Revisiting ye Revisions

Pete Von Sholly has just accepted a wee essay he invited me to write for a forthcoming LOVECRAFT ILLUSTRATED volume of Lovecraft's revisions. Ye tales included in ye volume ("The Curse of Yig", "Medusa's Coil", "The Horror in the Museum", "Out of the Aeons", & "The Diary of Alonzo Typer") are stories that I have loved for several decades. Interestingly, they are all Cthulhu Mythos stories, and indeed in some we glean new information concerning ye nature of Lovecraft's daemonic creation. I don't think we can correctly call any of these tales "cosmic horror", for ye antique daemons with which they are concern'd appear to have dwelt in ye hidden secret pockets of our globe for aeons. In "Medusa's Coil," a story that is wretchedly tainted throughout with aspects of Lovecraft's racism, we have one of Lovecraft's two portraits of monstrous women (the other appearing in "The Thing on the Doorstep"). Some have bemoaned the fact ye author included so few female characters in Lovecraft's fictive oeuvre, but after my recent rereading of "Medusa's Coil" I think I'm a little grateful that he did not. 

I cannot recall ever having seen an illustrated rendition of Lovecraft's snake-god, and I wholly admire Pete's vision of ye daemon as pictur'd on the book's jacket. Pete's Yig has a vitality and sense of ominous strength. Although Yig itself never appears in the story, his beloved children do--the lethal snakes that emerge in the story's horrifying conclusion. I have few phobias, but a fear of snakes is one of them. Something in their manner of movement utterly creeps me out and evoke shrieks of horror. But it's strange--coupled with this revulsion is a kind of beguilement, as I discover whenever I visit the Reptile House at ye Woodland Park Zoo. Even though my skin crawls and my stomach churns disturbingly, my eyes seek out the slender cold-blooded forms that move with a kind of gracefulness inches from where I tremble.

Really looking forward to reading this 17th volume in PS Publishing's brilliant series of illustrated volumes, each of which is a spectacular celebration of Lovecraft's genius.


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