Wisconsin is a U. S. state located in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin is the 20th most populous; the state capital is Madison, its largest city is Milwaukee, located on the western shore of Lake Michigan. The state is divided into 72 counties. Wisconsin's geography is diverse, having been impacted by glaciers during the Ice Age with the exception of the Driftless Area; the Northern Highland and Western Upland along with a part of the Central Plain occupies the western part of the state, with lowlands stretching to the shore of Lake Michigan. Wisconsin is second to Michigan in the length of its Great Lakes coastline. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, a large number of European settlers entered the state, many of whom emigrated from Germany and Scandinavia. Like neighboring Minnesota, the state remains a center of German American and Scandinavian American culture.
Wisconsin is known as "America's Dairyland" because it is one of the nation's leading dairy producers famous for its cheese. Manufacturing, information technology, cranberries and tourism are major contributors to the state's economy; the word Wisconsin originates from the name given to the Wisconsin River by one of the Algonquian-speaking Native American groups living in the region at the time of European contact. French explorer Jacques Marquette was the first European to reach the Wisconsin River, arriving in 1673 and calling the river Meskousing in his journal. Subsequent French writers changed the spelling from Meskousing to Ouisconsin, over time this became the name for both the Wisconsin River and the surrounding lands. English speakers anglicized the spelling from Ouisconsin to Wisconsin when they began to arrive in large numbers during the early 19th century; the legislature of Wisconsin Territory made the current spelling official in 1845. The Algonquin word for Wisconsin and its original meaning have both grown obscure.
Interpretations vary. One leading theory holds that the name originated from the Miami word Meskonsing, meaning "it lies red", a reference to the setting of the Wisconsin River as it flows through the reddish sandstone of the Wisconsin Dells. Other theories include claims that the name originated from one of a variety of Ojibwa words meaning "red stone place", "where the waters gather", or "great rock". Wisconsin has been home to a wide variety of cultures over the past 14,000 years; the first people arrived around 10,000 BCE during the Wisconsin Glaciation. These early inhabitants, called Paleo-Indians, hunted now-extinct ice age animals such as the Boaz mastodon, a prehistoric mastodon skeleton unearthed along with spear points in southwest Wisconsin. After the ice age ended around 8000 BCE, people in the subsequent Archaic period lived by hunting and gathering food from wild plants. Agricultural societies emerged over the Woodland period between 1000 BCE to 1000 CE. Toward the end of this period, Wisconsin was the heartland of the "Effigy Mound culture", which built thousands of animal-shaped mounds across the landscape.
Between 1000 and 1500 CE, the Mississippian and Oneota cultures built substantial settlements including the fortified village at Aztalan in southeast Wisconsin. The Oneota may be the ancestors of the modern Ioway and Ho-Chunk tribes who shared the Wisconsin region with the Menominee at the time of European contact. Other Native American groups living in Wisconsin when Europeans first settled included the Ojibwa, Fox and Pottawatomie, who migrated to Wisconsin from the east between 1500 and 1700; the first European to visit what became Wisconsin was the French explorer Jean Nicolet. He canoed west from Georgian Bay through the Great Lakes in 1634, it is traditionally assumed that he came ashore near Green Bay at Red Banks. Pierre Radisson and Médard des Groseilliers visited Green Bay again in 1654–1666 and Chequamegon Bay in 1659–1660, where they traded for fur with local Native Americans. In 1673, Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet became the first to record a journey on the Fox-Wisconsin Waterway all the way to the Mississippi River near Prairie du Chien.
Frenchmen like Nicholas Perrot continued to ply the fur trade across Wisconsin through the 17th and 18th centuries, but the French made no permanent settlements in Wisconsin before Great Britain won control of the region following the French and Indian War in 1763. So, French traders continued to work in the region after the war, some, beginning with Charles de Langlade in 1764, settled in Wisconsin permanently, rather than returning to British-controlled Canada; the British took over Wisconsin during the French and Indian War, taking control of Green Bay in 1761 and gaining control of all of Wisconsin in 1763. Like the French, the British were interested in little but the fur trade. One notable event in the fur trading industry in Wisconsin occurred in 1791, when two free African Americans set up a fur trading post among the Menominee at present day Marinette; the first permanent settlers French Canadians, some Anglo-New Englanders and a few African American freedmen, arrived in Wisconsin while it was under British control.
