TSOU - The Whisperer in Darkness

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vonj...@hotmail.com

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Jul 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/3/98
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The Shadow over Usenet
"The Whisperer in Darkness"

Sources: _The Dunwich Horror and Others_, Arkham; _The Best of H. P.
Lovecraft_, Ballantine.

Synopsis: Albert Wilmarth, a folklorist and English professor at
Miskatonic University, becomes involved in a debate over strange objects
seen in the Vermont flood-waters but of which no trace is uncovered.
Wilmarth takes the side of the skeptics, but learns differently from the
letters of a recluse, Henry Akeley. Akeley believes that the bodies are
those of a species of beings from Yuggoth, or Pluto, who have come to
mine our planet for unique metals.

As time goes on, Akeley tells more about his battles against these
creatures, and there are signs that someone is trying to interfere with
their correspondence. In the end, Akeley sends Wilmarth a letter telling
him of the wisdom of these beings, and the glories which meet those whose
brains are transported through the cosmos in their metallic cylinders.
Akeley goes to Vermont, meets Akeley, and hears of many of these wonders.
In the middle of the night, however, he hears strange voices below, and
upon creeping below encounters the horror...

Comments: One of Lovecraft's best stories, IMO. Background, legend,
plot, and atmosphere are all woven tightly to create a truly wonderful
piece. According to Joshi, the piece suffers due to the inept bungling
of the aliens - but I think this is more due to the poor quality of their
human help than any deficiencies on their part.

Lovecraft wrote this story in 1930, using data from a trip to Vermont
(there really were floods in Vermont in 1927, and many of the people and
places mentioned, including Akeley himself, were inspired by what he saw
there). This story was published in the August 1931 issue of Weird Tales.

This story does possess a level of ambiguity to it: can we really be
sure that the last letter to Wilmarth is false? Was Akeley really taken
away against his will? These ambiguities are explored in Richard Lupoff's
"Documents in the Case of Elizabeth Akeley" (reprinted in Chaosium's _The
Hastur Cycle_). In that piece, Lupoff proposes that Akeley returns to
earth to seek his granddaughter's aid in accomplishing one last earthly
task. The story is somewhat marred by an unlikely love story, but it is
a good re-interpretation of the story which nonetheless leaves the other
possiblity open.

"The Whisperer in Darkness" is most notable in Mythos terms for
introducing those lovable mi-go, or fungi from Yuggoth. Lovecraft also
brings in the creations of several other authors: Smith's Tsathoggua,
Long's Hounds of Tindalos, and Chambers' Hastur (who is merely a name,
and not treated as a deity).

That's all I have for now. The IRC session is the same time next
week as always - 9:00 pm EDT Wednesday nights.

Yrs.,


Daniel

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StoOdin101

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Jul 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/3/98
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>According to Joshi, the piece suffers due to the inept bungling
>of the aliens - but I think this is more due to the poor quality of their
>human help than any deficiencies on their part.

Absolutely. I take issue with Joshi's comment that the aliens succeeded in
spelling Akeley's name wrong in forging his signature. Huh-uh, no way. That was
done by one of their rustic human minions. I have ALWAYS seen it that way, and
was surprised that Joshi, who's usually very perceptive, missed that point.


> "The Whisperer in Darkness" is most notable in Mythos terms for
>introducing those lovable mi-go, or fungi from Yuggoth.

I do find the line "They were the hellish tracks of the living fungi from
Yuggoth" to be a singularly inept miscalculation from HPL.
That line is as silly as the tag line from the cyborg cartoon SILVERHAWKS:
"Partly metal, partly real".
Of course they're living, Howard! Nothing scary about that; I see living fungi
every day, when the seasons are right for mushrooms. I think he meant
"ambulatory" or even "sentient".

>Lovecraft also
>brings in the creations of several other authors: Smith's Tsathoggua,
>Long's Hounds of Tindalos, and Chambers' Hastur (who is merely a name,
>and not treated as a deity).
>

I take credit for being the first one to notice that Hastur the Unspeakable
does not appear in Lovecraft. But I didn't get it into PRINT first, so I must
remain the unsung discoverer. The Great Almost, that's me.


"...there is, as they say, a special science against gunshots --- ballistics.
But against the RADIO scientific thought seems to be blind." --- Mikhail
Zoshchenko, _The Anti-Noise Campaign_


Christophe Thill

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Jul 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/3/98
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Comme l'écrivait stood...@aol.com (StoOdin101) :

>I take credit for being the first one to notice that Hastur the Unspeakable
>does not appear in Lovecraft. But I didn't get it into PRINT first, so I must
>remain the unsung discoverer. The Great Almost, that's me.

My personal opinion is that this "Whisperer in Darkness" is the exact
origin of "Hastur the Unspeakable". Lovecraft mentions, in one
sentence, Chambers' Hastur and another being called the Magnum
Innominandum (ie "The Great-not-to-be-named One"). Derleth mixed both
notions and, lo! Here's a brand new Great Old One!

But the Magnum Innominandum was actually first featured in the
summaries of the story that Lovecraft wanted to write after his "Roman
dream". It can be found in letters to Long and Dwyer. Well, as we
know, he changed his mind and "presented" the dream to Long who
included it in his "Horror from the Hills". But the Magnum
Innominandum didn't leave his mind. In later stories and letters, he
keeps mentioning it from time to time, and it is clear that he
identifies this deity with Yog-Sothoth. So let's forget many-tentacled
Hastur : long live Yog-Sothoth the Unspeakable !

By the way, this famous passage from "The Whisperer in Darkness" (the
grandaddy of all "namedropping" passages, as it were) mentions many
gods and beings, and places too (Bethmoora). The only difficulty in it
is "Bran". I tend to connect this name with Howard's Bran Mak Morn.
Anybody's got a better idea?


Christophe Thill - Paris, France (c_t...@worldnet.fr)

ArKa/D/ia! Homepage: http://www.worldnet.fr/~c_thill/
HP Lovecraft page: http://www.worldnet.fr/~c_thill/hpl/
"The King in Yellow": http://www.worldnet.fr/~c_thill/chambers/
DAIKAIJU! Les monstres japonais: http://www.worldnet.fr/~c_thill/kaiju/

Dan Clore

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Jul 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/4/98
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Christophe Thill wrote:
> Comme l'écrivait stood...@aol.com (StoOdin101) :

> >I take credit for being the first one to notice that Hastur the Unspeakable
> >does not appear in Lovecraft. But I didn't get it into PRINT first, so I must
> >remain the unsung discoverer. The Great Almost, that's me.
>
> My personal opinion is that this "Whisperer in Darkness" is the exact
> origin of "Hastur the Unspeakable". Lovecraft mentions, in one
> sentence, Chambers' Hastur and another being called the Magnum
> Innominandum (ie "The Great-not-to-be-named One"). Derleth mixed both
> notions and, lo! Here's a brand new Great Old One!
>
> But the Magnum Innominandum was actually first featured in the
> summaries of the story that Lovecraft wanted to write after his "Roman
> dream". It can be found in letters to Long and Dwyer. Well, as we
> know, he changed his mind and "presented" the dream to Long who
> included it in his "Horror from the Hills". But the Magnum
> Innominandum didn't leave his mind. In later stories and letters, he
> keeps mentioning it from time to time, and it is clear that he
> identifies this deity with Yog-Sothoth. So let's forget many-tentacled
> Hastur : long live Yog-Sothoth the Unspeakable !

Dammit Christophe, you think you can just say that and we'll all believe
it? I want proof!

Ah, here it is in _The Mound_: "a shrine of Shub-Niggurath, the
All-Mother and wife of the Not-to-Be-Named One." Since we all know that
Shubby is married to Yoggy (some facts are *beyond dispute*), that
clinches it.

--
---------------------------------------------------
Dan Clore

The Website of Lord We˙rdgliffe:
http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/9879/index.html
Welcome to the Waughters....

The Dan Clore Necronomicon Page:
http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/9879/necpage.htm
Because the true mysteries cannot be profaned....

