Can’t get enough of this stuff? I have planned 26 pages, and we have reached number 9 – not bad for a slow worker like me. I certainly feel a surge in creativity, incidentally similar to the surge felt by Mr Lovecraft in the fall of 1920. In November and December that year, he wrote the prose poems Nyarlathotep and Celephais. Lovecraft scholar Chris Perridas discusses the purposeful blending of dreams and science in those poems. I’m aiming for a similar effect, although tempered by my rather mundane sense of humour. Perridas himself shows how to do it a little more seriously with a short story called A Tale Of Old Chicago. It is a wonderful concoction of romance (!), thrills and references to cultural and scientific discourse at the time of the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 (which has also served as the awesome setting of the opening chapters of Thomas Pynchon’s novel Against The Day, which I’m in the process of devouring – you know a book is good when the fans have created a huge wiki about it online. That man even uses cricket as a metaphor for Cthulhu knows what).
I’ve decided to name Lou’s snittish racist seat neighbor “Mr Goodguile”, in honour of the first Lovecraft parody ever written. Ethel Miniter, a friend and fellow small press enthusiast, wrote “Falco Ossifracus: By Mr. Goodguile”, lampooning his style in the early story The Statement of Randolph Carter, and published it in her magazine The Muffin Man, April 1921. Apparently, Lovecraft liked it. (Sources: Perridas, S.T. Joshi, Joshi again) I don’t know what (or who) that “bonebreaking falcon” might be. According to Google, Falco ossifraGus is an obsolete scientific name for the Sea-eagle.
Goodguile [Hyväjuoni, Godlist?] sounds tricksy, like Lovecraft – I’ve always interpreted the “craft” in his name as the craft in “craftiness” rather than “craftmanship”. A frequent misconception among readers is that Lovecraft just keeps on piling obscure adjectives (gibbous, squamous, cyclopean) because he doesn’t know how to create a mood. I’d argue that he is too clever for his own good. Every adjective is in its place because he wants it to be there.
But why am I writing about him in the present tense?
Ah, it’s way past bedtime. Dream-time. See you in Unknown Kadath!