The Other Gods
"The Other Gods" is a fantasy short story written by American author H. P. Lovecraft, on August 14, 1921, it was first published in the November 1933 issue of The Fantasy Fan. Barzai the Wise, a high priest and prophet learned in the lore of the "gods of earth", or Great Ones, attempts to scale the mountain of Hatheg-Kla in order to look upon their faces, accompanied by his young disciple Atal. Upon reaching the peak, Barzai at first seems overjoyed until he finds that the "gods of the earth" are not there alone, but rather are overseen by the "other gods, the gods of the outer hells that guard the feeble gods of earth!" Atal flees, Barzai is never seen again. Atal first appears in Lovecraft's "The Cats of Ulthar" as the young son of an innkeeper in Ulthar who witnesses the weird rites of the cats on the night that the old cotter and his wife are killed. In "The Other Gods", he becomes the apprentice of Barzai the Wise and accompanies him on his doomed climb to the top of Mount Hatheg-Kla to see the gods.
When Randolph Carter visits Atal in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, he is the patriarch of the Temple of the Elder Ones and is now well over 300 years old, "but still keen of mind and memory". After many draughts of moon-wine, he reveals an important piece of information that helps Carter in his quest; as befits his age and station, Atal sports a long beard. In "The Other Gods", Barzai the Wise is high-priest of the Gods of Earth in Ulthar and one-time teacher of Atal. According to the story, he delved into the unknown, reading such works as the Pnakotic Manuscripts and the Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan, he is the son of an aristocrat of commoners' superstitions. He is said to have advised the burgesses of Ulthar, he vanishes shortly after climbing to the top of Hatheg-Kla to see the gods reveling on its peak. In "The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath", Nyarlathotep himself speaks to Randolph Carter in a brief and sardonic fashion of the ill-fated expeditions of other impertinent god-seekers, therein relates that when Barzai's hubris brought him to the baleful attention of the Other Gods, they "did what was expected".
According to the story, Sansu is "written of with fright" in the Pnakotic Manuscripts, having once scaled the mountain of Hatheg-Kla "in the youth of the world" and found "naught but wordless ice and rock". He is the last person to have climbed the mountain before Barzai. Though some readers assume that "The Other Gods" is set in Lovecraft's Dreamlands, critic S. T. Joshi points out the connections to the story "Polaris", which seems to be set in Earth's distant past, in arguing that "the clear implication is that this tale too takes place in a prehistoric civilization." Hatheg-Kla is a "high and rocky" mountain in the "stony desert" thirteen days' walk from the village of Hatheg, for which it is named. It is one of the places where the "gods of earth" once dwelt and sometimes return to when they are homesick. "White-capped Thurai" is another of the mountains. It is said. Lerion, whose "plaintive dawn-winds" are the sighs of the gods, is another mountain inhabited by the gods. In The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, Lerion is described as the source of the river Skai.
Ulthar, the hometown of the story's main characters, was introduced in the story "The Cats of Ulthar". It is said to be a neighbour of Hatheg. Lovecraft mentions the mountain of Kadath for the first time in "The Other Gods". Lovecraft's novel The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath involves Randolph Carter's attempt to reach Kadath in order to consult the gods. In addition to Dream-Quest, the mysterious mountain is mentioned in several other Lovecraft stories, including "The Strange High House in the Mist", "The Dunwich Horror", At the Mountains of Madness; the story resembles the many tales of hubris written by Lord Dunsany, like "The Revolt of the Home Gods" from The Gods of Pegana. The Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan appear for the first time in "The Other Gods"; the Pnakotic Manuscripts make their second appearance in "The Other Gods", having been introduced in "Polaris", along with Lomar. Both reappear in Dream-Quest. S. T. Joshi, "The Real World and the Dream World in Lovecraft", The Horror of It All, Robert M. Price, ed. S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz, An H. P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia.
