Lovecraft was right, part 724

New science suggest that “unlighted” and “pallid” stars may generate the “thin, monotonous whine of blasphemous flutes”, while remaining “voiceless”…

When they are accumulating new material stars could generate sound in a very similar manner to that which we observed in the laboratory — so the stars might be singing — but, since sound cannot propagate through the vacuum of space, no-one can hear them.”

… whirled blindly past ghastly midnights of rotting creation, corpses of dead worlds with sores that were cities, charnel winds that brush the pallid stars and make them flicker low. Beyond the worlds vague ghosts of monstrous things; half-seen columns of unsanctified temples that rest on nameless rocks beneath space and reach up to dizzy vacua above the spheres of light and darkness. And through this revolting graveyard of the universe the muffled, maddening beating of drums, and thin, monotonous whine of blasphemous flutes from inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond Time; the detestable pounding and piping whereunto dance slowly, awkwardly, and absurdly the gigantic, tenebrous ultimate gods—the blind, voiceless, mindless gargoyles whose soul is Nyarlathotep.” (“Nyarlathotep”)

St. John’s Park

Possible $150 venue for a NecronomiCon Providence 2015 picnic, if one were willing to gamble on the weather…

June 9th, 2014. The Federal Hill Commerce Association (FHCA), a nonprofit organization representing businesses on Federal Hill, recently announced that it is making St. John’s Park on Atwells Avenue available to businesses and individuals for celebrations, charity events, and outings. Copies of the St. John’s Park rental contract can be downloaded from FCHA’s website. Anyone interested in renting the park can contact Chris Chabot, FHCA’s secretary: Tel: 401-432-7783. E-mail: info@federalhillprov.com

St. John’s on Atwell Avenue was the setting for “The Haunter of the Dark”. The church was closed in 1991 and demolished in the early 1990s, and the site is now St. John’s Park. It has some stone posts and stairs from the old church, and a granite edging. Lovecraft also wrote a poem about a proposal to rename Atwell’s Avenue to “Columbus Avenue”.

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Galpin letter from eBay

From eBay, an interesting Galpin letter to book dealer Roy A. Squires from Italy, 24th May 1981. Sold by epagana for $50, sadly.

The seller’s blurb: “Galpin approached Squires seeking assistance in disposing of his letters and documents from HPL, Frank Belknap Long and others of the HPL Circle. As reflected in the letter, Galpin had every confidence in Squires discretion, expertise and professionalism. The “Stanley” mentioned in the letter is John Stanley – the former head of Special Collections at the John Hay Library that houses the Howard Phillips Lovecraft collection. The “Hime” mentioned is Southern California bookseller, Mark Hime; and “Long” is Frank Belknap Long who needs no introduction!”

The scan is not quite the full letter, with the top and bottom appearing cropped, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Several items of biographical interest:

* He’s concerned about the ethics of selling Hart Crane letters, in terms of revealing Hart’s “private life” — presumably an allusion to homosexuality.

* He had been told that letters from Loveman were “worthless”, at least in terms of a cash sale, regardless of what content they revealed about HPL or Crane.

* He talks of “your own bulky file” in terms of making “silent omission of any documents that would risk compromising either you — or me”. Not sure what he means here. Possibly he’s talking of a bundle of letter photocopies supplied to him by Squires, and was alluding to his pre-war 1930s discussions on fascism with HPL and others? The bundle can’t have been Squires doing Derleth a favour and passing Galpin the transcripts from Selected Letters of H.P. Lovecraft vol. V (1934–1937), as that book had already been published in 1976.

* His ongoing friendship with Long, by letters. He remembers that he always liked Long the most, of the HPL circle.

* His aside on the impact of The Lord of the Rings on Italian crypto-fascists in the 1970s and early 1980s, among which it apparently generated a “following”. This seems to imply that Galpin still moved in fascist literary circles in Italy in the 1980s.

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Spring

What if Lovecraft had ghost-scripted Roman Holiday (Audey Hepburn’s debut, romance in Rome)? And then it had been made by the director of An American Werewolf in London? That’s what Spring (2014) sounds like, a new movie by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. The plot seems to be: confused 20-something American boy goes bumming around Italy, falls for hot local Italian girl, they discover a weird ancient tentacle monster and ancient secret knowledge… Sounds like a dire spoof, but it’s being very widely acclaimed as a comparatively flawless and restrained horror movie. Apparently it’s a character-led film with an “original and surprising mythology” and “stunning location photography” through the use of HD drone cameras (blurb for the Tiff festival, Canada).

Be warned, though, if you suffer from ‘cinema sea sickness': hand-held cameras…

“The hand-held work is often distracting and does not have any clear narrative or aesthetic reason”, yet overall the movie is “without a doubt one of the most original monster features in recent years” (Sight on Sound).

