The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'lovecraft'
Murray "Muzski" Groat's Tintin/H.P. Lovecraft mashups are made of eldritch, blasphemous win:
(via Boing Boing)
New from McSweeney's: Selections from H.P. Lovecraft's Brief Tenure as a Whitman's Sampler Copywriter:
There is a dimension ruled by a blind caramel God-King who sits on a vast, cyclopean milk-chocolate throne while his mindless, gooey followers dance to the piping of crazed flutes. It is said that there are gateways in our world that lead to this caramel hell-planet. The delectable Caramel Chew may be one such portal.
Few men dare ask the question "What is toffee, exactly?" All those who have investigated this substance are now either dead or insane.
Meanwhile, a Google search for "fomalhaut lovecraft" returns, among its top 10 results, the Suicide Girls homepage of someone who's into H.P. Lovecraft and Ayn Rand.
The latest web comic is H.P. Lovecraft's The Nameless Dread:
Salon has an interesting piece on H.P. Lovecraft, cosmic horror writer and abuser of adjectives:
Lovecraft's narrators routinely rave about the "hideous," "monstrous" and "blasphemous" nature of their revelations. Wilson went on, again quite reasonably, to observe, "Surely one of the primary rules for writing an effective tale of horror is never to use any of these words -- especially if you are going, at the end, to produce an invisible whistling octopus." That octopus crack is a particularly low blow, since the most celebrated of Lovecraft's stories and novels partake of what has been dubbed the Cthulhu Mythos, an alternative mythology involving an enormous and malevolent being whose tentacled head resembles a cephalopod.
The truth, however, is that hardly any reader finds Cthulhu frightening. In fact, by all indications, the public is very fond of the creature. You can check in regularly at the Cthulhu for President site ("Home Page for Evil"), purchase a cuddly plush Cthulhu or behold the adventures of Hello Cthulhu, a cross between Lovecraft's "gelatinous green immensity" and the adorable, big-eyed Sanrio cartoon character. Sauron never inspired this kind of affection.
At root, all of Lovecraft's phobias seemed to come down to an elemental dread of the human body: the tentacles and gaping abysses with their obvious genital associations (hence Stephen King's comment), reproduction's disorderly tendency toward mutation and of course the horror writer's primal muse -- the death and decay that lie in store for every living thing. If not all of us share the specific racial and sexual manifestations of that dread, we all feel some version of it. Lovecraft, in his fiction at least, abandoned himself to it with a kind of warped gallantry.
Some H.P. Lovecraft aficionados are making a silent film of The Call of Cthulhu, executed in authentic 1920s/30s silent movie fashion. There's a trailer online, which looks promising.
The Great Old Pumpkin, or what happens when H.P. Lovecraft meets Charles Schultz. And, from the same site, Prisoners of Uqbaristan, a collision between hyperpatriotic American techno-thrillers and Jorge Luis Borges.
I haven't been posting much recently, having too much to do (upcoming travel plans and such; more about these later) to sit down, graze on the various memestreams and produce links, opinionated comments or sarcastic asides.
Anyway, I recently had occasion to reread H.P. Lovecraft's The Shadow over Innsmouth for the first time in many years, after reading that Zachary Marsh LiveJournal thing (which, after all, was a riff of it). In my opinion, The Shadow over Innsmouth is one of HPL's better stories (alongside the one about the Fungi from Yuggoth, the mind-abduction one about the Great Ones and, for sheer horror, The Thing On The Doorstep); the two-part structure, with the standard escape-from-a-city-of-monsters thing being followed by the far more disturbing realisations that the narrator is one of them, works very nicely. However, in my reassessment, it hasn't aged well.
For one, Innsmouth is predicated on xenophobia. The Deep Ones are nothing more than an evil race of monsters, surrounded by decay and worshipping loathsome gods; they have no positive attributes (except for the beautiful yet disturbingly alien jewellery), and as much substance as the monster under one's bed when one was a child, only with more gruesome detail. Towards the end, the narrator reconciles himself with joining the Deep Ones and their loathsome rites, but it seems insincere, as he doesn't shed any light on the experience of the Deep Ones. (And those things being inherently incomprehensible to humans is a cop-out; amphibious humanoids descended from a common ancestor with humanity and possessing families, language, a culture and a society would have had some common ground with humans, even if their culture and their biology would seem profoundly alien.) It would have been much more powerful had the point of view shifted from the human one (of visceral revulsion) to the Deep Ones' one (with the bizarre consequences of their biology, society and culture gradually revealed) would have been far more interesting.
I suppose the flaw comes from Lovecraft being, if taken as a writer of speculative fiction, lazy; not bothering to create a plausible alien world when an unspeakable, blasphemous horror (which, by virtue of being unspeakable, also saves the author the effort of describing it) will suffice.
The LiveJournal of Zachary Marsh: or the Cthulhu Mythos meets online journals, with the obligatory rap-metal band references and dumb online surveys:
We walked around and looked at all the rundown houses until even Chris admitted there wasn't anything to see. Finally we just went to the bar and hung out there for a while (they don't check ID which is cool). There were actually some guys our age and in thier 20s -- the oldest people I've ever seen here. Right away Chris started acting like a dick again, saying I could probably score with the girls there since most of them had my bulging eyes / narrow face problem.
Via the Viridian mailing list, of all places, a collection of H.P. Lovecraft prop fonts; or, more precisely, a handful of 1920s-vintage American typefaces with authentically rough edges, a few old blackletter faces, and some of Lovecraft's handwriting. These fonts are sold on a CD for role-players and the like to make game props with, and licensed for private use only (not including theatrical productions), though may be useful things to have around. Even if not, the type samples on the page are certainly entertaining.
Neil Gaiman's somewhat camp Lovecraft pastiche I, Cthulhu (1986). (via Found)