Sunday, January 6, 2013

H.P. Lovecraft Sundays #15

It is  the first Sunday of  2013 and it's time to continue with my goal of finishing up H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction. Here's the story I read today:

“Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family”
4 stars

"Life is a hideous thing, and from the background behind what we know of it peer daemoniacal hints of truth which make it sometimes a thousandfold more hideous," begins the story of Arthur Jermyn and the history of his family. We come to learn that out of madness, Arthur covered his entire body with oil and set himself on fire after viewing a box that came from Africa.

The Jermyn's were never right in the head and their appearance was quite off. These family traits did not occur until Arthur's great-great-great-grandfather, Sir Wade Jermyn. Sir Wade was an explorer who went into the jungles of Congo and discovered a strange city inhabited by strange people. He returned with a mysterious wife who no one was allowed to look at or attend to. They had a son and soon the wife and Sir Wade died.

The story then follows the Jermyn men and how they succumbed to madness and death until we arrive back at Arthur. Arthur was a peculiar person who desired to continue Sir Waden's explorations of Congo. He wanted to go look after the lost city and the people that inhabited the city, the white apes.

Soon, the mummified body of the ape princess is found and delivered to Arthur. When Arthur opens up the box and looks upon the mummy, he makes a horrible discovery. He becomes mad and thus burns himself.

I found it fascinating reading the "facts" of the Jermyn family. I wanted to know more why all of a sudden the family was succumbed to madness and why their appearance appeared peculiar to many people. I do admit though that I did not understand the schocking ending when the servants looked upon the mummified ape-princess. Until I saw this comic:

Yeah...I now I understand and it is shocking! Lovecraft is the master of surprising endings. I greatly enjoyed this story.

You can read this story here.

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