Sunday, October 28, 2012

H.P. Lovecraft Sundays #8

It's Sunday again and I read two more entries from H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction:

4 stars

"In the valley of Nis the accursed waning moon shines thinly, tearing a path for its light with feeble horns through the lethal foliage of a great upas-tree."

In this very short story (it was only five paragraphs long), Lovecraft shows his skill in details. He describes a land called Nis were ancient monuments stand and only ugly toads and apes dwell there. In this land runs a river name Than.

There are only two characters in the story:  "the Genie that haunts the moonbeams" and "the Daemon of the Valley". The Genie asks the Daemon the origin of the ancient ruins and the Daemon responds that his memory is vague but the creatures that built it were called something that rhymes with the name of the river. The Daemon also recalls that these creatures were similar to the apes that inhabit this place. The Genie walks away and the Daemon continues to stare at the apes around the ruins.

This was very short but enjoyable. The attention to detail in just a short number of paragraphs was quite excellent. I could easily imagine the land and the two main characters.

If you would like to read this very short story, you can visit here. Or you can listen to the audio below:

"Old Bugs"
4 stars

"An Extemporaneous Sob Story
by Marcus Lollius, Proconsul of Gaul"

H.P. Lovecraft wrote this story for his friend, Alfred Galpin, who wanted to try his first drink before prohibition was taken affect. Here, Lovecraft describes a character named "Old Bugs" who turns out to be Galpin.

Old Bugs used to be a good man who had a great future ahead of him. He had a great job at the university and he was engaged to a gorgeous woman from a wealthy family. But then one day he decides to have a drink and then his life goes downhill as he becomes addicted to not only alcohol but to drugs as well.

I found this piece to be very interesting. Lovecraft's stand on alcohol is very evident since it is seen as something "evil." Alcohol destroys what is good. He explains this very well with the characters that are described in the story and how the character Trever is saved from having a drink. The ending also had a punch.

Also, I liked how Lovecraft wove his friend into the story and pretty much told him to behave himself and not do anything stupid. I quite enjoyed the subtitle of this story as well "An Extemporous Sob Story."

Now, would this stop me from ever picking up another alcoholic drink? Nah, but it's a great story that warns people to be careful with alcohol.

You can read this story over at the H.P. Lovecraft Archives.

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