Thursday, September 4, 2014

Tits and White Apes

One of ye perpetual joys of writing Lovecraftian weird fiction is returning to Lovecraft's stories and finding their buried treasures of incident and suggestive moments.  These are the incidental gems that one can miss in a reading of the Works, but for we who hunt for them, they are ingots of inspiration.  Such a moment can be found in one of my favourite tales, "Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family."   Lovecraft's stories often containing wee portions that are so intriguing and suggestive that an imaginative writer could take those portions and weave an entire novel from them; and the early portion of "Arthur Jermyn" that relates some of the family history is such a portion, painting a family portrait that is fascinating and frightful.  The bit that has inspir'd me is thus:

"Sir Alfred Jermyn was a baronet before his fourth birthday, but his tastes never matched his title.  At twenty he had joined a band of music-hall performers, and at thirty-six had deserted his wife and child to travel with an itinerant American circus."

His wife and child.  Now that intrigues me, and I have oft shut my eyes so as to imagine the fate of that child of whom we know nothing.  Did the curse of Jermyn hereditary madness and bestiality betray itself in this child's physiognomy and behavior?  Did the child go on to breed others of their kind?    This idea began to itch inside my brain and whisper, "There's a story here."  I knew that my Jermyn offspring wou'd be female, and that she would be extremely sensual, an animal of lust.  Her face would be awful, but she would have an alluring figure and gorgeous tits.  Men would be captivated, drawn to the thing that they found repulsive.  The tweaking of Lovecraft's theme is not

but rather, "Knowing what she is, she celebrates her heritage of madness, sin and murder.  She wears her grotesque nature as a badge of unholy honour, and laughs at the horror her face inspires."

So that was my initial inspiration, for this story that I will soon begin writing and whut will be one of the new original works in my forthcoming book from Hippocampus Press.  But I needed a setting, and as I reflected on this I thought of the beginning of Lovecraft's "The Picture in the House," where a bloke is journeying by bicycle through Miskatonic Valley and has to stop at what looks like an abandoned house when caught in a violent storm.  This has me thinking of setting my story in Miskatonic Valley, with my monkey girl cycling into a ramshackle barn so as to escape a sudden tempest.  There will be aspect of the barn and its contents that are disquieting.  She finds a loft on which there is a makeshift cot, and removes most of her wet clothing and then reclines to nap, with the sound of storm serving as lullaby.  She wakens to find streaks of sunlight streaming through distant portions of roof or wall that are damaged, relishing the warmth of sunlight on his naked breasts.  And there is a bloke not too far from her, who had obviously been watching her sleeping.  And he will have some queer picture in his house to which my woman relates with impious glee.  Or some such thing.  I see the story told in first person by my woman.

This is the way that Lovecraft, and my obsession with his work, and my never-ending study of his superb weird fiction, continues to inspire me as an artist.  I love it.


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