"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!"

StoOdin101

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Jul 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/4/98
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>My personal opinion is that this "Whisperer in Darkness" is the exact
>origin of "Hastur the Unspeakable". Lovecraft mentions, in one
>sentence, Chambers' Hastur and another being called the Magnum
>Innominandum (ie "The Great-not-to-be-named One"). Derleth mixed both
>notions and, lo! Here's a brand new Great Old One!

I agree...and I also think that Derleth was UNAWARE of the nature of the name
Hastur at the time, and so seized onto it and expanded it.
By the same token, I first encountered the name "Cthulhu" in the NECRONOMICON
excerpt in DUNWICH HORROR; possessed by the mystery of the name and the being,
I drew an entity with the name that had NO relation to the "real" appearance of
Cthulhu...but I didn't know there even WAS a real appearance of Cthulhu at the
time.
As for the Magnum Innominandum, I'm not sure that being is Yog-Sothoth. Aren't
there lists where HPL mentions the Great Not-to-be-Named and Y-S in the same
sentence?

>The only difficulty in it
>is "Bran". I tend to connect this name with Howard's Bran Mak Morn.
>Anybody's got a better idea?
>

No better ideas here...I always figured it was Bran Mak Morn.

StoOdin101

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Jul 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/4/98
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>Ah, here it is in _The Mound_: "a shrine of Shub-Niggurath, the
>All-Mother and wife of the Not-to-Be-Named One." Since we all know that
>Shubby is married to Yoggy (some facts are *beyond dispute*), that
>clinches it.

Yep, that cinches it. Previous objections withdrawn.

Dan Clore

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Jul 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/4/98
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StoOdin101 wrote:
>
> >Ah, here it is in _The Mound_: "a shrine of Shub-Niggurath, the
> >All-Mother and wife of the Not-to-Be-Named One." Since we all know that
> >Shubby is married to Yoggy (some facts are *beyond dispute*), that
> >clinches it.
>
> Yep, that cinches it. Previous objections withdrawn.

Another thought: does this remind anyone of the Magna Mater (Great
Mother), what with "All-Mother" right next to "Magnum" and all?

D. E. Kesler

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Jul 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/4/98
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StoOdin101 wrote:
> As for the Magnum Innominandum, I'm not sure that being is Yog-Sothoth. Aren't
> there lists where HPL mentions the Great Not-to-be-Named and Y-S in the same
> sentence?

My memory wants to tell me that you are correct; however, this same
memory will not tell me where to look in my collection. I'll have to
consult my Joshi indexes for this one. Once we figure out where this
sentence appears, let's note when it was written.

Consider the following, Lovecraft may have simply been playing with the
names without having bothered to flesh out the corresponding monsters.
Comparing when the name appeared to the time when the diety appeared
could add substance to my admittedly off the cuff theory.



> >The only difficulty in it
> >is "Bran". I tend to connect this name with Howard's Bran Mak Morn.
> >Anybody's got a better idea?
> >

I've read that before and it makes sense. A tip of the hat to Howard.
Unfortunately, all I know about Bran is the name. Is there nothing at
all suggestive of the Mythos in the character?

Regards,

Donald Eric Kesler

StoOdin101

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Jul 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/4/98
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>Another thought: does this remind anyone of the Magna Mater (Great
>Mother), what with "All-Mother" right next to "Magnum" and all?
>

HPL referred to the Magna Mater in at least 2 stories, RED HOOK, and
RATS/WALLS, so it isn't inconceivable that he meant it that way here.

Mike Kew

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In message <199807040400...@ladder01.news.aol.com>, StoOdin101
<stood...@aol.com> wrote

>>Ah, here it is in _The Mound_: "a shrine of Shub-Niggurath, the
>>All-Mother and wife of the Not-to-Be-Named One." Since we all know that
>>Shubby is married to Yoggy (some facts are *beyond dispute*), that
>>clinches it.
>
>Yep, that cinches it. Previous objections withdrawn.

But only since Cthulhu revealed the truth of Nyarlathotep's parentage to
Azathoth, and the subsequent divorce left Yoggy free to marry again...

And did we ever find out who *did* put that bloody trapezohedron under
Hastur's pillow?

--
Mike Kew

jpe...@cnw.com

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In article <359DDC...@fantasm.org>,
"D. E. Kesler" <er...@fantasm.org> wrote:
>
>snip>

>
> > >The only difficulty in it
> > >is "Bran". I tend to connect this name with Howard's Bran Mak Morn.
> > >Anybody's got a better idea?
> > >
>
> I've read that before and it makes sense. A tip of the hat to Howard.
> Unfortunately, all I know about Bran is the name. Is there nothing at
> all suggestive of the Mythos in the character?

I've always thought the reference to "Bran" strangely out of place. Even as a
nod to the work of Robert E. Howard; as the character of Bran Mak Morn has
not even the most tenuous of connections to the mythos. I've been able to
find no other references to a "Bran" in any other works that would indicate
another connection. Now a mention of "Kull" would have been a bit better as
there are at least hints of a connection between the Valusian serpent-men
and the Great Old Ones.

John Pelan

Ckott Nikolai

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Jul 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/4/98
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Whether HPL got "Bran" on his own or from Howard is hard for me to say,
but both probably got the name from Welsh myth, wherein Bran appears as
a nameless god who cannot be defeated unless his secret name be
revealed. Robert Graves explores the meaning of this incident at length
in The White Goddess.

Also, in the Irish story cycle of Finn MacCumhail and the Fenians, Bran
was Finn's super powerful dog. This cycle was probably the source of the
name Conan, as Conan MacArt was one of the Fenians, though rather
different from Howard's Conan. The Fenian Conan was a kind of
Trickster, more like the Native American Coyote. He was fat, bald, and
given to excessive profanity.

Ckott Nikolai

Dan Clore

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Jul 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/6/98
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Robert E. Howard has a story called "The Children of the Night", which
tells us that "Von Junzt makes mention of a so-called Bran cult" etc etc
etc.

I expect this is the story HPL had in mind.

D. E. Kesler

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Jul 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/6/98
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DONALD G. DAVIS wrote:
>
> I'm afraid I must take Joshi's side as to the competence of these
> fungoid aliens. They are represented as being able to conquer the earth
> if they choose to bother, yet can be killed by ordinary dogs (also the
> fate of half-alien Wilbur in "The Dunwich Horror," which seems to me
> equally improbable).
>
> --Donald Davis

Deja vu. I am almost posotive that this discussion has occured before.
I think it's my turn to wonder how in the world the dogs in whispers
could have injured anyone or anything while wearing gas masks.

Regards,

Donald Eric Kesler

Donovan K. Loucks

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Jul 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/6/98
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Daniel Harms <vonj...@hotmail.com> wrote,

The Shadow over Usenet
"The Whisperer in Darkness"

...

Comments: One of Lovecraft's best stories, IMO. Background, legend,
plot, and atmosphere are all woven tightly to create a truly wonderful
piece.

I agree entirely. "The Whisperer in Darkness" is one of my favorite
Lovecraft stories -- perhaps my second after "The Colour Out of Space".
The geographic elements in this are very vibrant, and I am even more drawn
to this tale now that I've visited the Brattleboro region on two
occasions. There are also a large number of real-world references and
blendings of fact and fiction here that I'll go into in great detail.

According to Joshi, the piece suffers due to the inept bungling of the
aliens - but I think this is more due to the poor quality of their
human help than any deficiencies on their part.

I have to agree with S.T. on this. How could Akeley, alone in the woods,
fend off the Outer Ones and their human cohorts for over _four months_?
As for the bungling of Akeley's name on the forged telegram, I get the
impression that the Outer Ones are able to disguise themselves to some
degree and that they were to blame for this mistake. For example, the
"curious-voiced" Stanley Adams at the train station in Keene and the
"sandy-haired man" who sent the forged telegram from Bellows Falls are
probably Outer Ones impersonating human beings. They're both described as
having "queerly" or "curiously thick, droning" voices. In spite of
Lovecraft's completely alien descriptions of the Outer Ones, to this day I
still maintain that they are roughly anthropomorphic in their overall
structure and can _just barely_ pass as humans with the proper disguise.

