Polaris offers many of the features you’ll find in other H.P. Lovecraft short stories. There’s the repeated language – something that turns up at the beginning of the story will echo at the end, like in The Statement Of Randolph Carter. There’s the atavism, and atavistic guilt you see in stories like The Rats In The Walls. There’s the background of racism, as in The Temple or Cool Air. But what sets this story apart is Lovecraft’s love of astronomy. Many stellar bodies get distinctive shout outs in Polaris. And the fact that the main character spends all his free time staring out at the night sky is reflective, or perhaps refractive, of Lovecraft’s own desire to become an astronomer.
And also like many of his other stories, Polaris had its origins in a dream. Here’s a snippet from the Wikipedia entry for Polaris, quoting a Lovecraft letter:
“Several nights ago I had a strange dream of a strange city–a city of many palaces and gilded domes, lying in a hollow betwixt ranges of grey, horrible hills…. I was, as I said, aware of this city visually. I was in it and around it. But certainly I had no corporeal existence.”
And here’s a |PDF| made from the publication in Weird Tales.
Posted by Jesse Willis