Works related to The Other Gods at Wikisource The Other Gods title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
H. P. Lovecraft
Howard Phillips Lovecraft was an American writer who achieved posthumous fame through his influential works of horror fiction. He was unknown during his lifetime and published only in pulp magazines before he died in poverty, but he is now regarded as one of the most significant 20th-century authors of horror and weird fiction. Lovecraft was born in Rhode Island, where he spent most of his life. Among his most celebrated tales are The Rats in the Walls, The Call of Cthulhu, At the Mountains of Madness, The Shadow over Innsmouth, The Shadow Out of Time, all canonical to the Cthulhu Mythos. Lovecraft was never able to support himself from earnings as an author and editor, he saw commercial success elude him in his latter period, he subsisted in progressively strained circumstances in his last years. Lovecraft was born in his family home on August 1890, in Providence, Rhode Island, he was the only child of Sarah Susan Phillips Lovecraft. Though his employment is hard to discern, Lovecraft's future wife, Sonia Greene, stated that Winfield was employed by Gorham Manufacturing Company as a traveling salesman.
Susie's family was of substantial means at the time of their marriage, her father, Whipple Van Buren Phillips, being involved in many significant business ventures. In April 1893, after a psychotic episode in a Chicago hotel, Winfield was committed to Butler Hospital in Providence. Though it is not clear who reported Winfield's prior behavior to the hospital, medical records indicate that he had been "doing and saying strange things at times" for a year before his commitment. Winfield spent five years in Butler before dying in 1898, his death certificate listed the cause of death as general paresis, a term synonymous with late-stage syphilis. Susie never exhibited symptoms of the disease, leading to questions regarding the intimacy of their relationship. In 1969, Sonia Greene ventured that Susie was a "touch-me-not" wife and that Winfield, being a traveling salesmen, "took his sexual pleasures wherever he could find them." How Greene came to this opinion is unknown, as she never met Lovecraft's parents, though Lovecraft himself termed his mother a "touch-me-not" in a 1937 letter noting that, after his early childhood, she avoided all physical contact with him.
This is contrary to Susie's treatment of a young Lovecraft soon after his father's breakdown. According to the accounts of family friends, Susie doted over the young Lovecraft to a fault, pampering him and never letting him out of her sight. Throughout his life, Lovecraft maintained that his father fell into a paralytic state, due to insomnia and being overworked, remained that way until his death, it is unknown if Lovecraft was kept ignorant of his father's illness or if his remarks were intentionally misleading. After his father's hospitalization, Lovecraft resided in the family home with his mother, his maternal aunts Lillian and Annie, his maternal grandparents Whipple and Robie. Lovecraft recollected that after his father's illness his mother was "permanently stricken with grief." Whipple became a father figure to Lovecraft in this time, Lovecraft noting that his grandfather became the "centre of my entire universe." Whipple, who traveled on business, maintained correspondence by letter with the young Lovecraft who, by the age of three, was proficient at reading and writing.
When home Whipple would share weird tales of his own invention and show Lovecraft objects of art he had acquired in his European travels. Lovecraft credits Whipple with being instrumental in overcoming his fear of the dark when Whipple forced Lovecraft, at five years old, to walk through several darkened rooms in the family home, it was in this period that Lovecraft was introduced to some of his earliest literary influences such as The Rime of the Ancient Mariner illustrated by Doré, One Thousand and One Nights, a gift from his mother, Thomas Bulfinch's Age of Fable and Ovid's Metamorphoses. While there is no indication that Lovecraft was close to his grandmother Robie, her death in 1896 had a profound effect. By his own account, it sent his family into "a gloom from which it never recovered." His mother and aunts' wearing of black mourning dresses "terrified" him, it is at this time that Lovecraft five and half years old, started having nightmares that would inform his writing. He began to have recurring nightmares of beings he termed "night-gaunts".
Thirty years night gaunts would appear in Lovecraft's writing. Lovecraft's earliest known literary works began at age seven with poems restyling the Odyssey and other mythological stories. Lovecraft has said that as a child he was enamored with the Roman pantheon of gods, accepting them as genuine expressions of divinity and foregoing his Christian upbringing, he recalls, at five years old, being told Santa Claus did not exist and retorting by asking why "God is not a myth." At the age of eight he took a keen interest in the sciences astronomy and chemistry. He examined the anatomy books available to him in the family library, learning the specifics of human reproduction that had yet to be explained to him, found that it "virtually killed my interest in the subject." In 1902, according to Lovecraft's own correspondence, astronomy became a guiding influence on his world view. He began producing the periodical Rhode Island Journal of Astronomy, of which 69
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 Outsider (short story)
"The Outsider" is a short story by American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. Written between March and August 1921, it was first published in Weird Tales, April 1926. In this work, a mysterious individual, living alone in a castle for as long as he can remember decides to break free in search of human contact and light. "The Outsider" is one of Lovecraft's most reprinted works and is one of the most popular stories to be published in Weird Tales. "The Outsider" combines horror and gothic fiction to create a nightmarish story, containing themes of loneliness, the abhuman, the afterlife. Its epigram is from John Keats' 1819 poem "The Eve of St. Agnes". In a letter, Lovecraft himself said that, of all his tales, this story most resembles the style of his idol Edgar Allan Poe, writing that it "represents my literal though unconscious imitation of Poe at its height." The opening paragraphs echo those of Poe's "Berenice", while the horror at the party recalls the unmasking scene in "The Masque of the Red Death".
