Friday, October 2, 2015

Cthulhu UK and odds and ends

Cthulhu began as a work by HP Lovecraft, but it spread somewhat quickly for the era, especially considering the means of communication were long distance letter writing and travel which would have been: Car, Train, or Ship.  As such, the collective nature of the mythos grew as much for the joy of writing in a joint work as for the desire to create a cohesive, dark, wonderfully well thought out world for all of the writers to write within.  And eventually, a number of those writers joined the circle of Lovecraftians who were from the United Kingdom and Ireland.

"Verily, the star of Azrael hovers over the birth of a beautiful woman, the King of the Dead laughs aloud, and ravens whet their black beaks."  Robert E. Howard

I cannot even begin to list my favorite works of the Cthulhu Mythos except that the Lovecraft was the best of the Lovecraft circle.  And then, Robert E. Howard and Lord Dunsany would fight for the next best. 

“Bow down, I am the emperor of dreams.” Clark Ashton Smith

In dreams and visions lie the greatest creations of man, for on them rests no yoke of line or hue.
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The books below are magnificent and are my favorites as far as choices of stories, book covers, edits, and sturdy constructions.  Tim White the artist, native of Kent, England, UK did the 7 covers.  

Man and the Cosmos
By August W. Derleth

"Death lies athwart the frozen dark
Where never the song of a lark
Has echoed; here breeds the unknown spawn
Of evil, here where there is no dawn.
None but man deserts the light
For probing in this endless night;
None but he dares the icy breath
Of the lurking cosmic death.
Only a tiny atom of flesh
Webbed in an unanswerable mesh
Of questions and burning doubt,
Wanting to known what Life’s about"

Panther books was the book publisher in the UK during the late fifties and sixties who published the books of HP Lovecraft and the assembled writers and creators of the Cthulhu Mythos.

"Chan’s heart knew only greed, but there was within him enough intelligence to wonder before a man who could see all the uselessness of life, and still exult in the possessing of it." Lin Carter

"I am disillusioned enough to know that no man's opinion on any subject is worth a damn unless backed up with enough genuine information to make him really know what he's talking about."  H. P. Lovecraft

I collect the different editions of HP Lovecraft authored books.  The books below have covers illustrated by British artist John Holmes who is no longer with us.  His works are notable for showing horror in ways that visceral, however, they do not necessarily show the content to be found within the books.  Still, they are good.

“Then I perceived, what I had never thought, that all these staring houses were not alike, but different one from another, because they held different dreams." Lord Dunsany

"In dreams and visions lie the greatest creations of man, for on them rests no yoke of line or hue." R.H. Barlow

"What do we know … of the world and the universe about us? Our means of receiving impressions are absurdly few, and our notions of surrounding objects infinitely narrow. We see things only as we are constructed to see them, and can gain no idea of their absolute nature. With five feeble senses we pretend to comprehend the boundlessly complex cosmos, yet other beings with wider, stronger, or different range of senses might not only see very differently the things we see, but might see and study whole worlds of matter, energy, and life which lie close at hand yet can never be detected with the senses we have." HP Lovecraft

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