Sunday, September 23, 2012

H.P. Lovecraft Sundays #4

It's Sunday and it's time for H.P. Lovecraft! Here's the short that I read this morning:

3.5 stars

"I am writing this under an appreciable mental strain, since by tonight I shall be no more."

Begins this short story of a man, whose name is not mentioned, who is addicted to morphine and is having a mental collapse. He recounts the horrible tale when he was Merchant Marine and describes why he is in his present state.

In the early days of WWI, the ship that our main character was on was captured by Germans. He escapes on a lifeboat and is adrift at sea for many days. He soon despairs at the thought of never being found or of never finding land.

After a few days, the man awakens in the middle of black slime. He realizes that he is on some sort of disgusting land surrounded by dead fish. He comes to the conclusion that somehow there was a volcanic eruption which brought part of the ocean floor above sea level. He gets back on his boat and decides to wait a few more days for the ground to dry.

On the third day, the land is dry enough to walk on. The man ventures out in hopes to find freedom. He soon finds a white stone protruding from the ground. He learns that it's a monolith that has strange hieroglyphs depicting unknown sea creatures and weird humanoids. As he studies the monolith, he then becomes petrified when he sees a horrific creature coming out of the water near the monolith.

This story was incredibly short but packed with many details. It is obvious that this story is the beginning of the Cthulu Mythos that Lovecraft is famous for. The description of the black land was too vivid and I felt sorry for the main character. It would be terrifying to be in his situation.

The ending was also a little surprising, but not as strong as the rest of the story. In all, it was a great read.

If you would like to read this short story, you can visit the H.P. Lovecraft Archives or you could listen to the audio book below. Also below the audio, there's a short animated film interpretation of "Dagon." Enjoy!

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