Monday, December 30, 2013

Ye Black Winged Ones



I am preparing to write a Mythos story for AUTUMN CTHULHU, edited by Mike Davis.  It is now a common practice for editors to put "Cthulhu" in the title of their anthologies as a selling point--indeed, Titan Books, reprinting the BLACK WINGS series of anthologies editing by S. T. Joshi for PS Publishing, have insisted on changing the series' name to BLACK WINGS OF CTHULHU, much to ye chagrin of S. T.   I have decided, when writing a tale for an anthology that uses Cthulhu inits title, to make my own story a tale of Cthulhu, or to have ye tale linked in some way to Lovecraft's "The Call of Cthulhu."  Part of my preparation for the writing of my tale was to listen to the entire tale by Lovecraft on YouTube, and to study
what critics have written concerning Lovecraft's story in such books as H. P. Lovecraft: A Critical Study by Donald R. Burleson, H. P. Lovecraft by Peter Cannon, and I Am Providence by S. T. Joshi.  I love the entire story by E'ch-Pi-El; but I want to concentrate on the tale's second section, "The Tale of Inspector Legrasse," which contains some of the coolest suggestions of mythic queerness found in the works of Lovecraft.  The main narrative tone of "The Call of Cthulhu" is that of an event that is grounded in solid (if outrageous) reality.  There is no doubt that the events in the story are meant to have actually occurred, something that cannot be said for tales such as "The Outsider," "Dagon" or "The Music of Erich Zann," which might be a remembering of outre dreaming.  (Writing of "Zann" in a letter of 8 February 1922 to Frank Belknap Long, Lovecraft states, "It is not, as a whole, a dream, though I have dreamt of steep streets like the Rue d'Auseil"--which may imply that the story is perhaps a dream narrative or that it was partially inspir'd by one of its author's fantastic dreams).   Yet, realistic as the tone of the story is, the middle section of "The Call of Cthulhu" touches of myths and legends that are quite fantastic: of a hidden lake in some unknown wooded region, and of the antics of a "swamp cult" (primitive and non-Caucasian, of course), who beat tom-toms in ye black haunted woods.  "There were legends of a hidden lake unglimpsed by mortal sight, in which dwells a huge, formless white-polypous thing with luminous eyes' and squatters whispered that black-winged devils flew up out of caverns in inner earth to worship it at midnight."  I have long been haunted by this idea and image, and will, in my tale, bring such a hidden lake to Sesqua Valley, in which such a beast (shoggoth???) dwells and is worshiped by Black Winged Ones.  These inky fiends will not be night-gaunts, as I want to link them to the other things that drifted to the earth with Cthulhu, those cosmic freaks who built for their Master His city of R'lyeh.  I want one of ye major characters to be a beguiling mestizo woman named Aleta de Castro, who discovers the hidden lake and, through magick, evokes the Black Winged Ones to join with her in ritual to ye outre thing that haunts ye hidden lake.

We shall see if I can come up with a workable plot for all of this suggestive weirdness.

2 comments:

  1. So good to hear from you again, Wilum! I have missed your blog entries now that other concerns have come to the forefront. Good luck with Aleta de Castro and Happy New Year!

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  2. I can only ditto that. Happy New Year! Watch out for thee Cthulhoid flying beasts! G. :-)=

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