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HP Lovecraft and His Work

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  • Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post
    Originally posted by Octo Seven View Post
    Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post

    I suppose if I ever re-read "At the Mountains of Madness" I'll be wondering if and how this current of Lovecraft's thought manifests in his treatment of those alien scholars whose slaves ruined everything.
    Never even thought about the Shoggoths/Old Ones in that way, interesting and disturbing. I wonder if it was deliberate or subconscious allegory.
    I seem to remember some passages about the shoggoth's crude attempts to mimic the culture of their betters. It seemed reminiscent of nazi/racialist notions of culture making, culture destroying and culture copying(?) races. Been a while since I read Mountains or had what I thought was a decent grasp of that aspect of nazi and racist thought, though. My weak, cop-out-ish conclusion is it's probably deliberate in some respects and unconscious in others.

    I should also mention that I've read that "Shadow Over Innsmouth" was inspired by Lovecraft learning his great grandmother (maybe great great) was Welsh.
    Another interesting one is the Arthur Jermynn one. Probably written when he first got into Darwin?

    I do remember him writing some sympathetic black characters, perhaps in The Thing At The Doorstep but can't remember, his descriptions were still condescending at best. It's also one of his only if not the only story to include an important female character, shame she happened to be pure evil and destructive to her men.

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    • Sounds more like something from one of the Dream Cycle tales. But I'm not sure. Anybody got an idea?

      Speaking of the Dream Cycle, with all the poking around in cthulhoid corners this thread has inspired me to do I've yet to see any mention of DeLeuze and Guattari's A Thousand Plateaus. Long time ago a friend read it and told me it mentioned "The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath" and Lovecraft. He was so curious about Lovecraft and Dream Quest I ended up getting him a used copy I found in some forlorn (but euclidean) box under a table at a comic convention.

      Originally posted by Pietro_Mercurios View Post
      Still thinking about writing a piece. One big case of writer's block.
      Is this block perhaps of cyclopean proportions?
      Last edited by Heresiologist; 05-18-2015, 11:08 PM.

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      • My one reservation about dismissing all the weirdness that has vexed the popular imagination so are the cyclopean abandonments.

        Little green men did not build these things, humans did, but how? The precision of the stonework has led some to say that somehow the stones were softened and allowed to meld like caramels. That's lazy thinking.

        Human skill and craft has accomplished much we can no longer explain-better techniques have left some of this obsolete, and now forgotten.

        Lovecraft was puzzled by this sort of thing-hence, his mention of Ponape in many tales.

        We seem to have an inborn longing for a 'Golden Age' when things were better, often a time of wisdom and magic, and the passage of a century or so will impart a wonderful glow on any period of time.

        Nothing bad happened then-my dear old grannie would cry, "It's gettin' awful!" from time to time, forgetting that bad things happened years ago, too. TV news destroyed her peace of mind.

        We keep discovering more of these 'cyclopean abandonments' in photographs taken from orbit.

        I'm beginning to form an opinion(skewed by an old man's pessimism) that we humans can build big things, complex things-but cannot maintain them. Not for long.

        The Tower of London seems to contradict this. I hope I'm wrong.

        Lovecraft seems to have grasped the unguessed at age of human culture and the great forgotten wealth of old. Also, how uneasy the deep past makes us.

        Strange, innit?

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        • I feel human cultural ingenuity in some ways is linearly progressive, so when you have two people inventing a steam engine at the same time, or similar architectural styles cropping up in unconnected places in the ancient world, it's more to do with a logical progression of understanding than it is with an intervention by alien beings, even if the latter seems more interesting.

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          • Wikipedia has this to say about the stones of Tiwanaku:

            Some of the stones are in an unfinished state, showing some of the techniques used to shape them. They were initially pounded by stone hammers—which can still be found in numbers on local andesite quarries—, creating depressions, and then slowly ground and polished with flat stones and sand
            Who Taught the Inca Stonemasons Their Skills?

            Hoisting grips: Some blocks feature elaborate cutouts of
            grooves and communicating drill holes [Figure34]. For lack of
            a better term, we call such cutouts "hoisting grips" because
            ropes could be threaded through the holes and used to lift
            blocks. These grips are ingenious, for in contrast to bosses,
            which must be removed when between two stones, hoisting
            grips allow the tight joining of neighboring stones with the
            ropes in place.
            The real mystery about them to me is wondering what their music really sounded like, what songs they sang, what the food tasted like....

            Last edited by opaloka; 05-19-2015, 08:06 AM.

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            • Originally posted by Octo Seven View Post
              I feel human cultural ingenuity in some ways is linearly progressive, so when you have two people inventing a steam engine at the same time, or similar architectural styles cropping up in unconnected places in the ancient world, it's more to do with a logical progression of understanding than it is with an intervention by alien beings, even if the latter seems more interesting.
              This is how I think the technological-singularity will pop-up; critical-mass of consciousness.
              sigpic

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              • Originally posted by Pietro_Mercurios View Post
                Still thinking about writing a piece. One big case of writer's block.
                You need some writer's laxative.
                sigpic

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                • The taoists say this, and most other religions/traditions in some kinda way, even Mike alludes to it, but I get the sense that the "earth is eternal and heaven is long"; that the earth maybe always has been and always will be and planets like it that harbor life could very well have always been beginningless and always will be endless, and that heavens just keep growing but not in a heat-death growth but how a body grows, balanced and proportionately.
                  sigpic

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                  • Some research has yielded me a few insights into the Puma Punks......... First, as usual in 'paranormal' subjects, many inconvenient facts are overlooked, and other 'facts are outright lies.