The story may have been inspired in part by Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Fragments from the Journal of a Solitary Man", in which a man dreams that he is walking down Broadway in a burial shroud, only understanding the shocked reaction of passersby when he sees his reflection in a shop window. Another suggested literary model is Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, in which the creature causes a shock when he enters a cottage: "I had hardly placed my foot within the door before the children shrieked, one of the women fainted." The monster looks in a pool of water and sees his reflection for the first time. Colin Wilson, in The Strength to Dream, points to Oscar Wilde's short story "The Birthday of the Infanta", in which a misshapen dwarf is horrified to see his reflection for the first time; some critics have suggested that "The Outsider" is autobiographical, that Lovecraft was talking about his own life when he wrote, "I know always that I am an outsider. An H. P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia finds this analysis to be exaggerated, but suggests that the story "may be indicative of HPL's own self-image the image of one who always thought himself ugly and whose mother told at least one individual about her son's'hideous' face."
"The Outsider" is written in a first-person narrative style, details the miserable and lonely life of an individual, who appears to have never made contact with another individual. The story begins, with the narrator explaining his origins, his memory of others is vague, he cannot seem to recall any details of his personal history, including who he is or where he is from. The narrator tells of his environment: a dark, decaying castle amid an "endless forest" of high trees that block out the light from the sun, he has never seen natural light, nor another human being, he has never ventured from the prison-like home he now inhabits. The only knowledge the narrator has of the outside world, is from his reading of the "antique books" that line the walls of his castle; the narrator tells of his eventual determination to free himself, from what he views as an existence within a prison. He decides to climb the ruined staircase of the high castle tower which seems to be his only hope for an escape. At the place where the stairs terminate into crumbled ruins, the narrator begins a long, slow climb up the tower wall, until he finds a trapdoor in the ceiling, which he pushes up and climbs through.
Amazingly, he finds himself not at the great height he anticipated, but at ground level in another world. With the sight of the full moon before him, he proclaims, "There came to me the purest ecstasy I have known." Overcome with the emotion he feels in beholding what—until now—he had only read about, the narrator takes in his new surroundings. He realizes that he is in an old churchyard, he wanders out into the countryside before coming upon another castle. Upon visiting the castle, which he finds "maddeningly familiar", the narrator sees a gathering of people at a party within. Longing for some type of human contact, he climbs through a window into the room. Upon his entering, the people inside become terrified, they scream and collectively flee from the room, many stumbling blindly with their hands held over their eyes toward the walls in search of an exit. As the narrator stands alone in the room, with the screams of the party vanishing into far away echoes, he becomes frightened at what must be lurking near him.
He walks around the room searching for what finds nothing. As he moves towards one of the room's alcoves, he approaches it slowly. I cannot hint what it was like, for it was a compound of all, unclean, unwelcome and detestable, it was the ghoulish shade of decay and dissolution. God knows it was not of this world—or no longer of this world—yet to my horror I saw in its eaten-away and bone-revealing outlines a leering, abhorrent travesty of the human shape. In his shock and surprise, he loses his balance and touches the creature. Horrified, he runs from the building back to his castle, where he tries unsuccessfully to crawl back through the grate into his old world. Cast out of his old existence, the narrator now rides with the "mocking and friendly ghouls on the night wind", forever and an outsider, since the moment he stretched his fingers towards the creature's paw in the alcove, felt nothing but the "cold and unyielding
The Shunned House
"The Shunned House" is a horror fiction novelette by American author H. P. Lovecraft, written on October 16–19, 1924, it was first published in the October 1937 issue of Weird Tales. The Shunned House of the title is based on an actual house in Providence, Rhode Island, built around 1763 and still standing at 135 Benefit Street. Lovecraft was familiar with the house because his aunt Lillian Clark lived there in 1919/20 as a companion to Mrs. H. C. Babbit. However, it was another house in Elizabeth, New Jersey that compelled Lovecraft to write the story; as he wrote in a letter: On the northeast corner of Bridge Street and Elizabeth Avenue is a terrible old house—a hellish place where night-black deeds must have been done in the early seventeen-hundreds—with a blackish unpainted surface, unnaturally steep roof, an outside flight of stairs leading to the second story, suffocatingly embowered in a tangle of ivy so dense that one cannot but imagine it accursed or corpse-fed. It reminded me of the Babbit House in Benefit Street….