Charles Michel de Langlade is recognized as the first settler, establishing a trading post at Green Bay in 1745, moving there permanently in 1764. Settlement began at Prairie du Chien around 1781; the French residents at the trading post in what is now Green Bay, referred to the t
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward is a short horror novel by American writer H. P. Lovecraft, written in early 1927, but not published during the author's lifetime. Set in Lovecraft's hometown of Providence, Rhode Island, it was first published in the May and July issues of Weird Tales in 1941, it is included in the Library of America volume of Lovecraft's work. The novel, set in 1928, describes how Charles Dexter Ward becomes obsessed with his distant ancestor, Joseph Curwen, an alleged wizard with unsavory habits. Ward physically resembles Curwen, attempts to duplicate his ancestor's Qabalistic and alchemical feats, he uses this knowledge to physically resurrect Curwen. Ward's doctor, Marinus Bicknell Willett, investigates Ward's activities and is horrified by what he finds. Charles Dexter Ward is a young man from a prominent Rhode Island family who has disappeared from a mental asylum, he had been incarcerated during a prolonged period of insanity, during which he exhibited minor and inexplicable physiological changes.
His empty cell is found to be dusty. The bulk of the story concerns the investigation conducted by the Wards' family doctor, Marinus Bicknell Willett, in an attempt to discover the reason for Ward's madness and physiological changes. Willett learns that Ward had spent the past several years attempting to discover the grave of his ill-reputed ancestor, Joseph Curwen; the doctor begins to reveal the truth behind the legends surrounding Curwen, an eighteenth-century shipping entrepreneur and alleged alchemist, in reality a necromancer and mass murderer. A raid on Curwen's farm was remarkable for the shouted incantations, lights and some not-quite-human figures shot down by the raiders; the raiders swore any witnesses to strict secrecy about what they heard. As Willett's investigations proceed, he finds that Charles had recovered Curwen's ashes, through the use of magical formulae contained in documents found hidden in Curwen's home in Providence, was able to call forth Curwen from his "essential saltes" and resurrect him.
Willett finds that Curwen, who resembles Charles enough to pass for him and replaced his modern descendant and resumed his evil activities. Although Curwen convinces onlookers that he is Charles, his anachronistic mindset and behaviour lead authorities to certify him insane and imprison him in an asylum. While Curwen is locked up, Willett's investigation leads him to a bungalow in Pawtuxet Village, which Ward had purchased while under the influence of Curwen; the house is on the site of the old farm, Curwen's headquarters for his nefarious doings. During a horrific journey through this labyrinth, in which Willett sees a deformed monster in a pit, he discovers the truth about Curwen's crimes and the means of returning him to the grave, it is revealed that Curwen has been engaged in a long-term conspiracy with certain other necromancers, associates from his previous life who have somehow escaped death, to resurrect and torture the world's wisest people to gain knowledge that will make them powerful and threaten the future of mankind.
While in Curwen's laboratory, Willett accidentally summons an ancient entity, an enemy of Curwen and his fellow necromancers. The doctor faints, awakening much in the bungalow; the entrance to the vaults has been sealed as if it had never existed, but Willett finds a note from the being written in Latin instructing him to kill Curwen and destroy his body. Willett confronts Curwen at the asylum and succeeds in reversing the resurrection spell, returning the sorcerer to dust. News reports reveal that Curwen's prime co-conspirators and their households have met brutal deaths, their lairs have been destroyed. Charles Dexter Ward Ward is born in 1902. Though considered one of Lovecraft's autobiographical characters, some details of the character seem to be based on William Lippitt Mauran, who lived in the Halsey house and, like Ward, was "wheeled...in a carriage" in front of it. Like the Wards, the Maurans owned a farmhouse in Pawtuxet, Rhode Island. Joseph Curwen Ward's ancestor and dead ringer, a successful merchant, shipping magnate, slave trader, accomplished sorcerer, born in what is now Danvers, seven miles from Salem, on February 18, 1662.
