the myths of cthulhu

10

Bungou Stray Dogs Characters and Their Real Prototypes The Guild:

1. Nathaniel Hawthorne — one of the first and the most universally recognized masters of American literature. He made a great contribution to the genre of novel and introduced elements of allegory and symbolism into the literature. Was in the spiritual Brook Farm commune. Was fond of the theory of transcendentalism. His famous work is ‘The Scarlet Letter’ (Scarlet Letter)

2. Margaret Mitchell — an American writer, author of ‘Gone With the Wind’ (Gone With the Wind)

3. Lucy Montgomery — Canadian writer, known for her serial of books about redhead orphan girl Anne Shirley. Her famous works are ‘Anne of Green Gables’, ‘Anne of Avonlea’, ‘The Story Girl’ (Anne of Abyssal Red)

4. John Steinbeck — an American prose writer, author of many world famous works and short stories: 'The Grapes of Wrath’, 'Eden of the East’ (Grapes of Wrath)

5. Francis Scott Fitzgerald — an American writer, the largest representative of the so-called 'lost generation’. He’s known for number of novels and stories about the 'jazz era’ of 1920s and, of course, for his work 'The Great Gatsby’ (The Great Fitzgerald)

6. Howard Lovecraft — an American writer and journalist working in the genres of mysticism, horror and fantasy, combining them in his own style. Ancestor of Myths of Cthulhu. Known for his works ’The Call of Cthulhu’, 'Dagon’, 'The Silver Key’ (The Call of Cthulhu)

7. Mark Twain an American writer, journalist and public figure. His work covers many genres - humor, satire, philosophical fiction, publicism and others. As an author, he took the position of the humanist and democrat. His famous works are 'The Adventures of Tom Swayer’ and 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ (Huckleberry Finn and Tom Swayer)

8. Louisa May Alcott — an American writer who became famous for her novel 'Little Women’ which was based on her memories about her growing up time with three sisters (The Story of Little Women) 9. Herman Melville — an American writer and seaman, the author of 'Moby Dick, or the Whale’. Wrote not just prose but also poems (Moby Dick) 10. Edgar Allan Poe — an American writer, poet, essayist, literature critic and editor, the representative of American romantism. The creater of modern detective style and genre of psychological prose. He became famous for his novel 'Murders on Morgue St.’ (A Cat on Morgue St.) By Akaigami via Tumblr
Eldritch Diabolism

“ Men of broader intellect know that there is no sharp distinction betwixt the real and the unreal; that all things appear as they do only by virtue of the delicate individual physical and mental media through which we are made conscious of them; but the prosaic materialism of the majority condemns as madness the flashes of super-sight which penetrate the common veil of obvious empiricism. “ -H.P.Lovecraft 

A Brief Synopsis 

 The term “Eldritch Diabolism” literally means “Strange Devil-Worship”. It is defined by classical Diabolism (the worship of demonized gods through the understanding that they were among the first.) coupled with the belief that the gods described in the works, letters and personal notes of H.P Lovecraft were visions and revelations of such demonized gods - making him as a prophet unto us. 

 One may ask: “Is it not foolish to believe in the writings of a horror-fiction writer?” to which it must be rebutted that some 229,157,250 Americans hold a faith based on a book - written by mortal men, and often choose to congregate in large buildings on a particular day to speak and read about the stories contained within said text. Should a scarce few then not be allowed such a privilege, should they hold it in a private and serious manner with those texts they themselves choose, with those texts which at least tell a good story?

It becomes fact to those who choose to work under this system that to be sane is to be ignorant to the world around you. We understand it may be considered outlandish to believe that mankind was formed from mud and the blood of a god, and we revel in the outlandish-ness of such concepts through the acceptance that these stories of old and new, of pious scribes and a horror author, fabulous or not, contain and reveal mysteries of the universe, to be found through the terror or glamour they cast upon us. This universe is to be understood to be but a dream, a series of stories. Make sure your part entertains the ones that dream, and the ones that watch from just beyond the gates of the void.