Here are the various posters…

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No idea when it’s due out on download and DVD, and Google didn’t immediately surface a website for the film. This sort of art house festival film can stay away from a proper release for years, sadly, while it grinds its way around the festival circuit. Although it does appear to be getting some sort of cinema release in America from 17th April. No details on that at IMDB, just the date.

The pair’s next film appears to be an art house “story about the enigma that is Aleister Crowley”, seemingly to be filmed in Scotland, UK. That old loon is not my cup of tea, but it’s bound to get them a big audience. Who knows, we may eventually see them doing a proper big Lovecraft adaptation one day.

Fearful Symmetries: Representations of Anxiety in Cultural, Literary and Political Discourses

A very obscure book of essays, Fearful Symmetries: Representations of Anxiety in Cultural, Literary and Political Discourses, University of Silesia, Poland, 2013. Appears to be in English, though neither Amazon UK or USA has heard of it. It has one Lovecraft essay.

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Contents:

* Indian Zigzags – the Industrial Monster. (Cultural reaction to the British industrial imitation of Indian printed cotton fabrics in the 19th century)

* The Victorian Culture and the Fear of the Talented Woman in George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda.

* The Renaissance Plus ultra and the Recurrence of Non plus ultra as Refelcted in the Poetry of John Donne and John Milton’s epic Paradise Lost.

* “To Be Saved by Chaos”: “Emancipation” of Self by Mutilation and Perversion. Chuck Palahniuk’s Invisible Monsters and Choke.

* Who’s Afraid of the Supermarket: A Study of Andrzej Wojcik’s and Ewan Jones-Morris’s Semi-documentary Brand New World.

* Civilisation, Fear and Trauma in Doris Lessing’s writing.

* Masochism and Its (Dis)contents: The Politics of In-Yer-Face Theatre and Mark Ravenhill’s Bodies in Crisis.

* What Else Is Civilization For? Narration Overcoming Fear and Trauma in Graham Swift.

* “Seek and Ye Shall Mind” – Conspiracy Theories and the Mechanisms of Online Exposure.

* Civilization Renewal Project – the Ultimate Solution of Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake.

* Indulging a Terrorist’s Fears: A Critical Evaluation of Theodore Kaczynski’s Industrial Society and Its Future.

* “The Gently Budding Rose”: Greeks and Fear in Teodor Parnicki’s Historical Novel The End of “The Concord of Nations”.

* “Fetch Me my Feathers and Amber”: Gary Snyder on Civilization and the Primitive.

* Original Sin, Fear and Metaphysical Poetry.

* Gods for the Final Days: Selected Religious Systems Devised by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and Philip K. Dick.

In the mid-twentieth century in the West, the political atmosphere of insecurity spawned religious radicalism and made more and more people pay heed to preachers announcing the approaching doom. L. Ron Hubbard devised and marketed a new religion, the Church of Scientology; Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s postmodernist novels Sirens of Titan, Cat’s Cradle and Slapstick also describe new religious systems. Philip K. Dick, in turn, presented religions of his own making, Mercerism, and belief in the Four Manifestations of God, in the short story “The Little Black Box” and novels Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and Maze of Death. This essay compares these religions in order to show how they take advantage of human fear and anxiety and what they offer to their followers.

* Fear of the Inside: Neurology as a Science of Sensation in Victorian Literature.

Despite the attempts undertaken by nineteenth-century psychologists, philosophers and physiologists to define “sensation,” the latter remained a conspicuously fluid notion. This indefiteness provided a vast hermeneutic space for writers seeking new rhetorical devices to convey the complexity of human nature. This essay examines a variety of diverse accounts of “sensation” in Victorian fiction, discusses their functions and approaches to the mind-body relationship.

* The Black Atlantic Zombie: National Schisms and Utopian Diasporas in Edwidge Danticat’s The Dew Breaker.

* Fears and Fictions of Samuel Beckett.

* Deeper Darkness: Fear of the Dionysian Ultimate in H.P. Lovecraft.

H.P. Lovecraft’s tales of terror strike at key questions of human existence – specifially, the origins of fear. Creating narratives that invoke and capitalize on Nietzsche’s fear of the advent of nihilism, Lovecraft drafted a world that was alternately mysterious and terrifying, and also coldly rooted in the scientific determinism that was at the core of his materialist atheism. In doing so, he uproots Nietzsche’s hope for man to transcend beyond the “death of God” and the subsequent nihilistic retreat into outmoded religious ideas.

* Mr. Turner’s Fears and Fantasies: The Turner Diaries and White Fear in America.

* Gender Implications of Literary Representations of Anxieties about Modernisation in Turkey: Aganta, Burina, Burinata (1945)

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