He flees to Providence from the Salem witch trials in 1692. He dies, at least temporarily, in 1771 in the course of a raid on his lair by a group of important Providence citizens who have got wind of only a few of his crimes, he is killed again for good, by Dr Willett using Curwen's own sorcery. Curwen perfects a method of reducing the effects of aging to an uncanny degree, he has the ability to resurrect the dead and converse with them from either the complete corpse or its "essential saltes". This ability is used to obtain privileged intelligence from long-defunct wise men. To this end his agents scour the graveyards and tombs of the world for the corpses of illustrious persons which are smuggled back to Providence, where Curwen temporarily raises them to torture their secrets out of them. In this endeavour he is assisted by Salem exiles, he is able to summon entities such as Yog-Sothoth to assist him in his magic. The ultimate goal of these men's activities, i.e. the nature or the use fo
The Cats of Ulthar
"The Cats of Ulthar" is a short story written by American fantasy author H. P. Lovecraft in June 1920. In the tale, an unnamed narrator relates the story of how a law forbidding the killing of cats came to be in a town called Ulthar; as the narrative goes, the city is home to an old couple who enjoy capturing and killing the townspeople's cats. When a caravan of wanderers passes through the city, the kitten of an orphan traveling with the band disappears. Upon hearing of the couple's violent acts towards cats, Menes invokes a prayer before leaving town that causes the local felines to swarm the cat-killers' house and devour them. Upon witnessing the result, the local politicians pass a law forbidding the killing of cats. Influenced by Lord Dunsany, the tale was a personal favorite of Lovecraft's and has remained popular since his death. Considered one of the best short stories of Lovecraft's early period, aspects of The Cats of Ulthar would be referenced again in the author's works The Other Gods and The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath.
It was first published in the literary journal Tryout in November 1920 and now resides in the public domain. An unnamed narrator, while gazing upon his pet cat, begins to reminisce about a law in the town of Ulthar which forbids the killing of cats and relates the story of how this law came to be; the tale begins with the introduction of an old cotter and his wife who delight in trapping and violently killing any cats who venture onto their property. The people of the town are too afraid of the couple to speak against these acts, so they instead focus their efforts on keeping their felines from approaching the cotter's house. One night a caravan of travelers from a distant land passes through the village, they bring with them an orphan named Menes who, having lost his family to a plague, has only a small, black kitten to keep him company. After being unable to find his kitten on the third day of his stay, Menes hears the stories of the old cotter and his wife, decides to take action. Menes spends time meditating prior to unleashing a prayer that affects the shapes and movements of the clouds in the sky.
The caravan leaves Ulthar that night, shortly before the townspeople notice that all of their cats have gone missing. The townspeople suspect both the old couple and the wanderers, but the innkeeper's son Atal witnesses the felines circling the property of the cotter; the next morning, the cats have returned to their owners well-fed, but the cotter and his wife have vanished. When the townspeople explore their abandoned house, they discovered nothing more than two skeletons that have been picked clean; the local burgesses, after reviewing the evidence and stories of the townspeople, decide to pass a law that forbids the killing of cats in Ulthar. Lovecraft outlined the plot to his friend Rheinhart Kleiner in May 1920 and wrote The Cats of Ulthar on June 15, 1920, five months after completing his previous tale, The Terrible Old Man. Conceived during the author's early period, Lovecraft was influenced by the writing of Anglo-Irish writer Lord Dunsany and attempted to mimic his style. Among the literary aspects that Lovecraft borrows are the "vengeance motif" and the "ponderous tone" of Dunsany.
Dunsany's influence is evident on the surface of the text as well: wanderers, similar to the ones portrayed in The Cats of Ulthar, appear in Dunsany's earlier tale Idle Days on the Yann. Lovecraft's character of Menes shares his name with Menes, the semi-mythical founder of the ancient city of Memphis, Egypt; the ancient Egyptians were admirers of cats who made it a crime to export felines. Prior to The Cats of Ulthar, Lovecraft had penned several tales in the style of Lord Dunsany, including The White Ship, The Street, The Doom that Came to Sarnath, The Terrible Old Man, The Tree, his next Dunsanian tale, Celephaïs, was considered by Lovecraft scholar S. T. Joshi to be "one of his best and most significant"; the Cats of Ulthar was first published in the literary journal Tryout in November 1920, appeared in Weird Tales in February 1926 and 1933, as well as being reprinted in a forty two-copy run in December 1935. The Cats of Ulthar was a personal favorite of Lovecraft's, an ardent cat lover.
