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.


Indoctrination for Beginners

You couldn’t possibly start early enough with teaching your toddler the…oh, well…wisdom? grandeur? magnificence? …of great Cthulhu.

Here’s how to do it –

Tales of the Plush Cthulhu

(via Lovecraft Country)

Also, I will get the final part of my inquiry on Melville’s frontier apocalypse online this weekend. These last few days I’ve been a bit swamped with work and the not so colorful implications of the wet, cold summer we are just having here.

No, actually these are vampire teeth on my tentacles, see?

A plush teddy to go with the most interesting incarnation of great and mighty Cthulhu? Here it is – tadaa! (via John Brownlee at ectoplasmosis)

As cute as it is – on a cuddling basis – I find the commercial line interesting that goes with it –

Now you can witness Cthulhu in his Dracula form!

First, this doesn’t quite get teratological matters right: Cthulhu is not a shape-shifter (that feat is more the domain of one of the colleagues on the pantheon, Nyarlathotep, the con man of multiple disguises, but of distinct origin: Egypt, and beyond it, the stars!).

Then, isn’t that sentence also an evaluation of the relation Lovecraft’s monster zoo has with more traditional, more deeply-rooted-in-folk monsters like Dracula (who, needless to say, is hardly older as a literary being than, say, Cthulhu – he has something like 20 years on the tentacled one)? That particular relation that David Punter claims does not exist?

Quoth Punter, :

“On the whole, they fail: in cultural terms, their power is nothing compared with that of Frankenstein and Dracula.” (Punter, David. The Literature of Terror. Volume 2. The Modern Gothic. Harlow, Longman, 1996. 45. )

They – he’s measuring here Cthulhu and Robert W. Chambers’ King in Yellow against Frankenstein and Dracula and decrees the former the inferior position at the doorsteps of the great British Gothic symbols, – which position they assume, if at all, only in academic criticism (and certainly British academic criticism) which will be sure to blurp out over-read interpretations of Stoker’s and Shelly’s classics for the next 1.000 academic generations to come.

In literary-cultural terms, Cthulhu has the destruction of the planet up his sleeve and is, of course, a space-travelling alien (without a space ship, that is: space-travelling by birth, if you will), while the vampire has a hard time traversing the sea even to England.

Cthulhu vs. Dracula, 2:0.

In (pop-) cultural terms, Punter’s point doesn’t seem so clearly drawn, either. True. Dracula is one of the strongest signifiers ever to pop into world literature, ever and at all: but where are the Dracula plush teddies (and no, Count von Count doesn’t count, he’s based on Lugosi’s interpretation of the vampire figure), the magical arcana referencing Dracula explicitly as an entity of real-world power, the semi-authentic forbidden tomes you could use to invoke the good sharp-fanged gentleman? Right. Not in this world. Cthulhu has all of these to his credit. That makes a new count,

Cthulhu vs. Dracula, 3:0.