Lovecraft wrote this story in 1930, using data from a trip to Vermont
(there really were floods in Vermont in 1927, and many of the people
and places mentioned, including Akeley himself, were inspired by what
he saw there). This story was published in the August 1931 issue of
Weird Tales.

Lovecraft visited Vermont briefly in August 1927 with W. Paul Cook, which
inspired his "Vermont -- A First Impression". He returned to the same
area in June 1928, this time staying for two weeks with Vrest Orton (and
Orton's wife, son, parents, and grandmother!) at a farm that Orton had
leased. This was very likely the basis for the Akeley farmhouse, and is
now owned by Ann Dixon (who reminds my wife and me of Martha Stewart) and
her husband. The house is on Lee Road (as in "Lee's Swamp") in Guilford,
and is 5 miles west-southwest of Brattleboro -- Townshend, the fictional
location of the farmhouse, is 15 miles north-northwest of Brattleboro.
The house was inhabited during the mid-1800s by a purported witch named
Mila Akeley, whose father or grandfather built the house. You can see a
photograph of this house at:

http://www.hplovecraft.com/creation/sites/vtnh.htm

Lovecraft describes the Akeley house as "a trim white house of two stories
and attic...with a well-kept lawn and stone-bordered path leading up to a
tastefully carved Georgian doorway" and as "a white, two-and-a-half-story
house of unusual size and elegance for the region..." However, Lovecraft
describes Orton's farmhouse as "a real story-&-a-half Colonial farmhouse".
The difference of an entire floor makes it sound as if the Dixon house is
not the basis of the Akeley farmhouse, despite its attractive doorway, so
I wonder if Lovecraft is referring to a different house.

One possibility is the house of "the eccentric artist and recluse", Bert
G. Akley (who is a painter and a _photographer_), to whom Charley Lee
introduced Lovecraft. Notice the different spelling of Akley's name,
although it's not "Akely". This Akley also lived in an "ancient
farmhouse" and that may instead have been the house that Lovecraft
describes. Unfortunately, I'm afraid I don't know where that house is.
Perhaps it's on nearby Akley Road, which runs roughly parallel to and
north of Lee Road, which would make sense since Lovecraft mentions that he
and Charley "walked 'cross-lots" to get there.

Running perpendicular to Akley Road is Goodenough Road, on which amateur
poet Arthur Goodenough lived. This road and its resident must have been
the inspiration for Akeley's son, George Goodenough Akeley. Lovecraft,
with Orton, attended a meeting of "Literary Persons" at Goodenough's farm,
which also included Walter J. Coates (publisher of _Driftwind_), W. Paul
Cook (publisher of _The Acolyte_), Paul P. Jones (writer of the
_Brattleboro Daily Reformer's_ "The Rustic" column), and a Miss Miller (a
"poetess-teacher" or "schoolmarm-poetess" -- take your pick). References
to some of these folks are made in the fourth paragraph of the story:

The tales thus brought to my notice came mostly through newspaper
cuttings; though one yarn had an oral source and was repeated to a
friend of mine in a letter from his mother in Hardwick, Vermont. The
type of thing described was essentially the same in all cases, though
there seemed to be three separate instances involved -- one connected
with the Winooski River near Montpelier, another attached to the West
River in Windham County beyond Newfane, and a third centering in the
Passumpsic in Caledonia County above Lyndonville. ("The Whisperer in
Darkness", p. 209)

Vrest Orton, although living in New York at the time, was a native of
Hardwick; Walter J. Coates was from Montpelier; and Paul P. Jones was from
Windham, which is 6 miles north of Townshend. The meeting of these people
was chronicled in the 18 June 1928 issue of the _Brattleboro Reformer_ in
which Lovecraft is referred to as "Howard _J._ Lovecraft".

In addition to the above article, I have a photocopy of the front page of
the 4 November 1927 issue of the _Reformer_, which appeared the day after
"the historic and unprecedented Vermont floods of November 3, 1927". It
bears an enormous page-spanning headline about the flood which looks
something like this:

NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND SWEPT BY FLOODS THAT
DO DAMAGE RUNNING INTO MILLIONS; CONNECTICUT
REACHES RECORD POINT AT BIG DAM IN VERNON

Unfortunately, there's no mention of pinkish-things in the floodwaters...
Akeley mentions "Pendrifter", the pen-name of Charles Crane, who wrote the
"Pen-Drift" column that appeared regularly in the _Brattleboro Reformer_,
and whom Lovecraft met on at least one occasion.

The trip up the West River towards Newfane and Brattleboro is hauntingly
lovely, as Lovecraft records. The "quaint, sightly village of Newfane"
is, perhaps, the most photographed spot in the state of Vermont. The
mountain on which Akeley's farmhouse sits, "Dark Mountain", may be based
on Bald Mountain, a steep mountain just southwest of Townshend. "Round
Hill" may be based on Round Mountain, which is between Orton's farmhouse
and the town of West Brattleboro. Another mountain in the area that is
mentioned in the tale is Wantastiquet Mountain, which towers over the town
of Brattleboro from across the Connecticut River, and which Lovecraft went
to the trouble of scaling. It's really a beautiful area, and it has a
wonderful aspect of remoteness, in spite of its accessibility.

Lovecraft makes references to a "branch line", "lagging branch railway",
and "half-abandoned railway track" which leads from Brattleboro to
Townshend, but I've yet to find evidence that such a line ever existed.
The train station that Wilmarth arrives at still exists, although the
"long train-shed" is now gone and the station building is now The
Brattleboro Museum and Art Center. Interestingly and ironically enough,
it doesn't appear that Lovecraft ever made the trip up the West River to
Newfane and Townshend, being thwarted by a bus schedule that didn't allow
a return to Brattleboro on the same day.

This story does possess a level of ambiguity to it: can we really be
sure that the last letter to Wilmarth is false? Was Akeley really
taken away against his will? These ambiguities are explored in Richard
Lupoff's "Documents in the Case of Elizabeth Akeley" (reprinted in
Chaosium's _The Hastur Cycle_). In that piece, Lupoff proposes that
Akeley returns to earth to seek his granddaughter's aid in
accomplishing one last earthly task. The story is somewhat marred by
an unlikely love story, but it is a good re-interpretation of the story
which nonetheless leaves the other possiblity open.

I also once believed that the conclusion of this tale was ambiguous, but
Lovecraft makes it rather clear that Akeley was "taken away against his
will". His impersonator admonishes Wilmarth not to "bother that fresh,
shiny cylinder joined to the two testing instruments -- the one with my
name on it." The conversation overheard later makes it clear that these
"two testing instruments" are actually Akeley's eyes and ears ("seeing and
hearing . . . damn you"), which are hooked up and operating so that he can
be tormented by seeing and hearing Wilmarth's conversations with the
impersonator.

The identity of Akeley's impersonator adds more credence to the notion
that he was taken unwillingly. The "huge foot-bandages" (designed to
cover crab-like feet), the "queer odour" (the oft-mentioned scent of the
Outer Ones), and the "damnably clever constructions" (giving the physical
appearance of Akeley) all point to an Outer One masquerading as Akeley.
As for the nature of those "damnably clever constructions", it seems clear
that they are not "waxen products of a master artist" (since Wilmarth
hopes that they are!), but Akeley's _actual hands and face_. In a 7
November 1930 letter to Clark Ashton Smith, Lovecraft comments on Smith's
notion of plastic surgery to alter an alien's facial form so it can blend
with humans, and mentions his own idea of "a human skin as in the
Whisperer."

I disagree with S.T. that Akeley's impersonator may be "Nyarlathotep
himself, whom they worship". I'm assuming that S.T. bases this notion on
the phonograph recording in which one of the Outer Ones says,

To Nyarlathotep, Mighty Messenger, must all things be told. And He
shall put on the semblance of men, the waxen mask and the robe that
hides...

