current loves domicile decides to take a lesser used path. On the way he finds himself in the company of smugglers. They feed him and show him their wares they have collected over the years. When he is given the opportunity to choose several things for himself from their collection he is thrilled to do so but there is a cost.
I have found Hashish a well put together collection of short stories. Nothing is over the top, nor to debauched, but twisted and told very well. I very much like the setting of the hashish den and the stories above mainly being told in that setting while they smoked. It truly allowed that atmosphere to make everything written about so much more believable.
It is unfortunate that this book is literally the only real book that anybody even remembers of this author. Finding anything else that has been translated into English has been hopeless so far but I continue to look. Hopefully one day I will find something. In the meantime though I would suggest everybody to read this book. I am definitely at some point in the future going to revisit it again.