"To articulate the past historically does not mean to recognize it ‘the way it really was’ (Ranke). It means to seize hold of a memory as it flashes up at a moment of danger. Historical materialism wishes to retain that image of the past which unexpectedly appears to man singled out by history at a moment of danger. The danger affects both the content of the tradition and its receivers. The same threat hangs over both: that of becoming a tool of the ruling classes. In every era the attempt must be made anew to wrest tradition away from a conformism that is about to overpower it. For the Messiah arrives not merely as the Redeemer; he also arrives as the vanquisher of the Anti-Christ. The only writer of history with the gift of setting alight the sparks of hope in the past, is the one who is convinced of this: that not even the dead will be safe from the enemy, if he is victorious. And this enemy has not ceased to be victorious." Walter Benjamin, On the Concept of History.
An image of a mythical configuration in which Mayhem's Øystein 'Euronymous' Aarseth figured as the 'left hand' and Burzum's Kristian 'Varg' Vikernes as the 'right hand'' flashed up when I reread the chapter on Kafka in Georges Bataille's 1957 book 'Literature and Evil'. In this mythical configuration, the artist (left hand) harbors a secret desire for a society that denies him the right to exist (right hand). The configuration as it flashed up, was a model for a dramatic process which so influenced social behaviour that it acquired a strange processual inevitability overriding questions of interest, expediency, and morality.
Does this configuration redeem Vikernes' murder? Can the murder be redeemed, or is it inexpiable? And even if it can be redeemed, must it be redeemed? Wouldn't it be, so to speak, a waste of some perfectly good evil? And vice versa: wouldn't redeeming the murder be letting Vikernes off the moral hook too easily? - after all, killing Aarseth caused serious grief to his relatives. Furthermore, wouldn't redeeming the murder make it subservient to utilitarianism and Messianic teleology? And wouldn't "vanquishing the Anti-Christ" be utterly inappropriate for Black Metal?
With Benjamin, I would answer that the murder must be wrested away from Vikernes' fascist ideology - even if I do not believe that can be called 'redemption'.
By interpreting the murder as the result of a dramatic or narrative process model, I have hoped to deny Vikernes the authorship of the killing. One might counter that the "author is dead", that there is no need to "kill" him as an author of a murder. But Vikernes as an author still reigns on the internet, in interviews, magazines, in "Lords of Chaos", as in the very consciousness of metalheads. Vikernes still has authority over the murder: in this sense he is an undead author. These three posts then are an attempt to drive a stake through his fascist heart.