I'll freely admit that the above quote, coupled with the ending, makes a
strong implication that Nyarlathotep was the impersonator of Akeley.
However, I think the other points mentioned above -- the foot-bandages,
the scent, and the hands and face -- make it clear that Lovecraft intended
the impersonator to be an Outer One.

"The Whisperer in Darkness" is most notable in Mythos terms for

introducing those lovable mi-go, or fungi from Yuggoth. Lovecraft also


brings in the creations of several other authors: Smith's Tsathoggua,
Long's Hounds of Tindalos, and Chambers' Hastur (who is merely a name,
and not treated as a deity).

I've never been comfortable with the term "Mi-Go", even though Lovecraft
uses it in both "The Whisperer in Darkness" and _At the Mountains of
Madness_. Instead, I prefer the term Outer Ones, which is used twice as
many times as Mi-Go, even though only in "The Whisperer in Darkness". The
term "Mi-Go" _may_ actually be a real Nepalese term, and to call
Lovecraft's creations by this name would be akin to simply calling them
"Abominable Snow-Men". While it's true that there is an implied
equivalence between these two entities, I'd prefer to use Lovecraft's
coined name, Outer Ones, than "Mi-Go".

Speaking of monsters, this story also contains one of Lovecraft's rare
laundry lists, which later became a staple of Derleth's tales -- his worst
example is probably the entire text of _The Lurker at the Threshold_!
Against my better judgment, I'll repeat Lovecraft's list here:

I found myself faced by names and terms that I had heard elsewhere in
the most hideous of connexions -- Yuggoth, Great Cthulhu, Tsathoggua,
Yog-Sothoth, R'lyeh, Nyarlathotep, Azathoth, Hastur, Yian, Leng, the
Lake of Hali, Bethmoora, the Yellow Sign, L'mur-Kathulos, Bran, and the
Magnum Innominandum -- and was drawn back through nameless aeons and
inconceivable dimensions to worlds of elder, outer entity at which the
crazed author of the _Necronomicon_ had only guessed in the vaguest
way. ("The Whisperer in Darkness", p. 223)

Honestly, that wasn't all that bad, at least when compared to Derleth.
While I agree with Christophe Thill <c_t...@worldnet.fr> that the above
list is probably the origin of Derleth's "Hastur the Unspeakable", I'm not
sure if I can agree with his conjecture that Yog-Sothoth and the Magnum
Innominandum are one and the same, in spite of the evidence that Dan Clore
<cl...@columbia-center.org> presents from "The Mound". After all, both
Yog-Sothoth and the Magnum Innominandum are mentioned in the above
sentence, and at opposite ends. In addition, in a May 1935 letter to
Robert H. Barlow, Lovecraft mentions,

All things rest with the Ultimate Entities . . . with Yog-Sothoth; with
Azathoth; with the Magnum Innominandum.

Once again, Lovecraft mentions both in the same sentence without any
attempt to connect them. It doesn't seem to me that Lovecraft meant for
Yog-Sothoth and the Magnum Innominandum to be the same entity.

That's all I have for now. The IRC session is the same time next week
as always - 9:00 pm EDT Wednesday nights.

I expect to see _everyone_ from alt.horror.cthulhu there...

-------------------
Donovan K. Loucks <webm...@hplovecraft.com>
The H.P. Lovecraft Archive: http://www.hplovecraft.com
The alt.horror.cthulhu FAQ: ftp://ftp.primenet.com/users/d/dloucks/ahc

Jordi Espunya

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Jul 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/6/98
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Greetings, mere mortals 8)

dgd...@nyx10.nyx.net (DONALD G. DAVIS) wrote:

> I'm afraid I must take Joshi's side as to the competence of these
>fungoid aliens. They are represented as being able to conquer the earth
>if they choose to bother, yet can be killed by ordinary dogs (also the

Propaganda. I don't remember exactly who says that the Mi-Go would
easily conquer the Earth, but they prefer to hide from mankind. But I
can bet he who says that is one of their human pals.

You can think they just want to scare us, or you can think Earth is so
little value they only have a little mine facility in Oregon, maybe
somewhere else, and that's it.

>blame on to their "human minions." If the fungi are so accomplished, why
>can't they select better human agents?

Locals are full of shit, that's why 8)

In modern settings, they would have hired 'cancerman'.

TSOU is one of my fab tales, but the only thing that I just can't
believe is the recording of the conversition between the two entities
Akeley does in the mountains... I just think of the old man carrying a
gramophone [sp??] to the mountains...

---
/The fate that came to Useneth: Jordi Espunya >> j_es...@redestb.es \
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn. No, it's not ROT13!
\Use our special Hounds-of-Tindalos beta software to deal with spammers/

StoOdin101

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Jul 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/6/98
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>I'm not
>sure if I can agree with his conjecture that Yog-Sothoth and the Magnum
>Innominandum are one and the same, in spite of the evidence that Dan Clore
><cl...@columbia-center.org> presents from "The Mound". After all, both
>Yog-Sothoth and the Magnum Innominandum are mentioned in the above
>sentence, and at opposite ends. In addition, in a May 1935 letter to
>Robert H. Barlow, Lovecraft mentions,
>
> All things rest with the Ultimate Entities . . . with Yog-Sothoth; with
> Azathoth; with the Magnum Innominandum.
>
>Once again, Lovecraft mentions both in the same sentence without any
>attempt to connect them. It doesn't seem to me that Lovecraft meant for
>Yog-Sothoth and the Magnum Innominandum to be the same entity.

More evidence that Lovecraft didn't keep track of the goings-on of his
entities, and didn't intend for there to ever be a clear concise Cthulhu
Mythos. Since Clore's info from THE MOUND means that either HPL forgot that the
Magnum Innominandum was hitched to Shubby, making it Yog-Sothoth, or that
Shubby is sleeping around on Y-S, which will probably result in some very
unpleasant cosmic headlines eventually.
All jests aside, I think the Magnum Innominandum is a horror that HPL had in
mind to use, but just never did. It may have been as indescribable as it is
unnameable...and despite HPL's talk of indescribable monsters, I think we all
know that he liked nothng better than to describe 'em in detail. (This powder
of Ibn-Ghazi will make it visible for a moment! ) So until he thought of a
suitably horrific appearance for the fiend, he didn't write any stories around
it.

Dan Clore

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Jul 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/6/98
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StoOdin101 wrote:
>
> >I'm not
> >sure if I can agree with his conjecture that Yog-Sothoth and the Magnum
> >Innominandum are one and the same, in spite of the evidence that Dan Clore
> ><cl...@columbia-center.org> presents from "The Mound". After all, both
> >Yog-Sothoth and the Magnum Innominandum are mentioned in the above
> >sentence, and at opposite ends. In addition, in a May 1935 letter to
> >Robert H. Barlow, Lovecraft mentions,
> >
> > All things rest with the Ultimate Entities . . . with Yog-Sothoth; with
> > Azathoth; with the Magnum Innominandum.
> >
> >Once again, Lovecraft mentions both in the same sentence without any
> >attempt to connect them. It doesn't seem to me that Lovecraft meant for
> >Yog-Sothoth and the Magnum Innominandum to be the same entity.
>
> More evidence that Lovecraft didn't keep track of the goings-on of his
> entities, and didn't intend for there to ever be a clear concise Cthulhu
> Mythos. Since Clore's info from THE MOUND means that either HPL forgot that the
> Magnum Innominandum was hitched to Shubby, making it Yog-Sothoth, or that
> Shubby is sleeping around on Y-S, which will probably result in some very
> unpleasant cosmic headlines eventually.

Either that, or the "Magnum Innominandum" is not the same as "the
Not-to-be-Named One".

We should also recall, I guess, the incantation from "The Shambler from
the Stars", which supposedly comes from De Vermis Mysteriis: "Tibi,
Magnum Innominandum, signa stellarum nigrarum et bufaniformis Sadoquae
sigillum ..." ("To thee / great Not-to-be-Named / the signs / of the
stars / black / and / of the toad-shaped / Tsathoggua / the seal ...")