A number of contemporary critics, as well as Lovecraft himself, consider the story to be the best of all his Dunsanian tales. Other critics have noted that the story is one of Lovecraft's most famous tales that fits both the Dunsanian and the "weird fantasy" style. Literary critic Darrell Schweitzer, comments that The Cats of Ulthar resembles Dunsany in "mood and execution" only and that " has no obvious parallels in any Dunsany story". Schweitzer refers to the prose as "restrained", notes that, unlike Lovecraft, Dunsany preferred dogs and would have been unlikely to have written such an enthusiastic tribute. Lovecraft scholar S. T. Joshi disagrees, claiming that "his tale owes more to Dunsany than many of his other'Dunsanian' fantasies"; the character of Atal, the innkeeper's son who witnesses the cats of Ulthar circling the antagonists' cottage, would appear in Lovecraft's The Other Gods. In this short story, written in August 1921 and first published in November 1933, now an adult, becomes an apprentice to Barzai the Wise and travels with him to seek out the tale's eponymous deities.
Barzai mentions the law against killing cats in Ulthar, further cementing the connection. Atal appears as a priest in the long The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath — written in 1927 but not published until 1943 — when protagonist Randolph Carter visits the city 300 years after the events in The Cats of Ulthar, when the town is still populated by felines. Carter is able to summon the cats of Ulthar to his aid. Cats would be used in what scholar Katharine M. Rogers calls "a more original w
The Tomb (short story)
"The Tomb" is a fictional short story by American writer H. P. Lovecraft, written in June 1917 and first published in the March 1922 issue of The Vagrant, it tells the story of Jervas Dudley. "The Tomb" tells of a confessed daydreamer. While still a child, he discovers the padlocked entrance to a mausoleum belonging to the Hyde family, whose nearby mansion had burnt down many years previously. Jervas is unable. Dispirited, he takes to sleeping beside the tomb. Inspired by reading Plutarch's Lives, Dudley decides to patiently wait until it is his time to gain entrance to the tomb. One night, several years Jervas falls asleep once more beside the mausoleum, he awakes in the late afternoon, fancies that as he awoke, a light had been hurriedly extinguished inside the tomb. Jervas returns to his home, where he goes directly to the attic, to a rotten chest, therein finds the key to the tomb. Once inside the tomb, Jervas discovers an empty coffin with the name "Jervas" inscribed upon the plate, he begins to sleep in the empty coffin each night, but something makes people spying on him see that he is sleeping outside only.
Jervas develops a fear of thunder and fire, is aware that he is being spied upon by one of his neighbours. Against his better judgement, Jervas sets out with a storm looming, he sees the Hyde mansion restored to its former state. During the party, lightning strikes the mansion, it burns. Jervas loses consciousness, he next finds himself being held by two men with his father in attendance. A small antique box is discovered. Inside is a porcelain miniature of a man, with the initials "J. H." Jervas fancies its face to be the mirror image of his own. It seems that Jervas was the reincarnation of Jervas Hyde, who came back to be laid with his ancestors in the family tomb, as he was not when his ashes blew away in all directions. Jervas begins jabbering, his father, saddened by his son's mental instability, tells him that he has been watched for some time and has never gone inside the tomb, indeed, the padlock is rusted with age. Jervas is removed to an asylum, presumed mad, he asks his servant Hiram, who has remained faithful to him despite his current state, to explore the tomb – a request which Hiram fulfills.
After breaking the padlock and descending with a lantern into the murky depths, Hiram returns to his master and informs him that there is, indeed, a coffin with a plate which reads "Jervas" on it. Jervas states that he has been promised burial in that coffin when he dies. Several comic book versions exist, including The Worlds of H. P. Lovecraft: The Tomb. A 2007 film was released to DVD with no ties whatsoever to the short story, despite being promoted as HP Lovecraft's The Tomb, its plot was similar to the Saw series of horror films. The band The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets take their name from a phrase in this story; the podcast Stuff You Should Know presented a reading of "The Tomb" for their Halloween podcast in 2010. The Order of the Solar Temple's 2014 self-titled album includes a track titled "Jervas Dudley". Lovecraft, Howard P.. "The Tomb". In S. T. Joshi. Dagon and Other Macabre Tales. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House. ISBN 0-87054-039-4. CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list Definitive version.
