In short, Iron Gates is a post-nuclear-apocalypse, morbidly violent pulp fiction novel. Its emasculating totalitarianism has that air of the extreme feminine in its debased and illogically cruel aspect, driving all to same level through sheer discipline of the senses on every level, and demanding a self-effacing excellence in servitude to the ultimate matriarchy. The apparently overwhelming masculinity of the centerpiece community portrayed in the story is actually bestial, and in defiance of Bataille’s definitions manages to funnel the animal-human’s rage for transgression beyond the senses into the most rigid of military orders.
It could be said that Iron Gates can be apprehended at three different levels, mainly. The first is as a work of horror, as an absurdity in sensual indulgence turned upside down. For those with the literary nuance to look beyond first impressions, it will be obvious that the book is, moreover, imbued with far more content and topics than its superficially defining feature may allow one to notice at first. A blanket of ever-present terror shields the nuances of this layer, and even those interested in psychological analysis will likely be fooled into remaining on the level of violence, abuse and “totalitarianism”.
The last and most useful level at which we can apprehend this work of purposeful defiance is as an esoteric self-defeating, perhaps even a little simulation of spiritual death and the possibilities beyond the acceptance of all-encompassing bleakness and hopelessness. One has to break out of the protective shell that has been enhanced by the mediocrity that surrounds us, that has been infused into us as “the normal”. One may do this analytically, playing the over-rationalizing sleight of hand that keeps the emotions tucked away, but the real experience is in the lacerations of the exposed soul in the face of boundlessness.
Here is a world beyond the delusions of modernity. humans are shown as they really are, having as much reliable value as any other animal, and being awarded as many rights as the Magian vermin would award a rock. Natural selection is in overdrive: in the army of death, only the most predatorial or adept individuals would ascend; outside of the institution, only the supremely strong (both mentally and physically, and ‘strength’ denoting power and flexibility as much as resilience) could be imagined to survive with luck (or, perhaps, synchronicity?) on their side. Here is a world truly beyond good and evil; and the perspicacious reader will note that there is no exaltation of an ideology or way in these words, but a simple statement of facts.
Under this guise of utter intolerance one can read between the lines the revelation of a greatness in human potential, the pursuit of which needs the shedding of delusions to the core of what reality is, not only in a rational understanding of a mathematical model representing it, but in living and experiencing it completely and purely in one’s very own flesh. Like many esoteric works, the levels of exoteric presentation will test the reader, eluding the mundane minds first, and being shielded away from the Hubriati by virtue of their own over-assuming blindness.