Possibly we should consider this like the term "Old Ones" -- exactly how
many different groups did HPL apply that to in different tales? Or
should we just conclude that Yog-Sothoth is the Not-to-be-Named, but not
the *Great* Not-to-be-Named?

--
---------------------------------------------------
Dan Clore

The Website of Lord We˙rdgliffe:
http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/9879/index.html
Welcome to the Waughters....

The Dan Clore Necronomicon Page:
http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/9879/necpage.htm
Because the true mysteries cannot be profaned....

"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!"

D. E. Kesler

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Jul 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/6/98
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StoOdin101 wrote:
>
> More evidence that Lovecraft didn't keep track of the goings-on of his
> entities, and didn't intend for there to ever be a clear concise Cthulhu
> Mythos. Since Clore's info from THE MOUND means that either HPL forgot that the
> Magnum Innominandum was hitched to Shubby, making it Yog-Sothoth, or that
> Shubby is sleeping around on Y-S, which will probably result in some very
> unpleasant cosmic headlines eventually.

I realize you are only joking; however, this comment did remind me of
something. In ancient Myths, it was a common practice to have a newly
introduced diety assimilated into the on going mythology by having the
new diety couple with an established god. The Greek god Zues with his
numerous trysts is probably the most pronounced example of this type.

Also, I've never really thought of Shub-Niggurath as exclusively
involved with Yog-Sothoth. I've always assumed she was very wanton,
similar to the Greek goddess, Aphrodite.

Regards,

Donald Eric Kesler

StoOdin101

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Jul 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/6/98
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>Also, I've never really thought of Shub-Niggurath as exclusively
>involved with Yog-Sothoth. I've always assumed she was very wanton,
>similar to the Greek goddess, Aphrodite.
>

While HPL (pronounced Hippel, no doubt) never elaborated much on Shubby, Ramsey
Campbell --- back when he was J.Ramsey Campbell --- did so in THE MOON LENS.
Your assumption is very much on target if we accept TML as canon.

JBL (pronounced Jibble, of course)

KAYVEN

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Jul 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/6/98
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In article <6nq47c$3...@nntp02.primenet.com>, "Donovan K. Loucks"
<webm...@hplovecraft.com> writes:

>I've never been comfortable with the term "Mi-Go", even though Lovecraft
>uses it in both "The Whisperer in Darkness" and _At the Mountains of
>Madness_. Instead, I prefer the term Outer Ones, which is used twice as
>many times as Mi-Go, even though only in "The Whisperer in Darkness". The
>term "Mi-Go" _may_ actually be a real Nepalese term, and to call
>Lovecraft's creations by this name would be akin to simply calling them
>"Abominable Snow-Men".

I've often wondered why Lovecraft made a connection between the Yeti legend
and the Outer Ones. To our late-20th Century minds, the idea of the
"Abominable Snowman" is akin to a mountain climbing Bigfoot or ape-man, not
fungoid beings with crab-like appendages. Still, it is obvious that the origin
of the name "Mi-Go" comes from the first word in the Tibetan name:
"metoh-kangmi" which has been incorrectly translated as "Abominable Snowman".
Most Tibetan linguists have suggested that "metoh" is more accurately
translated as "filthy", "disgusting", or "demon" (thus the image of filth is
somewhat more spiritual than physical) instead of "abominable".
Anyhow, I believe that "Mi-Go" comes from "metoh", pronounced Me-Tow.

Here is an interesting account from _The Story of Everest_ (Boston, 1927,
pp.110-12) by Captain John Noel....

"They lived high up on Everest, and at times came down a wrought havoc in
the villages... One must speak of them with great respect, otherwise they will
bring bad luck and perhaps even come down and raid and kill, because they are
known to kill men, carry off women, and to bite the necks of yaks and drink
their blood. The ordinary Tibetan peasant.... tells of their strange rovings
in the snow, of the long hair which falls over their eyes, so that if you are
chased by a Sukpa (another native word for the Yeti) you must run downhill;
then the long hair will get into his eyes and you can escape from him... The
King of the Sukpas is supposed to live on the very top of Everest, whence he
can look down upon the world below, and choose upon which herd of grazing yaks
he will decend. Yak-herds say that the Sukpa can jump by huge bounds at a
time; that he is much taller than the tallest man; and that he has a hard tail
upon which he can sit. The men he kills he will not eat. He just bites off
the tips of their fingers, toes and noses, and leaves them."

Is this where Lovecraft got his information? Maybe. There are certainly echos
here that would much later be part and parcel of the Mythic Outer Ones.

1. Living in the mountains away from the cities of humanity
2. abducting humans and carrying them away.
3. Long hair hiding their eyes = a head covered with "multitudes of very short
antenna"
4. jumping huge bounds = large membranous wings to fly through the ether

One might say that the taking of fingers and noses might be a good analogy to
the final events in TWID, but it is obvious that the legend has more to do with
the effects of frost bite than actual forced removal of human body parts.
Still, even with these (admittingly strained) comparisons, AFAIK there isn't
anything to indicate that Lovecraft knew of this book. Though its being
published in Boston in 1927 makes it possible, this was hardly the only source
for the Yeti stories floating around ever since the First Everest Expedition
found footprints in 1921.


One other Mythos story dealing with the Outer Ones that hasn't been mentioned
is Lin Carter's "The Dweller in the Tomb". Here the Outer Ones ambush an
expedition and literally rip a few of the native guides apart. This is also
the first story where a character actually EATS an Outer One. I wonder if it
tasted like chicken.


---- Steven Marc Harris

Information about the IRC chat:

o The day: Wednesday
o The time: 2100 EST (2000 CST, 1900 MST, and 1800 PST)
o The network: DALnet
o The preferred server: hebron.in.us.dal.net
o The channel: #cthulhu
o The topic: "The Whisperer in Darkness"


"Whoever heard of an animal part lizard, part crustacean, bigger than a
grizzly, and - winged?" --- From the _Journal of the Copeland-Ellington
Expedition_ , edited by Henry S. Blaine, Ph.D.

KAYVEN

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Jul 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/6/98
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In article <35A05A...@columbia-center.org>, Dan Clore
<cl...@columbia-center.org> writes:

>Robert E. Howard has a story called "The Children of the Night", which
>tells us that "Von Junzt makes mention of a so-called Bran cult" etc etc
>etc.


The quote in question from "The Children of the Night"....


"And in his mutterings I first heard of the ancient cult hinted at by Von
Junzt; of the king who rules the Dark Empire, which was a revival of an older,
darker empire dating back into the Stone Age; and of the great, nameless cavern
where stands the Dark Man--- the image of Bran Mak Morn, carved in his likeness
by a master-hand while the great king yet lived, and which each worshipper of
Bran makes a pilgrimage once in his or her lifetime. Yes, that cult lives
today in the descendants of Bran's people -- a silent, unknown current it flows
on in the great ocean of life, wiating for the stone image of the great Bran to
breathe and move with sudden life, and come from the great cavern to rebuild
their lost empire." (p139. Pigeons From Hell, Zebra Books, 1976)

Bran's people are the Picts. Though these Picts are not identical to the
Celtic people later called the Picts by the Romans in 82 A.D. Howard's story
suggests that the Celtic invasion of the British Isles circa 3000 B.C.led to
the earlier Pictish people into intermarriage and/or self-imposed exile into
the wilds or under the ground.
Thus the Picts of the Romans are only slightly related to the Picts of the
Stone Age, though the connection is there.

On a side note, the afroementioned cavern, judging from the clues left in "The
Dark Man" (collected in the recently published Bran Mak Morn collection by Baen
Books), seems to be located on the island of Lismore amid the Scottish Inner
Isles. By either chance or the cunning of Howard, Lismore just happens to be
the location of St. Moluag's sixth-century's missionary base and eventual
burial plot. St. Moluag is the patron saint of the Picts, just as St. Andrew is
the patron of the Scottish people.


