Saturday, August 4, 2012

(Recommended Reads) 'The Stars Are Wrong: Why Cthulhu Needs To Go Away' by Sam Keeper

I was into Lovecraft before he got popular. Ugh, sorry, that's a really bitchy way to start an article. And, you know, it wasn't really that no one knew about Lovecraft. His stories have been around since the early 20th century, for goodness sake, and he's a major source of inspiration for all sorts of important--nay, even scriptural--fantasy properties such as Dungeons and Dragons and horror properties such as Evil Dead or Reanimator. So, it's not really true, strictly speaking. And yet... I was into Lovecraft's works before the current craze for all things Cthulhu. I was into Cthulhu Madness back when it meant the mind-wrenching touch of the impossibly cosmic and humanly inconceivable... not an internet passion for plushies and the compulsory namedropping of Leng and R'lyeh into every horror fantasy tale. Nearly a decade ago, when I first discovered his work, there wasn't really a huge, overt celebration of the man's icons. I simply happened to read a very old article on a book that miraculously--or diabolically?--happened to turn up at a local library. It was called The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadeth. And boy, was that a strange book. Everything, from the overwrought page-long sentences, to the ritualistically intoned lists of impossible, inconceivable places, to the strange inhabitants of the dream world intruded upon by Randolph Carter, to that description, that maddeningly vague yet tantalizingly detailed description, of the void where Azathoth knaws hungrily amidst chaos and the stomping and piping of the mindless Outer Gods whose soul and messenger is Nyarlathotep, the Crawling Chaos--all of it ripped open the simple material confines of my world and exposed me to the gaping maw that was Lovecraft's horribly empty yet terrifyingly occupied heavenly dome. And although his prose was often a slog the ideas within were enough to keep me intrigued for the next few years... until the Cthulsplosion, when suddenly Lovecraft's skulking creatures that were better suited to dancing and piping beneath alien stars were thrust into the bright light of the Internet, and the vast, neon party that is Media Capitalism. The stars were right for the dead dreaming god to emerge from the sea, and suddenly all I wanted to do was ram a big honking yacht into the squidfaced fuck...


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