The Tomb title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database Full-text at The H. P. Lovecraft Archive The Tomb at Stuff You Should Know The Tomb public domain audiobook at LibriVox
Dagon (short story)
"Dagon" is a short story by American author H. P. Lovecraft, it is one of the first stories that Lovecraft wrote as an adult. It was first published in the November 1919 edition of The Vagrant. Dagon was published in Weird Tales, it is considered by many to be one of Lovecraft's most forward-looking stories. The story is the testament of a tortured, morphine-addicted man who relates an incident that occurred during his service as an officer during World War I. In the unnamed narrator's account, his cargo ship is captured by an Imperial German sea-raider in "one of the most open and least frequented parts of the broad Pacific", he escapes on a lifeboat and drifts aimlessly, south of the equator, until he finds himself stranded on "a slimy expanse of hellish black mire which extended about in monotonous undulations as far as could see.... The region was putrid with the carcasses of decaying fish and less describable things which saw protruding from the nasty mud of the unending plain." He theorizes that this area was a portion of the ocean floor thrown to the surface by volcanic activity, "exposing regions which for innumerable millions of years had lain hidden under unfathomable watery depths."After waiting three days for the seafloor to dry out sufficiently to walk on, he ventures out on foot to find the sea and possible rescue.
After two days of walking, he reaches his goal, a hill which turns out to be a mound on the edge of an "immeasurable pit or canyon". Descending the slope, he sees a gigantic white stone object that he soon perceives to be a "well-shaped monolith whose massive bulk had known the workmanship and the worship of living and thinking creatures." The monolith, situated next to a channel of water in the bottom of the chasm, is covered in unfamiliar hieroglyphs "consisting for the most part of conventionalized aquatic symbols such as fishes, octopuses, mollusks and the like." There are "crude sculptures" depicting: men—at least, a certain sort of men. Curiously enough, they seemed to have been chiseled badly out of proportion with their scenic background; as the narrator looks at the monolith, a creature emerges from the water: With only a slight churning to mark its rise to the surface, the thing slid into view above the dark waters. Vast, Polyphemus-like, loathsome, it darted like a stupendous monster of nightmares to the monolith, about which it flung its gigantic scaly arms, the while it bowed its hideous head and gave vent to certain measured sounds.
Horrified, the mariner flees back to his stranded boat and vaguely recalls a "great storm". His next memory is of a San Francisco hospital, where he was taken after being rescued in mid-ocean by a U. S. ship. There are no reports of any Pacific upheavals, he does not expect anyone to believe his incredible story, he mentions one abortive attempt to gain understanding of his experience: Once I sought out a celebrated ethnologist, amused him with peculiar questions regarding the ancient Philistine legend of Dagon, the Fish-God. Haunted by visions of the creature, "especially when the moon is gibbous and waning", he describes his fears for the future of humanity: I cannot think of the deep sea without shuddering at the nameless things that may at this moment be crawling and floundering on its slimy bed, worshipping their ancient stone idols and carving their own detestable likenesses on submarine obelisks of water-soaked granite. I dream of a day when they may rise above the billows to drag down in their reeking talons the remnants of puny, war-exhausted mankind --of a day when the land shall sink, the dark ocean floor shall ascend amidst universal pandemonium.
With the drug that has given him "transient surcease" running out, he declares himself ready to do himself in. The story ends with the narrator rushing to the window as he hears "a noise at the door, as of some immense slippery body lumbering against it." After reading Lovecraft's juvenilia in 1917, W. Paul Cook, editor of the amateur press journal The Vagrant, encouraged him to resume writing fiction; that summer, Lovecraft wrote two stories: "The Tomb" and "Dagon". The story was inspired in part by a dream. "I dreamed that whole hideous crawl, can yet feel the ooze sucking me down!" he wrote. Critic William Fulwiler indicates that Lovecraft may have been influenced by Irvin S. Cobb's "Fishhead", a story about a strange fish-like human. Fulwiler has suggested that Lovecraft took the story's theme of "an ancient prehuman race that will someday rise to conquer humanity" from Edgar Rice Burroughs' At the Earth's Core; the story mentions the Piltdown Man, which had not been exposed by the scientific community as a fraud and hoax at the time of writing.