And as an added extra, right across the waters of Loch Linnhe from Lismore
Island is Castle Stalker, better known to fans of Monty Python as "Castle
Aaaaaaaaaaaa" in _Monty Python and the Holy Grail_.


---- Steven Marc Harris


P.S. Visitors to Lismore Island may want to check out Tirefour Castle there.
Its a circular stone fort over two thousand years old occuping a commanding
position and boasts walls over almost 10 ft thick in places. The speculation on
why they needed 10 feet of stone between them and the outside is enough to
inspire a few nightmares.


******************************


"When his race is lost to history's pages,
And his battlefields forgotten amid frost and fir.
Then shall there be a miracle of the ages,
As mighty Bran from his dark slumber stirs."
-----David Hasselhoff, Lyrics from the song "Bran Mak Morn, Wolf of the
Heather" from the album _Knight Rider and Knight-Mares_

StoOdin101

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Jul 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/6/98
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>This is also
>the first story where a character actually EATS an Outer One. I wonder if it
>tasted like chicken.

They're more like portabella mushrooms. Delicious when broiled.

Steven Howard

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Jul 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/6/98
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In <6nq47c$3...@nntp02.primenet.com>, on 07/06/98
at 02:09 AM, "Donovan K. Loucks" <webm...@hplovecraft.com> said:


>Speaking of monsters, this story also contains one of Lovecraft's rare
>laundry lists, which later became a staple of Derleth's tales -- his
>worst example is probably the entire text of _The Lurker at the
>Threshold_! Against my better judgment, I'll repeat Lovecraft's list
>here:

> I found myself faced by names and terms that I had heard elsewhere in
> the most hideous of connexions -- Yuggoth, Great Cthulhu, Tsathoggua,
> Yog-Sothoth, R'lyeh, Nyarlathotep, Azathoth, Hastur, Yian, Leng, the
> Lake of Hali, Bethmoora, the Yellow Sign, L'mur-Kathulos, Bran, and
>the
> Magnum Innominandum -- and was drawn back through nameless aeons and
> inconceivable dimensions to worlds of elder, outer entity at which the
> crazed author of the _Necronomicon_ had only guessed in the vaguest
> way. ("The Whisperer in Darkness", p. 223)

>Honestly, that wasn't all that bad, at least when compared to Derleth.

Lin Carter actually refers to this paragraph as an example of "the 'meat'
of the Cthulhu Mythos" in his afterword to this story in THE SPAWN OF
CTHULHU, which probably goes a long way toward explaining why Carter's
Mythos stories are so bad.

========
Steven Howard
bl...@ibm.net
http://www.geocities.com/~blore

"Do you have a goal that you focus all your energies on?"
"You mean other than getting myself dressed for work and
staying there until 5:00?"

Ctankep

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Jul 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/6/98
to
Frank,

Good luck, and may the appropriate deities be with you. I am sure there
are many of us who have dreamed of a decent Mythos movie. There have
been brief moments in many of them, even back to "The Dunwich Horror"
and "Die Monster Die", but nothing that could sustain the effects that
Lovecraft at his best could.

I think there are two main reasons for this:

1. Lovecraft's work depends as much on atmosphere as plot (even more so
for C. A. Smith, whose work, unlike Howard or Lovecraft, no one has ever
even tried to bring to film). Hollywood cinema is mostly driven by plot
and action. The emphasis on action is almost the antithesis of
Lovecraft.

2. Few movies have ever come close to depicting the sheer alien
grotesquerie of Lovecraft's vision. Perhaps Ridley Scott's Alien did,
which makes me think that a successful Lovecraft film will probably have
H.R. Giger in the art department. Since Hitchcock died, Hollywood has
been more explicit and left less to the imagination. Lovecraft was just
the opposite. I always felt that where he gave detailed descriptions of
his entities in some of the later tales such as "At the Mountains of
Madness," The Whisperer in darkness," and "The Shadoew Out of Time" that
he "broke the spell" somewhat (which is not to say that I did not enjoy
those stories).

I remain optimistic. If Hollywood could do justice to P.K. Dick, Jim
Thompson, and James Ellroy, Lovecraft has a chance.

Scott N.

D. E. Kesler

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Jul 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/7/98
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KAYVEN wrote:

>
> ---- Steven Marc Harris
>

Mr. Harris,

It seems entirely possible that Lovecraft was at least aware of this
book. His letters certainly indicate that he had a stong attraction to
the exploits of arctic exploration in particular and geography in
general.

In any event, I attempted to follow the trail of the Yeti. All I've
learned was where not to look.

Don't bother cosulting Lewis Spence's Encyclopedia of Occultism. The
entry for Tibet contains nothing relevent. Also, there is no entry for
Abominable Snowman or Yeti.

Oddly enough, there are no Tibet entries in Joshi's index of the
selected letters.

Also, none of the biographies I have mentions the Yeti. If they do, I
can't find it.

So, in the end, I was unable to uncover anything about where HPL learned
of the aforementioned myths.

You know, this whole issue of the Mi-go's ability to impersonate men
reminds me of the film, Mimic. It is not a great film, but it does
feature these man sized insects who possess a natural camouflage that
allows them to look like tall men.

The movie, Mimic, is in not a Mythos film. However, it has improved my
ability to envision the multi-legged Mi-go disguised as humans.

Regards,

Donald Eric Kesler

D. E. Kesler

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Jul 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/7/98
to
KAYVEN wrote:
>
> In article <35A05A...@columbia-center.org>, Dan Clore
> <cl...@columbia-center.org> writes:
>
> >Robert E. Howard has a story called "The Children of the Night", which
> >tells us that "Von Junzt makes mention of a so-called Bran cult" etc etc
> >etc.
>
> The quote in question from "The Children of the Night"....
>
> "And in his mutterings I first heard of the ancient cult hinted at by Von
> Junzt; of the king who rules the Dark Empire, which was a revival of an older,
> darker empire dating back into the Stone Age; and of the great, nameless cavern
> where stands the Dark Man--- the image of Bran Mak Morn, carved in his likeness
> by a master-hand while the great king yet lived, and which each worshipper of
> Bran makes a pilgrimage once in his or her lifetime. Yes, that cult lives
> today in the descendants of Bran's people -- a silent, unknown current it flows
> on in the great ocean of life, wiating for the stone image of the great Bran to
> breathe and move with sudden life, and come from the great cavern to rebuild
> their lost empire." (p139. Pigeons From Hell, Zebra Books, 1976)
>
> ---- Steven Marc Harris
>
Thanks for the info. The mention of Bran in TWID makes sense now. Does
anyone know if this tale is available in a more recent publication?

Regards,

Donald Eric Kesler

D. E. Kesler

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Jul 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/7/98
to
Steven Howard wrote:
I'll repeat Lovecraft's list
> >here:
>
> > I found myself faced by names and terms that I had heard elsewhere in
> > the most hideous of connexions -- Yuggoth, Great Cthulhu, Tsathoggua,
> > Yog-Sothoth, R'lyeh, Nyarlathotep, Azathoth, Hastur, Yian, Leng, the
> > Lake of Hali, Bethmoora, the Yellow Sign, L'mur-Kathulos, Bran, and
> >the
> > Magnum Innominandum -- and was drawn back through nameless aeons and
> > inconceivable dimensions to worlds of elder, outer entity at which the
> > crazed author of the _Necronomicon_ had only guessed in the vaguest
> > way. ("The Whisperer in Darkness", p. 223)
>
> >Honestly, that wasn't all that bad, at least when compared to Derleth.
>
> Lin Carter actually refers to this paragraph as an example of "the 'meat'
> of the Cthulhu Mythos" in his afterword to this story in THE SPAWN OF
> CTHULHU, which probably goes a long way toward explaining why Carter's
> Mythos stories are so bad.
>
> ========
> Steven Howard

Hello Steve,

I know what you mean. When I got Bloch's "Mysteries of the Worm" I sat
down and read one story after another. I didn't start reading another
book until I had finished the entire collection. That's how I usually
go through anthologies.