The revelations of Howard Philips Lovecraft

 From a young age, Lovecraft was prone to vivid dreams, nightmares, visions and bouts of inspired writing. In one 1921 letter to Reinhardt Kleiner, he wrote this:

[…] Amidst this gloom came the nightmare of nightmares - the most realistic and horrible i have experienced since the age of ten […] As i was drawn into the abyss i emitted a resounding shriek … and the picture ceased. I was in great pain - forehead pounding and ears ringing - but i had only one automatic impulse - To write…”

It is then the belief of the Eldritch Diabolist that Lovecraft was receiving the secret names and images of what he titled “The Ancient ones” and “The elder gods” -That is the primordial gods, such as Achlys, Erebus and Tiamat; and the terrestrial gods like Olokun, Thoth, Aries and Dagon.

Many scholars and Diabolists have compiled their revelations over the years since Lovecraft’s death, here are a few interesting selections:

Dread Cthulhu - Olokun, the chained god. Leviathan, serpent of the seas.

Shub-Niggurath - Lilith, haunter in the night. Ishtar, The risen Goddess. Tiamat, Mother of Demons, creator of the world.

Dagon - Dagon, god of the seas and fish.

Azathoth - Primal Chaos, Infinite empty nothingness, yet the potential for all creation.

Yog-Sothoth - Enki, god of seed, magic and knowledge. Apollo, God of knowledge, music, healing, plague and prophecy. 

This list is in no means complete, for the interest of time and the attention of the reader it will be left relatively short - but such connections are not difficult to be drawn up by even the novice researcher, and should prove an act of pious devotion. 

I trust that this posting will help people understand and perhaps even delve into this wonderful and misunderstood path. 

Sources: Cults of Cthulhu; Fra .Tenerous. The Satanic Rituals; Anton S. LaVey Cthulhu Cult; Venger Satanis. The Myths of Greece and Rome; H. A. Guerber. More annotated H.P Lovecraft; S. T Joshi and Peter Cannon. Tales of H.P Lovecraft; Joyce Carol Gates. Olokun; Ifadoyin Sangomuyiwa. Dictionary of Gods and Goddesses; Michael Jordan. The Tree of death and Qliphoth; Jon Gee. Devoted; V.A. 

anonymous asked:

Maybe this isn't the right blog to ask at but I figured I'd try anyway. Do you have any helpful knowledge or tips on writing Lovecraftian horror?

Well, two things come to mind. First: The words don’t mean anything; and second: Lovecraft was racist as fuck, which is both crucial to understanding, and an irrelevant distraction from, what he’s actually doing.

Howard Phillips Lovecraft was not an efficient writer. He was inordinately fond of using obscure and archaic words for aesthetic texture. Generally speaking, this is behavior that every competent writer will warn you to avoid.

A lot of writers that try to emulate Lovecraft latch onto words like “tenebrous” or “eldritch” and inflict them on the reader because, “that’s how this genre of horror works” without really stepping back and trying to understand, “what the hell was Lovecraft thinking when he picked these words out of English’s compost heap?”

The answer is fairly simple and contradictory. At its core, language is about conveying information. That’s what it’s there for. Lovecraft was subverting that. He was using language to obstruct the flow of information, by inserting terms that were (potentially) correct, but would confuse the reader.

It’s not about picking the right word, it’s about picking the word that is just strange enough to muddle the entire sentence, and prolong the confusion. (To be fair, I’m not sure how much of this was intentional, and how much was an unintentional side effect of Lovecraft’s upbringing.)

Horror thrives on ambiguity and imprecise information. The more information you convey, and the more efficient you are with that information, the faster you can kill the horror you’re trying to cultivate. This is a constant struggle in writing the genre; conveying enough information to keep the reader cued in, while withholding enough to maintain the unknown.

Lovecraft skews hard towards keeping the reader in the dark. It’s not necessarily a bad approach, but it is very tricky to execute well.

The best approach is to make sure the actions of your protagonists are clear and understandable, but the information they collect, and the rules your antagonists/monsters/star gods work under are unclear or completely hidden. Strictly speaking this isn’t Lovecraftian, since he had a real fondness for letting the ambiguity leak over onto his protagonists.

This leads to an interrelated issue. When Lovecraft was writing, the idea of a vast uncaring universe filled with unimaginable and utterly alien beings was fairly novel. Today, Lovecraft’s material isn’t that different (on a structural) level from an episode of Star Trek or The Twilight Zone. That isn’t to say you can’t do anything interesting with the concepts, just that you do need to offer a bit more than what Lovecraft did because it’s 100 years later, and literature has marched on.

