Wednesday, July 6, 2011

On "The Temple" by H. P. Lovecraft (5388 words) *****

This is the first time I've every read Lovecraft. Now I know why Paul Bowles and other fans find him so appealing. This story at least is a mix of fantasy and madness, which makes it all the more entertaining and hard to pin down.

On a long cruise in the Atlantic, a seaman finds refuge on the deck of a submarine--only to be drowned. Or so that's the theory. In his possession is a magnificent piece of ivory that one of the crewmen takes possession of. Over the coming weeks, the crew goes mad, claiming it's a curse of the ivory piece. Our narrator, however, always a cool and rational one dismisses all warnings, recognizing these cautions as just what they are--mutterings of a crew too long at sea, too long alone, separated from others. Or are they? With such an ultrarational narrator, Lovecraft plays on this border with madness for full effect. Read the story here at Innsmouth Free Press.

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