Reading Books

Feb 21, 2007 21:41 # 43999

Hawkeye *** posts about...

Best thing since Poe

92% | 4

I'm currently reading a series of short stories written by noneother than the infamous H.P.Lovecraft. If you don't know who he is, he's an author famous for his fathoms into unknown territory.

That is to say, humans only have five senses. What if there were beings with literally thousands of senses? Wouldn't that give that being a unique perspective of the universe? It would almostly certain be superior to what we can comprehend.

As a result, Lovecraft makes a lot of references to "unnameable" things, or things which are so far beyond explaination, they cannot be fully described save by general description that the english language can vaguely describe.

In one such story (probably a good one to introduce Lovecraft's work), the narrator speaks from the first person, describing the death of his friend and flashes back to how it began.

He talked about a meeting that he had with his friend not but a month before. His friend was an inventor who, according to Lovecraft, should never delve into such things for the damage it does. That is to say, damage it causes to him for failure in his work, and damage it causes to him for success.

He claimed he had discovered a way to open human senses to perceive many things it couldn't before. The narrator didn't think it were possible, and the friend literally kicked him out of his house for his mockery.

One month later, he receives a curious phonecall from his friend asking him to come by. When he arrives, he sees his friend in a monstrous form. His hair was graying, his eyes were hollowed, he was growing very thin, all of which showed signs of stress (for lack of a better word). The lights were off in the house, and he asked why, he muttered that it was better that way (without further explanation). He commented that he no longer had any help (during the days in which house servants were common).

They reached his attic to find an odd machine glowing brightly. He asked how it gave out light, since it was not powered by electricity, to which he said that it was not powered by any means he could understand.

He said the device radiated an energy which activated parts of the human brain which had, through evolution, lost touch with some particular senses. He asked the narrator what color something was, to which the narrator surprised himself by saying the color was ultra-violet (which cannot be seen by the human eye normally).

Then he began to see very strange things. The attic that was previously empty began to get filled with odd jellyfish-like things that overlapped each other. He described what he saw like an overlap of what you and I see, like as if a film projector was to project onto curtain instead of a blank wall. The jellyfish devoured each other like preditor and prey.

Then the friend began to talk about the fact that the house servants had not left. He said he had explicitly said for them not to turn on the lights for what it would bring, however two stories below him, one of the servants turned on the light and let out a blood-curtling scream. Apparently the light allowed them to see the jellyfish visions as well, and for some reason, the absence of ignorance allows these jellyfish to be aware of you. At this point, all the servants in the house had vanished into thin air, leaving only their clothes.

The friend declared they were out to get him as well, which is why he had brought his friend to that very point. He wished the jellyfish would feed upon the narrator instead. In his sadistic glee, he didn't see that the narrator had pulled out a gun. What happened next, the narrator claims, was a bit of a blur, but the gun fired, and he was being escorted by the police. Though, his time in prison was shortlived when they realized the cause of his friend's death was not from the gunshot but from unknown causes.

Turns out, he had shot the machine. :)

Cool or what? It makes perfect sense to me, but that's because I read it. I hope I explained it well enough. It is a short, but it is still a little lengthy. Though if you like, if I have some free time I could post it here (respecting copyrights of course).

If the world should blow itself up,the last audible voice would be an expert saying it can't be done

Feb 22, 2007 06:48 # 44001

baexcell *** replies...

Re: Best thing since Poe

I am a huge Lovecraft fan, and think that his work is some of the best to grace the Horror Genre ever, and wish only that there were someone who could live up to it. Unfortunately, I have not found any authors who can make such a claim.

Feb 24, 2007 12:34 # 44013

Hawkeye *** replies...

Re: Best thing since Poe

?% | 2

I would argue he was the first to touch deeply the horror genre. He once said:

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is Fear. And the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.

He portrays mankind as a smudge oblivious to its insignificance in the universe. It's as if the earth is resting on the verge of an endless cliff which has no bottom. Lovecraft considers it a blessing that we remain ignorant of the horrors that would cause us all to go mad upon understanding.

Yes, baexcell. It is good stuff indeed. :)

If the world should blow itself up,the last audible voice would be an expert saying it can't be done

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