The second part is the racism. Honestly, if you can read Lovecraft and not be deeply disturbed by the ethnocentrism, then you may have seriously misread the text. Or made the same mistake mentioned above of thinking, “well that’s just how this genre works.” It is, but it’s something you need to look at very carefully.

That Lovecraft was a racist is, really, just a distraction. While there are legitimate discussions about cultural context and morality, and the implications of that on someone’s work, it does not change the fact that Lovecraft is one of the most significant writers in early American horror. Liking his work doesn’t mean you automatically endorse his politics. The world is full of writers who are truly horrible people. Reading, or even enjoying their writing does not reflect on you.

That said, Lovecraft’s ethnocentrism does leak over into his work, and it forms the foundations of his horror and (intentionally or not) does a fantastic job of informing the kind of damage racism can actually inflict.

At a fundamental level, racism can be described as exclusion from communication. It’s the moment where you say someone else has nothing of value to contribute to the conversation of human experience because of their ethnicity. There’s all the motivations that lead to this, and the consequences are far reaching, but (at least for discussing literature) it’s the moment where you exclude someone from the conversation because of how they look and not based on their argument or experiences.

Lovecraft steps beyond that and attributes some pretty harmful stereotypes to a lot of different groups. He uses real people and their cultures as a vector to insert alien gods into his world. There’s two parts for this.

First, it’s insensitive. In picking up someone else’s culture, and turning it over, poking it for stuff, it is always worth remembering that you are repurposing someone else’s contribution to the conversation. Deliberately misrepresenting that as something it’s not can be harmful. It’s a staple of pulp, and in turn the kind of horror that Lovecraft was writing. But it’s something that does need to be considered very carefully, because it’s no longer 1920.

Also, more than insensitive, it actually undercuts the genuinely interesting things lurking in other cultures’ myths and legends. In a very real way, the Cthulhu mythos is actually less interesting than the cultures Lovecraft was co-opting. Myths exist as a way to explain how we understand the world. What Lovecraft did was scratch that out and replace it with an oversized squid hitting the snooze button. It’s creepy, sure, but it’s far less compelling than the Polynesian and African myths he climbed over to get there. If you’re wanting to write about some lost civilization in some faraway land that had contact with aliens from before time, then a good place to start is by reading about the civilizations that actually existed in the area at the time, and try to get a picture of how they viewed the world. As much as peering into the unknown was Lovecraft’s forte, it’s the human experience that grounds horror and makes the fear of the unknown that much more compelling. Not the tentacles; I don’t care how tenebrous they are.

The second part is, he manages to accurately depict the self-destructive effects of racism. Again, some of this is probably unintentional, but the distorted view of the world that his protagonists frequently share is worth noting. It’s not that they’re maliciously racist, but that they have an abnormally limited frame of reference for the world around them. In fairness, that frame of reference would have been familiar to many of Lovecraft’s contemporary readers. He demonstrates how xenophobia diminishes one’s ability to interact with and understand the world.

This is easily one of the biggest stumbling blocks for writers who approach Lovecraft. He was racist (or was at the very least an elitist, ethnocentric, snob). His characters are frequently racist, (or, at least, elitist).

Writers who approach Lovecraft as a fan, run a real risk of missing how pervasive the racism really is. It’s not that the protagonist of Shadow over Innsmouth is racist, it’s that the entire premise is. And yet, as horror is still very effective.

Horror thrives on fear of the unknown; that something is out there, lurking, waiting to do unspeakable things to you. Which brings us to:

Xenophobia: fear of that which is alien to you; that which you do not understand.

In a way, it’s a natural fit, but a very hazardous one. The fear of people who follow different customs and have a different culture, juxtaposed against a modern world that no longer has any tolerance for that kind of prejudice.

I’ll stress something I said earlier. What you like does not reflect on you. More than that, the characters you write don’t automatically reflect on you as a person. How you use them, and whether you endorse their views does.

Lovecraft’s writing lays a treacherous path that is difficult to follow; so tread carefully.

-Starke

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