November 17 2011

The Call of Cthulhu

The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft gives us the outlines of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. The story is presented as a manuscript “found among the papers of the late Francis Wayland Thurston of New York.” Thurston tells of his discovery of the notes left by his granduncle, George Gammell Angell, a Professor of Semitic languages at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Professor Angle died suddenly in “the winter of 1926–27” after being “jostled by a nautical-looking negro.”
Thurston then begins piecing together the papers and newspaper clippings into an account that unveils the workings of a mysterious cult. By telling the tale two or three times removed from the action, Lovecraft adds to the gradual feeling of horror and alienation of the piece. Interestingly, Cthulhu is not presented as a god, but rather a visitor form strange stars. Cthulhu and the other old ones travel across stellar distances when the stars are “right.”
Here is a quote that captures the general atmosphere:

The aperture was black with a darkness almost material. That tenebrousness was indeed a positive quality; for it obscured such parts of the inner walls as ought to have been revealed, and actually burst forth like smoke from its aeon-long imprisonment, visibly darkening the sun as it slunk away into the shrunken and gibbous sky on flapping membraneous wings.

Here is the Google Map link for R’lyeh:-47.15,-126.716667 for those who might want to glimpse it.

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Posted November 17, 2011 by user in category "Book review

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