The Riders of the Purple Sage and the End of History

There is something pulling me into the scenario: when I first traveled heads on toward the continental divide, some years back, the West became by definition my part of the US, and some portion of me stayed out there, waiting and advancing memories at regular intervals.


[taken on the way from Los Alamos down on the way to Espanola]

I regularly dream of these colors, of the weight they had on these days in late December.

The crumbling mesa-geography was, no doubt, the most wholesome and beautiful landscape I had seen to that point.


I’d honestly like to come up with more than these curt one-liners, but somehow the Western scape is beyond me, even now – this central European kid has no adequate vocabulary to translate its geographical awe into extended descriptive sentences.

To borrow a phrase from Captain Willard here –

The light and space of New Mexico really put a zap on my head.


This speechlessness certainly accounts for parts of my attraction to a) literatures of the West and b) the frontier. In fact, the last regular class I took before this dissertation thing really took off (over here, you’re not required to do course work while you’re processing your diss, nor would I really find the time with the teaching load I have stacked high up on my priority list) was a reading course on The American Western Novel, including Cooper’s The Prairie, Robert M. Bird’s The Jibbenainosay (right, I mentioned that at some length in my discussion of Melville’s Confidence Man, some while back), a host of other stories, and: Zane Grey’s The Riders of the Purple Sage (1912); and this particular perennial will be de rigeur on the program for the upcoming I-don’t-know-how-many-blogging-days. The connexion with

– ah! Lovecraft! –

is not exactly obvious, but still very viable, and workable, and related to my working hypothesis, here and dissertation-wise, that Lovecraft’s use of race as an issue can be explained best in connection with his use and re-establishment of the frontier as an apocalyptic place. To better understand the fusion of all three, race-frontier-apocalypse, I’m picking out literay/cultural texts to read his stories through.

I’ll pour another post out on how the Riders of the Purple Sage build the frontier, and then I’ll go and apocalyptize the place, as I find it.

Please, not the Kids


As an update to Cthulhu’s Chariot – that was first posted by sigsegv (some rights reserved)  – via The Limbonaut.

The insinuation of it is malicious, in a malicious kind of way.

Cthulhu is supposed to be the eater of the world and of humankind, of course,  so his name, grouped in that way, is rudely ambiguous. Or could it possibly be that anyone is unaware of what Cthulhu is? Not seriously.

Into the Whale

While I have the second part of my inquiry into the apocalyptic frontier – the program says Lovecraft! Lovecraft! Lovecraft!; and it thinks, Lovecraft! Lovecraft! Lovecraft!, but it slides another name in, of course, and blurs the I am Providence-man into the background, there to load all the depth of information on him that is accumulating in the foreground – while I have this half-thought-and-written-out lying here, I thought I’d have a look and see where theis place’s public agenda seems headed –

I dream, dizzily, that people use search terms like

– weird

– weird ways to raze your neighbors’ noise level

– weird ways to dominate the world with any one of your eight tentacles, single-tentacledly

– How do I raise Lovecraft?

– Necronomicon-beach-set

to find this blog.

And I err. Recurrent terms are rather ones like –

sperm bath [that is Moby Dick, and its sperm whales, lobbing this place into the pornographic]

hogzilla [I blogged only once about a giant sow, I am very sure of it.]

dick chopped off [some pornographic mobster with issues seems to post invisible – to me – posts in this place]

Political Maps of Indonesia [Excuse me? The last I read/reviewed on South East Asia was Marlon Brando’s (not really) Fan-Tan, a novel that hardly qualifies me for political expertise on the region.]

And, the one I like best –

1789 guillotine cartoon

Historical, political, colorful, this is more like a program.

Lovecraft 101

via Boy in the Machine

he’s finally entering the curriculum, if in a…well…mythological manner.

And at his place, Cruel Angel presents a written script for the event, Lovecraft 101.

117 and shining

All the best –

Howard Phillips Lovecraft

[first posted by StrangeInterlude, some rights reserved]

August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937

The greatest jerk writer whose birthday party I never had the opportunity to ditch.

Oh yeah, another apocalypse scheme from Germany

[first posted by Chili bob, some rights reserved]

Yeah, that’s exactly what Volkswagen automobiles are known as over here in Germany – chariots of the Gods, even multi-tentacled ones like Cthulhu. Just so as not to create confusion – Miskatonic University is in Massachussetts, and enrollment is extremely competitive.

I am the Last, I will tell the audient Void


[English translation of the video captions provided – here – by psychomachia]

And it was then that Nyarlathotep came out of Egypt. Who he was, none could tell, but he was of the old native blood and looked like a Pharaoh. The fellahin knelt when they saw him, yet could not say why. He said he had risen up out of the blackness of twenty-seven centuries, and that he had heard messages from places not on this planet. Into the lands of civilisation came Nyarlathotep, swarthy, slender, and sinister, always buying strange instruments of glass and metal and combining them into instruments yet stranger. He spoke much of the sciences of electricity and psychology and gave exhibitions of power which sent his spectators away speechless, yet which swelled his fame to exceeding magnitude. Men advised one another to see Nyarlathotep, and shuddered. And where Nyarlathotep went, rest vanished, for the small hours were rent with the screams of nightmare. Never before had the screams of nightmare been such a public problem; now the wise men almost wished they could forbid sleep in the small hours, that the shrieks of cities might less horribly disturb the pale, pitying moon as it glimmered on green waters gliding under bridges, and old steeples crumbling against a sickly sky.