As to the name of the story, Lovecraft seems to be referring to the ancient Sumerian god named Dagon, the fertility god of grains and fish, because in the story, the main character makes inquiries "....regarding the ancient Philistine legend of Dagon, the Fish-God." The Sumerian deity is sometimes depicted as being part fish, or wearing a fish. Since Lovecraft was fond of references to actual archaeological discoveries in his writings from time
The Cthulhu Mythos is a shared fictional universe, originating in the works of American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft; the term was coined by August Derleth, a contemporary correspondent and protégé of Lovecraft, to identify the settings and lore that were employed by Lovecraft and his literary successors. The name Cthulhu derives from the central creature in Lovecraft's seminal short story, "The Call of Cthulhu", first published in the pulp magazine Weird Tales in 1928. Richard L. Tierney, a writer who wrote Mythos tales applied the term "Derleth Mythos" to distinguish Lovecraft's works from Derleth's stories, which modify key tenets of the Mythos. Authors of Lovecraftian horror in particular use elements of the Cthulhu Mythos. In his essay "H. P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos", Robert M. Price described two stages in the development of the Cthulhu Mythos. Price called the first stage the "Cthulhu Mythos proper." This stage was subject to his guidance. The second stage was guided by August Derleth who, in addition to publishing Lovecraft's stories after his death, attempted to categorize and expand the Mythos.
An ongoing theme in Lovecraft's work is the complete irrelevance of mankind in the face of the cosmic horrors that exist in the universe. Lovecraft made frequent references to the "Great Old Ones", a loose pantheon of ancient, powerful deities from space who once ruled the Earth and have since fallen into a deathlike sleep. While these monstrous deities have been present in all of Lovecraft's published work, the first story to expand the pantheon of Great Old Ones and its themes is "The Call of Cthulhu,", published in 1928. Lovecraft broke with other pulp writers of the time by having his main characters' minds deteriorate when afforded a glimpse of what exists outside their perceived reality, he emphasized the point by stating in the opening sentence of the story that "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents."Writer Dirk W. Mosig notes that Lovecraft was a "mechanistic materialist" who embraced the philosophy of cosmic indifference.
Lovecraft believed in a purposeless and uncaring universe. Human beings, with their limited faculties, can never understand this universe, the cognitive dissonance caused by this revelation leads to insanity, in his view; this perspective made no allowance for religious belief which could not be supported scientifically, with the incomprehensible, cosmic forces of his tales having as little regard for humanity as humans have for insects. There have been attempts at categorizing this fictional group of beings. Phillip A. Schreffler argues that by scrutinizing Lovecraft's writings, a workable framework emerges that outlines the entire "pantheon"—from the unreachable "Outer Ones" and "Great Old Ones" to the lesser castes. David E. Schultz, believes that Lovecraft never meant to create a canonical Mythos but rather intended his imaginary pantheon to serve as a background element. Lovecraft himself humorously referred to his Mythos as "Yog Sothothery". At times, Lovecraft had to remind his readers that his Mythos creations were fictional.
The view that there was no rigid structure is expounded upon by S. T. Joshi, who said "Lovecraft's imaginary cosmogony was never a static system but rather a sort of aesthetic construct that remained adaptable to its creator's developing personality and altering interests.... There was never a rigid system that might be posthumously appropriated.... The essence of the mythos lies not in a pantheon of imaginary deities nor in a cobwebby collection of forgotten tomes, but rather in a certain convincing cosmic attitude."Price, believed that Lovecraft's writings could at least be divided into categories and identified three distinct themes: the "Dunsanian", "Arkham", "Cthulhu" cycles. Writer Will Murray noted that while Lovecraft used his fictional pantheon in the stories he ghostwrote for other authors, he reserved Arkham and its environs for those tales he wrote under his own name. Although the Mythos was not formalized or acknowledged between them, Lovecraft did correspond and share story elements with other contemporary writers including Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, Robert Bloch, Frank Belknap Long, Henry Kuttner, Henry S. Whitehead, Fritz Leiber—a group referred to as the "Lovecraft Circle."For example, Robert E. Howard's character Friedrich Von Junzt reads Lovecraft's Necronomicon in the short story "The Children of the Night", in turn Lovecraft mentions Howard's Unaussprechlichen Kulten in the stories "Out of the Aeons" and "The Shadow Out of Time".
