Saturday, May 26, 2012

Know Your Elder Gods - Darrell Schweitzer

"“All my tales,” H.P. Lovecraft famously wrote to Weird Tales editor Farnsworth Wright in 1927, “are based on the fundamental premise that common human laws and interests and emotions have no validity or significance in the vast cosmos-at-large. To me there is nothing but puerility in a tale in which the human form – and local human passions and conditions and standards – are depicted as native to other worlds or other universes. To achieve the real essence of externality, whether of time or space or dimension, one must forget that such things as organic life, good or evil, love and hate, and all such attributes of a negligible and temporary race called mankind, have any existence at all. . . . If I were writing an ‘interplanetary’ tale it would deal with beings organized very differently from mundane mammalian, and obeying motives wholly alien to anything we know upon earth – the exact degree of alienage depending, of course, on the scene of the tale; whether laid in the solar system, or in the utterly unplumbed gulfs still further out – the nameless vortices of never-dreamed-of strangeness, where form and symmetry, light and heat, even matter and energy themselves may be unthinkably metamorphosized or totally wanting. I have merely got at the edge of this in ‘[The Call of] Cthulhu,’ where I have been careful to avoid terrestrialism in the few linguistic and nomenclatural specimens from Outside which I present.” 4 out of 5