Its image came up again with renewed vividness causing me to write a new horror story with its scene in Providence and with the Babbit House as its basis. For many years, the narrator and his uncle, Dr. Elihu Whipple, have nurtured a fascination with an old abandoned house on Benefit Street. Dr. Whipple has made extensive records tracking the mysterious, yet coincidental and death of many who have lived in the house for over one hundred years, they are puzzled by the strange weeds growing in the yard, as well as an unexplained foul smell and whitish phosphorescent fungi growing in the cellar. There, the narrator discovers a strange, yellowish vapour in the basement, which seems to be coupled with a moldy outline of a huddled human form on the floor; the narrator and his uncle decide to spend the night in the house, investigating the possibility of some supernatural force. They set up both cots and chairs in the cellar, arm themselves with military flamethrowers, outfit a modified Crookes tube in the hopes of destroying any supernatural presence they might find.
When Dr. Whipple naps, he tosses and turns and starts babbling in French until he awakes, he tells the narrator that he had strange visions of lying in an open pit, inside a house with shifting features, while faces stared down at him. Many of the faces were those of the Harris family; when the narrator sleeps, he is awakened by a horrific scream. He sees a revolting yellowish "corpse-light" bubbling up from the floor, which stares at him with many eyes before vanishing in a wisp through the chimney, he finds his uncle transformed into a monster with "blackened, decaying features" and dripping claws. He turns on the Crookes tube, but seeing that it has no effect, escapes the house through the cellar door as his uncle's body dissolves, transforming into a multitude of faces of those who died in the house as it melts; the narrator returns the next day to no body. The narrator hatches a plan, he orders a military gas mask, digging tools, six carboys of sulfuric acid to be delivered to the cellar door of the house.
He digs into the earthen floor of the cellar, turning up fungous yellow ooze, arranges the barrels of acid around the hole in the belief that he will happen upon some kind of monstrous creature. He uncovers a soft, blue-white, translucent tube, bent in half and two feet in diameter at its widest point, he frantically climbs out of the neck-deep hole, dumps in four barrels of acid, realizing that he had found the elbow of a gigantic monster. The narrator faints after emptying the fourth barrel; when he awakens, the narrator empties the two remaining barrels, to no effect, replaces the dirt, finds that the strange fungus has turned to harmless ash. He mourns his uncle, but is relieved to be sure that the horrible creature is dead; the narrator records that the house has subsequently been rented to another family, that the house now appears normal. Elihu Whipple: Described as "a sane, conservative physician of the old school...a bachelor. Peter Cannon writes that Whipple "is a composite portrait of Lovecraft's two learned uncles-in-law and maternal grandfather".
Etienne Roulet: A Huguenot from Caude, near Angers, who settled in East Greenwich, Rhode Island in 1686 and moved to Providence in 1696. According to the story, "The family of Roulet had possessed an abnormal affinity for outer circles of entity — dark spheres which for normal folk hold only repulsion and terror." Etienne is said to have been "apt...at reading queer books and drawing queer diagrams." His son, Paul Roulet, is described as a "surly fellow" of "erratic conduct". The story's narrator suspects that the family is connected to Jacques Roulet of Caude, condemned to death for lycanthropy in 1598 before being confined to an asylum. Jacques Roulet was a real person, whom Lovecraft had read about in John Fiske's Myths and Myth-Makers. "The Shunned House", with an introduction by Frank Belknap Long, was to have been Lovecraft's first published book. 250 copies were printed in 1928 by W. Paul Cook for Recluse Press. However, the sheets were not bound at that time. 150 sets of unbound sheets found their way into the possession of Arkham House in 1959, where they were offered for sale in an unbound state.
