Friday, 4 December 2009
Competition Time (for me)
When chatting to my pal Gareth, we have decided to try and enscriven our psychomorphic concepts of the nature of reality. Hopefully we will en-plegnify these on the medium of the aethersphere and to the entukasmic joy of our readers, make these gems of writing available... except beware 'those not dead eternal lie'.
Sorry, bit carried away there. Anyway, we were chatting about our shared affection for HP Lovecraft. Was he a philosopher, satirist, pompous windbag, madman, racist fanatic, Anglo-Saxon (therefore ‘superior’) Baudelaire, psychologist, humanist, mystic, materialist? Or all these things and none of them?
If I can quote Joyce Carol Oates:
In the celebrated opening of "The Picture in the House" (1920), the nature of Lovecraft's infatuation with landscape is vividly rendered:
Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places. For them are the catacombs of Ptolemais, and the carven mausolea of the nightmare countries. They climb to the moonlit towers of ruined Rhine castles, and falter down cobwebbed steps beneath the scattered stones of forgotten cities in Asia. The haunted wood and desolate mountain are their shrines…. But the true epicure in the terrible, to whom a new thrill of unutterable ghastliness is the chief end and justification of existence, esteems most of all the ancient, lonely farmhouses of backwoods New England; for there the dark elements of strength, solitude, grotesqueness, and ignorance combine to form the perfection of the hideous.
In Lovecraft, as frequently in Poe, style and self-parody are indistinguishable.
Anyway, we decided that we would both try and write stories in his style.
My posts are getting few and far between. To be honest, I really hate politics, and were it not for my sincere belief that my country is in crisis I would not write on the matter.
(As a lot of my posts were on Russia, this is slightly more complex: to do partially with my love for Russian culture, and partially because I dislike the way that Russian history and politics are forced, like Medieval Chinese girls’ feet, into the received wisdom of ‘philosophy of history’)
Still, I love reading fiction but have never had the motivation to give it much effort because I always think of how discouraging the slush pile is. I've spent numerous hours trying to write a book inspired by 'The Devils' (by Dostoyevsky). But it was a bit of a mess. However, if I can even manage to write a short story, and only a few friends read it, I would think it worthwhile.