                    The stone blocks are nowhere as massive as stated. There are grooves and other fittings for the ropes to move them, and the blocks are of a much more tractable stone than usually cited. Okay, that makes sense.

                    Since the idea of little green men pitching camp by making a massive stone city never appealed to me(despite a prior leg-pull, just for fun) why do I spend so much time contemplating such matters?

                    Because there's a lesson to be learned here-human civilization is fragile and fleeting, and memory is quite easily lost.

                    Here in Baltimore, there has been considerable demolition and reconstruction in downtown. This was because of some very destructive neglect, and changes in city life(crime was overwhelming for many years, and the city was used as a dumping ground for various defective people-addicted,alcoholic and insane-by the counties social services) I lived in the center of the city for many years, and it was a difficult proposition.

                    With a subway and light rail system, offices in the city center are practical again, but the run down and obsolete work-spaces had to be replaced.

                    I lived and worked there for my whole career-yet I can't remember just what was where, years ago. All in less than a human lifetime.

                    I often ask myself, ''where did everybody go?". That song, 'Teardrop Windows' often crosses my mind. I also think of the great 'Aragon Mill' lament by Si Kahn(look that up, the story is actually fairly complex, and there are some heartbreaking photographs)

                    I wonder if someday our cities will be deserted ruins, ascribed to the work of devils?

                    Lovecraft may have seen more than he realized.

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                    • The internet is ruining the paranormal for me. I used to rejoice in this stuff-I was never convinced, but I was always curious.

                      Now, I begin to glimpse what seems true to me.

                      There are only a few deep mysteries-and many of them are long solved,it's just that the spooky people ignore the facts that debunk and repeat the old tales.

                      The more you investigate, the more tangled the matter becomes, as facts that are actually not relevant get blended into the original case.

                      Beware of reverse reasoning-like the number 23, the more you look for it, the more you'll find.

                      Time is the enemy of truth-memories fade, errors quickly multiply and things become blended in the minds of witnesses. The Roswell case was an imperfect storm, a long history of secret tests, heavy handed Fifties security and a desperate effort to cover up a breach in a classified project. Now look at the mess.

                      Secrecy and lies have destroyed the credibility of governments-now, they can't get anybody to believe them, and conspircy theories multiply like bacteria. Often this leads to very bad outcomes as people resist perfectly useful and practical measures out of distrust. Think immunization programs.

                      Ah, how bland and empty life has become! As I walk the sparsely used city streets and pass through the declining small towns, I often think of the film version of 'Children of Men', and ponder the sadness of our future-the future was oversold, now we feel cheated.

                      Mankind will go on, but there will be change and dislocation. These are interesting times.

                      (and I still maintain that Lovecraft had a lot to do with the ancient astronut theory.)

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                      • I am often disappointed that we haven't made much better progress in almost every way - energy society education technology war etc - it is 2015 already, well past 2001.. A new generation will have to pick up the baton, ours is spent.
                        If I don't see you, I hope you have a good afternoon, a good evening, and a good night!
                        ITCFEP - Infinite Tolerance, Complete Forgiveness, Eternal Peace.

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                        • On a tenebrously related note...
                          or do I mean tenuously?...
                          Gosh! in London is having a launch do for INJ Culbard's new graphic version of The King In Yellow next week (Thursday 28th May).
                          Book looks good.
                          http://www.goshlondon.com/2015/03/th...h-inj-culbard/
                          I read Chambers' story last year in an edition which also had two Ambrose Bierce stories which gave Chambers the names of his god and his city,
                          and the Lovecraft story which borrowed them later, the Whisperer in the Dark.
                          Which was nice.

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                          • Chambers wrote some great spookers, then quit abruptly to return to the saccarine sweet romances that made him famous.

                            He was pretty good at those-his Mr. Keene(a detective who headed a huge and nearly omnipotent organization, "The Art of Detection" was inspired by it.

                            That gave birth to the radio drama of the same name, it ran for ages.

                            Chambers 'The Maker of Moons' is a surreal masterpiece, "The Repairer of Reputations'' is a bit of lunacy you cannot forget.

                            Alas, after so very few tales, he went back to being "The Shop Girl's Scherazade" for the rest of his career.

                            HPL used elements of Chambers' stories in his universe of frights, and perhaps they were best left there, nobody has ever been able to make much out of them since. They've served as vague menaces in many works. That was their original purpose-"The King in Yellow" being something which once seen alters forever. Very 19th Century, eh?
                            In the wretched bog of a town where I grew up(and got stuck in for six more years, just recently) the superstitious yokels still talk about The Bad Books in hushed tones. No wonder I like HPL!

                            The flaw here is that said Tomes would ruin the printers, bookbinders and booksellers along the way. They also were inclined to appear in used book shops and jumble sales, to snare the unwary.

                            Too much logic ruins everything.

                            And now, for the smiles involved, may I reveal that Goodyear is replacing the beloved blimps with outright Zeppelins! 'Wingfoot One' has already flown. O frabjous day! callou! callay!

                            RAISE SHIP!

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                            • Originally posted by Michael Moorcock View Post
                              ERB had a planetful of 'em!
                              Wars? Trying to avoid them myself.

                              You know I didn't mean more advanced wars.
                              Gandhi was here
                              If I don't see you, I hope you have a good afternoon, a good evening, and a good night!
                              ITCFEP - Infinite Tolerance, Complete Forgiveness, Eternal Peace.

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