About 50 copies were sold in that state folded and with no cover. Derleth
"Herbert West–Reanimator" is a horror short story by American writer H. P. Lovecraft, it was written between October 1921 and June 1922. It was first serialized in February through July 1922 in the amateur publication Home Brew; the story was the basis of the 1985 horror film Re-Animator and its sequels, in addition to numerous other adaptations in various media. The story is the first to mention Lovecraft's fictional Miskatonic University, it is one of the first depictions of zombies as scientifically reanimated corpses, with animalistic and uncontrollable temperaments. Lovecraft serialised the story in Home Brew Vol. 1 #1–6, an amateur magazine published by his friend George Julian Houtain. The narrator recounts his history with the title character, who has disappeared; as a medical student at Miskatonic University, the narrator becomes fascinated by West's theories, which postulate that the human body is a complex, organic machine which can be "restarted." West realizes he must experiment on human subjects.
The two men spirit away supplies from their medical school and set up their lab in an abandoned farmhouse. At first, they pay a group of men to rob graves for them, but none of the experiments are successful. West and the narrator rob graves themselves. One night, they steal the corpse of a construction worker, they take it back to the farmhouse and inject it with West's serum. An inhuman scream is heard from within the room containing the corpse. Moved by instinct, they flee into the night. West accidentally tips over a lantern on the way out. West and the narrator escape; the next day, the newspaper reports that a grave in potter's field, violently molested the night before, displays the claws of a beast. Some time after the fire, West's research is stunted when Dr. Allen Halsey, the dean of the medical school, refuses to allow him access to human cadavers or the university's dissection lab. West has a stroke of luck, when a typhoid epidemic breaks out and West and the narrator are called to help tend to the many dying victims.
West begins injecting his patients with a new serum, which has no greater effect than to cause some of the bodies' eyes to open. Halsey succumbs to typhoid, and, as a final act of twisted respect for his former rival, West steals his corpse to reanimate. West and the narrator take Halsey's body back to West's room at a boarding house, where they inject it with the new serum. Halsey does, in fact, but, inexplicably, he is less intelligent and more violent than their previous experiment. After beating West and the narrator into unconsciousness, Halsey embarks on a killing spree and murdering over a dozen people before he is apprehended by the police; the cannibal murderer is soon committed to a local mental institution. West curses the fact that Halsey's brain has deteriorated. Now licensed doctors and the narrator go into practice together in the small New England town of Bolton, purchasing a house near the local cemetery to have easy access to corpses. Still intent upon reanimating a human being, they claim the body of a black boxing champion who died of a head wound in an illegal back-alley street fight.
Gamblers betting on the fight arrange for West to dispose of the body, as it clears them of any crime. West and the narrator hurriedly inject it with another new serum; when nothing happens, they bury it. Several days there are reports around town of a missing child; the child's mother dies during a fit of hysteria, the father tries to kill West in a fit of rage because West couldn't save her. That night and the narrator are startled by an aggressive pounding on their back door. Opening the door and the narrator come face to face with the boxer's corpse, covered in mildew and dirt and hunched over at the back entrance. Hanging from his mouth is the arm of the missing child. West empties an entire revolver into the creature; some time after West's killing of the reanimated boxer, the narrator returns home from vacation to discover the preserved corpse of a man in the home he shares with West. West explains that during the narrator's absence, he perfected a type of embalming fluid that preserves a corpse as it is the moment the chemical is injected into the bloodstream.
West reveals to the narrator that the dead man is a traveling salesman who had a heart attack during a physical examination. West injects the body with his latest serum. Signs of life begin to appear; when the narrator questions the man, he mouths words with seeming intent. Just before the man returns to the dead, he begins screaming and thrashing violently, revealing in a horrible scream that he was in fact murdered by West. Five years West and the narrator become involved in World War I as a means to procure more bodies. Serving as a medic in Flanders, West has gone beyond the point of trying to reanimate corpses. On the battlefield, West befriends his commanding officer and fellow medic, Major Sir Eric Moreland Clapham-Lee, shares with him his theories and methods on reanimation. Shortly thereafter, Clapham suffers near-decapitation and dies when his plane i
Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family
"Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family" is a short story in the horror fiction genre, written by American author H. P. Lovecraft in 1920; the themes of the story are tainted ancestry, knowledge that it would be best to remain unaware of, a reality which human understanding finds intolerable. The story begins by describing the ancestors of a British nobleman, his great-great-great-grandfather, Sir Wade Jermyn, had been an early explorer of the Congo region, whose books on a mysterious white civilization there had been ridiculed. He had been confined to an asylum in 1765. Lovecraft describes how the Jermyn family has a peculiar physical appearance that began to appear in the children of Wade Jermyn and his mysterious and reclusive wife, who Wade claimed was Portuguese. Wade's son, Philip Jermyn, was a sailor that joined the navy after fathering his son, disappeared from his ship one night as it lay off the Congo coast. Philip's son, Robert Jermyn, was a scientist, he married a daughter of the 7th.