This was not the case with "The Xothic Legend Cycle". I simply had to
read something else in between tales. Memory tells me that it took
about a month to work my way through the whole collection. Oh sure,
there were some bright points here and there, but overall I was very
disappointed.

In a conversation I had with Bob Price about the stories, I learned that
Lin Carter would first come up with a Mythos element he felt was
missing. He would then create a story around this newly created god,
tome or locale. Seems a wee bit back-assward to me. IMHO, of course.

Regards,
Donald Eric Kesler

Frank Frey (SOK)

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Jul 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/7/98
to
Greetings,

If anybody out there would like to talk about the idea of a Mythos themed
movie, I'm working on several treatments now. IMO, there has yet to be a
decent mythos movie. The big question is; is Hollywood capable of making
such a thing?

I await your comments.

Frank Frey

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"The only difference between myself and a madman is that I am not mad!"
Salvador Dali
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Donovan K. Loucks

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Jul 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/7/98
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Steven Marc Harris <kay...@aol.com> wrote,

Still, it is obvious that the origin of the name "Mi-Go" comes from the


first word in the Tibetan name: "metoh-kangmi" which has been
incorrectly translated as "Abominable Snowman". Most Tibetan linguists
have suggested that "metoh" is more accurately translated as "filthy",
"disgusting", or "demon" (thus the image of filth is somewhat more
spiritual than physical) instead of "abominable". Anyhow, I believe
that "Mi-Go" comes from "metoh", pronounced Me-Tow.

For quite some time I've wondered if the word "Mi-go" can be found prior
to Lovecraft's use of it. In a letter to Fritz Leiber dated 18 November
1936 Lovecraft indicates that the word wasn't his invention:

By the way, though strange as it may seem, I did _not_ invent the Mi-go
or Abominable Snow Men. This is genuine Nepalese folklore surrounding
the Himalayas, & I picked it up in most unscholarly fashion from the
newspaper & magazine articles exploiting one or another of the attempts
on Mt. Everest.

So, if "Mi-go" was based on "metoh", it apparently wasn't Lovecraft's
doing. I wonder if this term could be found in old articles in the
_Providence Sunday Journal_...

gable

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Jul 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/7/98
to

>> For quite some time I've wondered if the word "Mi-go" can be found prior
>> to Lovecraft's use of it. In a letter to Fritz Leiber dated 18 November
>> 1936 Lovecraft indicates that the word wasn't his invention:
>>
>> By the way, though strange as it may seem, I did _not_ invent the
Mi-go
>> or Abominable Snow Men. This is genuine Nepalese folklore surrounding
>> the Himalayas, & I picked it up in most unscholarly fashion from the
>> newspaper & magazine articles exploiting one or another of the
attempts
>> on Mt. Everest.

>>
>> So, if "Mi-go" was based on "metoh", it apparently wasn't Lovecraft's
>> doing. I wonder if this term could be found in old articles in the
>> _Providence Sunday Journal_...

"Abominable Snowmen Legend Come To Life" (or something similar), by Ivan T.
Sanderson, has a glossary of names for the yeti. It lists "mi-go," and its
linguistic derivation. IMHO, it *was* something similar to metoh.

Andrew D. Gable

jpe...@cnw.com

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Jul 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/8/98
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In article <35A1E2...@fantasm.org>,

"D. E. Kesler" <er...@fantasm.org> wrote:

"Pigeons from Hell" was reprinted by ACE in 1979 and can be found for
anywhere from $2.00 to $10.00 on MX Bookfinder. It contains some of Howard's
best weird fiction and is well worth picking up.

JP
>
> Regards,
>
> Donald Eric Kesler

D. E. Kesler

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Jul 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/8/98
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jpe...@cnw.com wrote:

> > Thanks for the info. The mention of Bran in TWID makes sense now. Does
> > anyone know if this tale is available in a more recent publication?
>
> "Pigeons from Hell" was reprinted by ACE in 1979 and can be found for
> anywhere from $2.00 to $10.00 on MX Bookfinder. It contains some of Howard's
> best weird fiction and is well worth picking up.
>
> JP
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Donald Eric Kesler
> >
>
> -----== Posted via Deja News, The Leader in Internet Discussion ==-----
> http://www.dejanews.com/rg_mkgrp.xp Create Your Own Free Member Forum

Thank you good sir.

Regards,

Donald Eric Kesler

GigiloAunt

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Jul 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/8/98
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>The big question is; is Hollywood capable of making such a thing? <

No.


Rich
"Man, when thou seest the comet, know that another seeketh besides thee nor
ever findeth out."---Dunsany---

GigiloAunt

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Jul 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/8/98
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>I always felt that where he gave detailed descriptions of
his entities in some of the later tales such as "At the Mountains of
Madness," The Whisperer in darkness," and "The Shadoew Out of Time" that
he "broke the spell" somewhat (which is not to say that I did not enjoy
those stories).<

That always added to the work in my opinion, when done right. At the Mountains
of Madness was basically a factual account of the old ones, their history and
such. Lovecraft finally put it into perspective, with no tomes or
incantations. The old ones are simply another race, to whom we matter not at
all, and they are more powerful than we are. Evil powers are diffuse, and
while they can be feared, they can't be grasped really. Something you can
understand on some level, and that you can even relate to in some ways, but is
beyond your control, is something else entirely.

D. E. Kesler

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Jul 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/8/98
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Donovan K. Loucks wrote:
>
> For quite some time I've wondered if the word "Mi-go" can be found prior
> to Lovecraft's use of it. In a letter to Fritz Leiber dated 18 November
> 1936 Lovecraft indicates that the word wasn't his invention:
>
> By the way, though strange as it may seem, I did _not_ invent the Mi-go
> or Abominable Snow Men. This is genuine Nepalese folklore surrounding
> the Himalayas, & I picked it up in most unscholarly fashion from the
> newspaper & magazine articles exploiting one or another of the attempts
> on Mt. Everest.
>
> So, if "Mi-go" was based on "metoh", it apparently wasn't Lovecraft's
> doing. I wonder if this term could be found in old articles in the
> _Providence Sunday Journal_...

Donovan,

Could it not have come in one of those bundles of cuttings Miss
Elizabeth Toldridge sent to HPL? Perhaps, the article you seek could be
found in the archives of some Washington Peiodical.

Regards,

Donald Eric Kesler

D. E. Kesler

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Jul 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/8/98
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Ctankep wrote:

I always felt that where he gave detailed descriptions of
> his entities in some of the later tales such as "At the Mountains of
> Madness," The Whisperer in darkness," and "The Shadoew Out of Time" that
> he "broke the spell" somewhat (which is not to say that I did not enjoy
> those stories).
>

> Scott N.

Mr. Scott N.

I'm afraid I must disagree. I suspect that Lovecraft was not actually
breaking the spell; rather, he was weaving an entirely different
enchantment.

Notice that in two of the stories you've cited Lovecraft presents one
monster that he can describe then, at the climax, he gives you a second
horror that is a maddening string of adjectives.

In doing this, I think lovecraft was trying to set the reader up for a
fall. Consider the following. Lovecraft describes a horrid monster.
The unsuspecting reader after plowing through the minutely detailed
description says to himself, "I can handle this."

Lovecraft then hits the reader across the forehead with some formless
abomination. "What the Hell was that!" exclaims the reader.

At least, that is what I suspect Lovecraft was trying to accomplish.

The only one of the works cited that does not fit this pattern is "The
Whisperer in Darkness". However, if you review the thread on this NG, I
think you will see that there is a definate degree of ambiguity in the
ending. Events, rather than monsters, appear somewhat distorted and
awry. I like to think that this was intentional.

Regards and Best Wishes,
Donald Eric Kesler

StoOdin101

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Jul 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/8/98
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>1. Lovecraft's work depends as much on atmosphere as plot (even more so
>for C. A. Smith, whose work, unlike Howard or Lovecraft, no one has ever
>even tried to bring to film). Hollywood cinema is mostly driven by plot
>and action. The emphasis on action is almost the antithesis of
>Lovecraft.

