Thursday, May 14, 2009

HP Lovecraft, a first taste

(written earlier in the year while still at sea...)

I don't normally go in for horror or gothic fiction or movies. It just has never been my thing, but I think I've just gotten my hands on the wrong stuff. I might actually have inside me the makings of a decent enthusiast of the darker, creepier side.

Earlier I wrote about Neko Case tingling my spine and making my hair stand on end and lamented for fiction or film that could do the same. I hadn't prepared for this desire, but in a music exchange last fall a few MP3's of Call of Cthulu came my way. I discovered, much to my horror, that the three sections did not encompass the entire tale, so I listened rapturously then found myself against a wall: no more Lovecraft for me.

: (

I haven't avoided his books, just never picked one up. I'm kind of glad it came to me as it did. The audiobook version of this is perfect. The sounds quality isn't great actually and hisses a little bit, but the voice of the narrator... I'll venture there has never been a better match of voice to tale. I could listen to this speaker for hours reading anything, but it seems particularly suited to this tale. So gentle, I've started to listen to it as I go to sleep, which probably doesn't do good things to my dreams (or maybe amazing things).

It isn't often that I listen to an audio book and then want to go back and read it again, but this one I want both in text and audio. The language is delicious and rich. Had Lovecraft not chosen to benefit humanity using his gift for good as a sci fi author, who knows what horrors he might have done as an evangelist. Which I suppose he is in a way, just not the bad way. He preaches wonder and more than meets the eye and reminds us to be scared of the dark. Perhaps the ugliest stupidity to come out of the twentieth century is the widespread belief that we shouldn't have to be scared of the dark. Sure, it is nice to not always be terrified when the lights go out, but we should remember how to be scared in the dark. We need dark evangelists to remind that not everything is illuminated by reason and not everything makes sense or has motives we understand.

Perhaps I get ahead of myself in assuming I understand our author's message. I plan to dive deeper in and remedy this deficit.

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