Viscount Brightholme and fathered three sons, one of whom, Nevil Jermyn, had a son, Arthur Jermyn's father. In 1852, Robert Jermyn met with an explorer, Samuel Seaton, who described "a grey city of white apes ruled by a white god". Robert killed the explorer after hearing this, as well as all three of his own sons. Nevil Jermyn managed to save his son, before his death. Robert was put in an asylum and, after two years, died there. Alfred Jermyn grew up to inherit his grandfather's title, but abandoned his wife and child to join a circus, where he became fascinated with a gorilla "of lighter colour than the average", he became its trainer, but was killed in Chicago after an incident in which he attacked the gorilla and the latter fought back. Arthur Jermyn inherited the family possessions, moved into Jermyn House with his mother. Arthur Jermyn is described as having a unusual appearance, the strangest in the line descended from Sir Wade Jermyn. Arthur became a scholar visiting the Belgian Congo on a research expedition, where he heard tales of a stone city of white apes and the stuffed body of a white ape goddess, which had since gone missing.
Returning to a trading post, Arthur talks to a Belgian agent who offers to both obtain and ship the goddess' body to him. Arthur accepts his offer, returns to England. After a period of several months, the body arrives at Jermyn House. Arthur begins his examination of the mummy, only to run screaming from the room, commit suicide by dousing himself in oil and setting himself alight. Lovecraft describes the contents of the stuffed goddess' coffin—the ape goddess has a golden locket around her neck with the Jermyn arms on it, bears a striking resemblance to Arthur Jermyn, it is clear that Wade Jermyn's Portuguese wife was the ape goddess, all of his Parahuman descendants were the product of their union. Arthur's remains are neither buried, on account of this; the mummy is burnt by the Royal Anthropological Institute. Both of Lovecraft's parents died in a mental hospital, some writers have seen a concern with having inherited a propensity for physical and mental degeneration reflected in the plot of his stories his 1931 novella, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, which shares some themes with Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family.
As in many of his stories, the mind of a character deteriorates as his investigations uncover an intolerable reality, a central tenet of Cosmicism which Lovecraft outlines in the opening sentence of The Call of Cthulhu: "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents." In a letter, Lovecraft described the impetus behind Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family': Somebody had been harassing me into reading some work of the iconoclastic moderns — these young chaps who pry behind exteriors and unveil nasty hidden motives and secret stigmata — and I had nearly fallen asleep over the tame backstairs gossip of Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio. The sainted Sherwood, as you know, laid bare the dark area which many whited village lives concealed, it occurred to me that I, in my weirder medium, could devise some secret behind a man's ancestry which would make the worst of Anderson's disclosures sound like the annual report of a Sabbath school.
Hence Arthur Jermyn. While Lovecraft claimed that he intended to describe the most horrible family shadow, E. F. Bleiler declares that "actually, the story is a metaphor for his extreme bigotry and social snobbery; the story was first published in the journal The Wolverine in March and June of 1921. To Lovecraft's distaste, the story was retitled "The White Ape" when it appeared in Weird Tales in 1924. Subsequent reprintings titled it "Arthur Jermyn" until the corrected publishing in Dagon and Other Macabre Tales in 1986. Critic William Fulwiler suggests that the plot of "Arthur Jermyn" may have been inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs' novels The Return of Tarzan and Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar, in which the lost city of Opar is "peopled by a hybrid race resulting from the matings of men with apes." E. F. Bleiler, has commented that it "undoubtedly owes much to Edgar Rice Burrough's Opar in his Tarzan series". Humanzee Lovecraft, Howard P.. S. T. Joshi, ed; the Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories.
Penguin Books. P. 363. ISBN 0-14-118234-2. Explanatory Notes by S. T. Joshi. Works related