This is why I say, and will always say until the day of the Great Rising, that
the most Lovecraftian films are certain episodes of the original Outer Limits
series, in particular DONT OPEN TILL DOOMSDAY, THE GUESTS, IT CRAWLED OUT OF
THE WOODWORK and THE FORMS OF THINGS UNKNOWN. Atmosphere is EVERYTHING in
those eps. The sfx are very cheesy by today's standards, but that doesn't
matter.

>2. Few movies have ever come close to depicting the sheer alien
>grotesquerie of Lovecraft's vision. Perhaps Ridley Scott's Alien did,
>which makes me think that a successful Lovecraft film will probably have
>H.R. Giger in the art department.

Anything but that! Giger is a one-trick pony. He could do fine by the Mi-Go,
er, Outer Ones and the Antarctic Old Ones, but I can't see his designs being
applicable to Cthulhu, to the Great Race, to Pickman's models or the deformed
horrors of THE COLOUR OUT OF SPACE.
(TCOOS is the story I long to see brought to life. It's been tried twice and no
one has gotten it right yet. Of course it must be filmed in BLACK AND WHITE,
since the Colour is indescribable. However, the adaptations so far have simply
eliminated the Colour and substituted "some weird radiation " or " strange
elements " from the meteorite. That ruins the terror of the thing! )

I think it would require several different artists to do the different races
and beings of an epic Lovecraftian film, Giger certainly among them. In a
story with only one Lovecraftian monster, such as "Call of Cthulhu" or "The
Dunwich Horror", a single artist might suffice.

D. E. Kesler

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Jul 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/8/98
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StoOdin101 wrote:

snip

> >H.R. Giger in the art department.
>
> Anything but that! Giger is a one-trick pony. He could do fine by the Mi-Go,
> er, Outer Ones and the Antarctic Old Ones, but I can't see his designs being
> applicable to Cthulhu, to the Great Race, to Pickman's models or the deformed
> horrors of THE COLOUR OUT OF SPACE.

I'm afraid I must disagree. I believe that Giger is far more versitile
than you give him credit for. Compare his work on Alien with his less
publicized efforts on the second Poltergeist film.

> (TCOOS is the story I long to see brought to life. It's been tried twice and no
> one has gotten it right yet. Of course it must be filmed in BLACK AND WHITE,
> since the Colour is indescribable.

Unfortunately, no major studio would be willing to produce a Black and
White film. Unless, of course, the director has a very good track
record.

StoOdin101

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Jul 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/8/98
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>I'm afraid I must disagree. I believe that Giger is far more versitile
>than you give him credit for. Compare his work on Alien with his less
>publicized efforts on the second Poltergeist film.

His Poltergeist work was almost invisible, what's to compare? But I'm looking
at the Species monster, which looks like the Alien with some anatomical
features of a female human added... I'm looking at my copy of GIGER'S
NECRONOMICON, which is really neat but doesn't show much variation on the Giger
theme....and anyway, I don't WANT to see a biomechanical Cthulhu or nightgaunt!
Only the Mi-Go and those revenants under the Indian mound qualify for Gigerian
development. And maybe Wilbur Whateley and his bro.

>Unfortunately, no major studio would be willing to produce a Black and
>White film. Unless, of course, the director has a very good track
>record.
>

Thus the only way to get a real COLOUR OUT OF SPACE on film is to do it as a
low-budget project....or do it in colour and lose the very effect that gives
the story so much of its strangeness. Or convince James Cameron to do it, get
the studio money committed, and then knock him out and take over the picture
so that it will get done right.

D. E. Kesler

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Jul 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/8/98
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StoOdin101 wrote:
>
> >I'm afraid I must disagree. I believe that Giger is far more versitile
> >than you give him credit for. Compare his work on Alien with his less
> >publicized efforts on the second Poltergeist film.
>
> His Poltergeist work was almost invisible, what's to compare? But I'm looking
> at the Species monster, which looks like the Alien with some anatomical
> features of a female human added... I'm looking at my copy of GIGER'S
> NECRONOMICON, which is really neat but doesn't show much variation on the Giger
> theme....and anyway, I don't WANT to see a biomechanical Cthulhu or nightgaunt!
> Only the Mi-Go and those revenants under the Indian mound qualify for Gigerian
> development. And maybe Wilbur Whateley and his bro.

Although I do not agree with your staements regarding Poltergeist II, I
must agree with you regarding Species. It was almost as if he was
creating a parody of his earier efforts. I wonder if he was asked to
make the monster appear alienesque?

Also, I for one, would love to see a biomechanical Cthulhu or
nightguant. I'm not saying this is how big C. should appear in a film.
I'm just saying that I would enjoy viewing Giger's interpretation of the
subjects.

Actually, if a cinematic version of "The Call of Cthulhu" was ever
produced I think the director would be wise if he or she avoided
completely showing C. Consider the first Alien film, Ridley Scott
showed tremendous restraint and offered us only tantalizing and horrific
glimpses of the entity. The same cannot be said of "To Cast a Deadly
Spell." Not only did we see the monster, but the camera lingered for
far too long.

I think there is a technique that could be used to obfuscate big C's
true form. IMHO the full potential of the morphing special effect has
yet to be realized. So far, the transformations have all been rather
obvious and dramatic. Don't get me wrong. This is a fine application
of the effect. However, I don't believe that anyone has tried to use
the morphing effect in an extremely subtle manner. I'm thinking about
transformations so gradual that you have to really pay close attention
to even notice the effect.

Of course, I would imagine that very few producers want subtle. After
all, if they are paying for special effects they probably want to be
able to clearly see where their money went.



> >Unfortunately, no major studio would be willing to produce a Black and
> >White film. Unless, of course, the director has a very good track
> >record.
> >
>
> Thus the only way to get a real COLOUR OUT OF SPACE on film is to do it as a
> low-budget project....or do it in colour and lose the very effect that gives
> the story so much of its strangeness. Or convince James Cameron to do it, get
> the studio money committed, and then knock him out and take over the picture
> so that it will get done right.


I don't know if I agree with you regarding the need for Black and White.
I think that a competent director who truly cared about the project
could make the story work in color. However, I personally would prefer
black and white simply because I like the inherent aesthetics of
monochromatic images. This is just one of the many elements that really
draws me toward Giger's work.

Regarding your proposed assault upon Mr. Cameron, let us first exhaust
all of our other options first. [:

Regards,

Donald Eric Kesler

Dan Miller

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Jul 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/8/98
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The best HPL adaptation I've seen (and it gets relatively little mention)
is "The Resurrected"

It's "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" only modernized....very faithful
to the original....I highly recommend it as a rental!
The only star (if you can call him one) is Chris Sarandon who
plays Charles/Curwen.

Dan

Frank Frey (SOK) wrote in message ...


>Greetings,
>
>If anybody out there would like to talk about the idea of a Mythos themed
>movie, I'm working on several treatments now. IMO, there has yet to be a

>decent mythos movie. The big question is; is Hollywood capable of making
>such a thing?
>

ChickLewis

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Jul 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/9/98
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I rented and watched The Resurrected last weekend, and concur. It is quite
good, and surprisingly faithful to HPL's version. Chick says "Rent It".


"Men choose as their prophets those who tell them that their hopes are true."
- Lord Dunsany
Chick...@aol.com
3930 Cody Road
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 USA
day 818-718-1221
eve 818-784-8476

StoOdin101

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Jul 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/9/98
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>The best HPL adaptation I've seen (and it gets relatively little mention)
>is "The Resurrected"
>
>It's "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" only modernized....very faithful
>to the original....I highly recommend it as a rental!
>The only star (if you can call him one) is Chris Sarandon who
>plays Charles/Curwen.

Didn't like the REVISED ENDING! Other than that, not bad, though sadly lacking
in ATMOSPHERE. Sarandon made a good Ward/Curwen, but he just wasn't USED
enough.
Jibble gives it 3 stars out of 5. Still probably the best "Big HPL Film" we
have, so far....