Many of Howard's original unedited Conan stories involve parts of the Cthulhu Mythos. Price denotes the second stage's commencement with August Derleth; the principal difference between Lovecraft and Derleth being Derleth's use of hope and development of the idea that the Cthulhu mythos represented a struggle between good and evil. Derleth is credited with creating the "Elder Gods." He stated: As Lovecraft conceived the deities or forces of his mythos, there were the Elder Gods... These Elder Gods were benign deities, represent
Beyond the Wall of Sleep (short story)
"Beyond the Wall of Sleep" is a science fiction short story by American writer H. P. Lovecraft, written in 1919 and first published in the amateur publication Pine Cones in October 1919. An intern in a mental hospital relates his experience with Joe Slater, an inmate who died at the facility a few weeks after being confined as a criminally insane murderer, he describes Slater as a "typical denizen of the Catskill Mountain region, who corresponds with the'white trash' of the South", for whom "laws and morals are nonexistent" and whose "general mental status is below that of any other native American people". Although Slater's crime was exceedingly brutal and unprovoked he had an "absurd appearance of harmless stupidity" and the doctors guessed his age at about forty. During the third night of his confinement, Slater had the first of his "attacks", he burst from an uneasy sleep into a frenzy so violent it took four orderlies to strait-jacket him. For nearly fifteen minutes he gave vent to an incredible rant.
The words were in the voice and couched in the paltry vocabulary of Joe Slater but the onlookers could construe from the inadequate language a vision of: green edifices of light, oceans of space, strange music, shadowy mountains and valleys. But most of all did he dwell upon some mysterious blazing entity that shook and laughed and mocked at him; this vast, vague personality seemed to have done him a terrible wrong and to kill it in triumphant revenge was his paramount desire. In order to reach it... he would soar through abysses of emptiness'burning' every obstacle that stood in his way. The ranting stopped as as it had started; this was the first of. The peripheral otherworldly images of Slater's visions were different and more fantastic with each successive night, but always there was the central theme of the blazing entity and its revenge; the doctors were perplexed with the Slater case. Where did a backward man like Slater get such visions, when an illiterate rustic like him would have had little if any exposure to fairy tales or fantasy stories?
Not that there were stories similar to Slater's. Why, was Slater dying? As an undergraduate, the intern had built a device for two-way telepathic communication which he had tested with a fellow student with no result; the device was designed around his principle that thought was a form of radiant energy. Heedless of any ethics, he attached himself with Slater to the device. With the device switched on, he received a message from a being of light whose experiences had been what were transmitted through the medium of Joe Slater; this being explained that, when not shackled to their physical bodies, all humans are light beings. The thought-message went on to explain that, as light beings within the realm of sleep, humans can experience the vistas of many planes and universes which remain unknown to waking awareness; the intern understood that the light being would now become incorporeal, undertake at last a final battle with its nemesis near Algol. Joe Slater died and there were no further transmissions.
That night an enormously bright star was discovered in the sky near Algol. Within a week it had dimmed to the luminosity of an ordinary star and in a few months it had become visible to the naked eye. Lovecraft said the story was inspired by an April 1919 article in the New York Tribune. Reporting on the New York state police, the article cited a family named Slater or Slahter as representative of the backwards Catskills population; the nova mentioned at the end of Lovecraft's story is a real star, known as GK Persei. The title of the story may have been influenced by Ambrose Bierce's "Beyond the Wall". Jack London's 1906 novel Before Adam, which concerns the concept of hereditary memory, contains the passage, "Nor...did any of my human kind break through the wall of my sleep." "Beyond the Wall of Sleep" was first published in October 1919 in Pine Cones, an amateur journal edited by John Clinton Pryor. It was subsequently reprinted in The Fantasy Weird Tales; the book Science-Fiction: The Early Years describes the concepts of both "Beyond the Wall of Sleep" and "From Beyond" as "very interesting, despite stiff, immature writing."
The story was adapted into a 1991 comic book by writer Steven Philip Jones, artist Octavio Cariello, published by Malibu Graphics. In 2016 Caliber Comics reprinted it in the anthology H. P. Lovecraft's Worlds and its own graphic novel; the story was adapted into a 2006 film titled Beyond the Wall of Sleep, directed by Barrett J. Leigh and Thom Maurer; the film's title sequence was created by Kenny Jensen. "Beyond the Wall of Sleep" was adapted as a short film of the same title in 2009 by Nathan Fisher. Several metal bands have recorded songs inspired by this story, including Black Sabbath, Sentenced and Opeth, as well as guitarist Christian Muenzner. Beyond the Wall of Sleep title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database Beyond Wall of Sleep public domain audiobook at LibriVox