Howard Phillips Lovecraft - The Crawling Chaos (90.0 Kb)
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The Crawling Chaos is a short story by H. P. Lovecraft and Winifred V. Jackson (aka Elizabeth Berkeley), first published April 1921 in the United Cooperative.The story begins with the narrator describing the effects of opium and the fantastical vistas it can inspire. The narrator then tells of his sole experience with opium in which he was administered an overdose during the "year of the plague".After a disembodied sensation of falling, the narrator finds himself within a strange beautiful room containing exotic furniture, w... More >>>
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The Crawling Chaos is a short story by H. P. Lovecraft and Winifred V. Jackson (aka Elizabeth Berkeley), first published April 1921 in the United Cooperative.
The story begins with the narrator describing the effects of opium and the fantastical vistas it can inspire. The narrator then tells of his sole experience with opium in which he was administered an overdose during the "year of the plague".
After a disembodied sensation of falling, the narrator finds himself within a strange beautiful room containing exotic furniture, where a sound of pounding from outside inspires an inexplicable sense of dread within the narrator. Determined to identify the origin of this sound, the narrator moves towards a window and observes a terrifying scene of fifty-foot waves and seething vortex thirty feet below where he is standing, consuming the shoreline at an incredible rate.
Sensing imminent danger, the narrator quickly exits the building. Fleeing the waves, the narrator travels inland. The narrator eventually arrives in a valley with tropical grass extending above his head and a great palm tree in the center. Driven by curiosity despite considerable fear, the narrator crawls on his hands and knees toward the great palm.
Soon after arriving at the tree, the narrator observes a child fall from its branches. The child then smiles and extends its hand towards the narrator but before he can respond, he hears the sound of ethereal singing within the upper air followed by the child saying in an otherworldly voice:
It is the end. They have come down through the gloaming from the stars. Now all is over, and beyond the Arinurian streams we shall dwell blissfully in Teloe.
As the child speaks, the narrator observes two youths, whom the narrator recognizes as the singers he had just heard, emerging from the leaves of the tree. They take the narrator by the hand and describe the worlds of "Teloe" and "Cytharion of the Seven Suns" which lie beyond the Milky Way.
As they speak, the narrator observes that he is floating in the upper atmosphere, with the palm tree far below, and now accompanied by an ever increasing number of singing, vine-crowned youths. As they ascend, the child tells the narrator that he must always look upward and never down at the earth below.
However, as they rise further listening to the youths singing, the narrator is disturbed by the return of the sound of the waves, and, forgetting what the child said, looks downward and observes a sight of global destruction, with cities being consumed by the great waves until there is nothing left. This is followed by the waters draining into the Earth's core via an opening gulf, which causes the earth to explode.
Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 - March 15, 1937) was an American author of horror, fantasy, and science fiction, known then simply as weird fiction.
HP Lovecraft was one of the early exponents of horror fantasy, best known for the series of works known collectively as the Cthulhu Mythos. He peppered his books with references to an occult work called The Necronomicon, and, as his fame grew, he was besieged by readers asking where they could find a copy of it. But the truth was that Lovecraft had invented the book and its title. He wrote in a letter of 1937: 'The name Necronomicon (necros, corpse; nomos, law; eikon, image = An Image of the Law of the Dead) occurred to me in the course of a dream, although the etymology is perfectly sound.' So the title came before everything else, and substituted, perfectly reasonably, for the work itself.
This is a game that many writers have played, and the history of literature is full of references to books that don't, in fact, exist. Margaret Atwood, AS Byatt, Dorothy L Sayers, Frank Herbert, Martin Amis, Arthur Conan Doyle and many, many others have all joined in. Some of my favourite fictional titles are from Kurt Vonnegut, who, as Kilgore Trout, writes non-existent works such as The Barring-Gaffner of Bagnialto, or This Year's Masterpiece, which are usually accompanied by helpful plot summaries. Perhaps the most notorious fictional-book-inventors have been writers such as Umberto Eco and Jorge Luis Borges; naturally enough, since their writing often draws attention to literature as itself an artefact.
With the Necronomicon there was a difference, however. Other writers began to treat it as if it really did exist, quoting from the nonexistent work and even composing large sections of it; several Necronomicons were in fact later published, by hoaxers including L. Sprague De Camp and Colin Wilson.
Lovecraft's major inspiration and invention was cosmic horror, the idea that life is incomprehensible to human minds and that the universe is fundamentally alien. Those who genuinely reason, like his protagonists, gamble with sanity. Lovecraft has developed a cult following for his Cthulhu Mythos, a series of loosely interconnected fiction featuring a pantheon of human-nullifying entities, as well as the Necronomicon, a fictional grimoire of magical rites and forbidden lore. His works were deeply pessimistic and cynical, challenging the values of the Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Christian humanism. Lovecraft's protagonists usually achieve the mirror-opposite of traditional gnosis and mysticism by momentarily glimpsing the horror of ultimate reality.
Although Lovecraft's readership was limited during his life, his reputation has grown over the decades, and he is now commonly regarded as one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century, who together with Edgar Allan Poe has exerted "an incalculable influence on succeeding generations of writers of horror fiction". Stephen King has called Lovecraft "the twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.