The SFFaudio Podcast #647 – The Picture In The House by H.P. Lovecraft; read by Mike Manolakes. This is an unabridged reading of the story (21 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Trish E. Matson, and Connor Kaye
Talked about on today’s show:
The National Amateur, July 1919, written in December of 1920?, published in mid-1921?, dates, 1589, November of 1896, its real debut, 1924, March 1937, pretty funny, fun, hinting at ominous things happening, the longevity of the old man, a fun little horror story, not particularily Lovecraftian, The Hound, people who like horror a bit too much, obsessed with the macabre and the dangers of that, the frame, we could strike out the first 3 or 4 paragraphs, why we should think that rural ruins are more horrifying than Egyptian tombs, Frederick Heimbach, The Horror In The Museum by Hazel Heald and H.P. Lovecraft, the structure vs. the sentences, prune and collapse, the structure is perfect, this is Lovecraft’s philosophy, the worst thing that can happen to a person for them to degenerate, a basket of deplorables story, unworthy of my attention or pity, a home invader, a good thing, stand your ground, welcoming and kind, dinner just walked in, playing this for jokes, maybe he really does want to talk to somebody, since they took the stage (coach) away, the neighbours he’s been eating, the lake, upstairs there’s a dead body having been butchered, the kitchen upstairs, not all houses are put together in the same way, just killed somebody up there, the blood seeping through the ceiling, caught in mid murder, why he didn’t answer the door, this whole thing that didn’t happen at all, a house memory, our traveler would have heard it, light Lovecraft, Will is making fun of Jesse for being a cannibal, anthropophagi, The Rats In The Walls, Captain Norrys, The Lurking Fear, the local cannibal family, backwoods, a lighting strike, all the ghouls stories, a ghoul dream, really hungry on a ship with no food, cuz its funnier, incest is a bigger taboo, wrong reason, The White Ape (aka Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family), a gorilla great grandma, cannibal curious, in one reading he is a cannibal, Dagon, mental illness, the HPLHS’s Dark Adventure Radio Theatre’s adaptation of The Picture In The House, Connor’s find of the short film adaptation by Josh Deane, like Lovecraft Country but actually good, pretty sure that’s what it means, from Arkham vs. from Boston, Miskatonic Valley, making a judgement, tied to a theme, Bad Medicine, the same core, The Shadow Over Of Innsmouth, the closest to body horror, The Horror At Red Hook, Re-Animator, physical body chopping, since blood is good for the body, a theory of immortality, if Evan was here, the same story, a little shorter than most, a jokey tone, looking for a friend to have dinner with (rather than of), let me tell you how I feel about this picture, it gives me a tickle, a villain speech, the resident, being treated as deplorable, tri-racial isolates, not pure blooded, they’ve let themselves go, tainted by madness, genealogical research is for the elderly, bad genes, bad blood, the consuming horror of HPL, actually related to our narrator?, the big twist, the guy he got the book from, they have common connections, the horror that he sees in the other guy’s visage, no wife to nag him into putting on socks that match, he went wrong, he’s always very careful, his suits were taken, presentable in society, the only thing standing him between him and destruction, eating your beans, a particular human’s psychology, the n-word, the uneducated and illiterate cannibal, he ate his schoolmaster, a dynamic that’s still around, the rural/city divide, Calgary, caked in dirt, a weird accent, he doesn’t care, thinking as yourself as superior to people not like you, prejudices, where the rednecks or hillbillies, the hosers, rural areas, a farming area in New South Wales, Crocodile Dundee, a caricature, Northern Territory, its so distant, what Lovecraft is horrified by, worse than having a great grandmother being a negro, I’m going to be a frog man!, what the dreams were telling him, whatever it is they say last is the real ending, how it actually ends, the open book lay flat between us, the picture is staring, rain is not red, a small red spattering, the horror of the engraving, stopped whispering, the ceiling, the room, the floor, allowing us to picture it, loose plaster, wet crimson, even as I viewed it, the equivalent of fainting, especially in Call Of Cthulhu games, the thunderbolts, the oblivion that saved his mind, amidst whose fury, a smoky solitude, if he was ever in it, very simple, somewhat unusual, this also happens in Cool Air, something that actually happened, it was freaky, he includes it in his stories, Poe is obsessed with beautiful dead women, Lovecraft is obsessed with houses, what does he care about, grammatically strange, searchers after horror, nightmare countries, Lord Dunsany, people like horror movies, horror fiction, whose they guy who kind of invented it, Romans and Greeks were tourists in Ancient Egypt, Maupassant, Goya’s in that business, sensation, a reversed subject, they climb to the moonlit towers, Rhine castles, in Asia, The Nameless City, the true epicure of the terrible, the ancient lonely farmhouses of backwoods New England, unutterable secrets, The Colour Out Of Space, it wasn’t his father’s fault he got syphilis, they didn’t know, stay modern with the furniture, he trades horses and slaughters sheep, the meat packers, the worst places, catacombs and mausolea, a memory of the house, personification of the house, the windows stare dreamily, the house is the villain, to save it it must burn, merciful to tear down these houses, they must often dream, the title, the picture in the book, the picturesqueness, hplovecraft.com website, why isn’t it called the Portrait of Dorian Gray?, a distancing effect, the vision in the house, what was about to happen, the master of tingling himself with horror, tickling his blood, its creepy in the film adaptation, a real human face, we see him arrive, why houses are important as monuments to human civilization, the same excuse that every Lovecraft narrator has, I’ll tell you why I’m afraid of cold [Cool Air], I’ll tell you why I’m afraid of tall buildings [The Horror At Red Hook], I’ll tell you why I’m afraid of subways [Pickman’s Model], a whole Arkham Asylum full of phobias, the game mechanisms, this a guy who went looking for it, its all made up, Jesse thinks it’s funny, the violation of the host guest relationships, The Odyssey, eating his cheese and drinking his wine, it is rude to eat your guests, Circe’s Island, Calypso’s Island, how this story is told, a homeless man comes to your house and trades a song for a supper, Penelope’s suitors, house rules, violations, home invader vs. guest eater, what being a gentleman is all about, keep it in your journal, a gentleman makes judgements, neither character is ever named, is the narrator male?, The Outsider, males as active agents in the world, male writers writing from a male perspective, if we gender flipped it, if we gender flipped the host, a wicked witch and Hansel And Gretel story, The Tomb, that ancestor is coming back through him, they promise me when I do die, Jervas Dudley, why we think these guys are related, you can’t eat your own family!, one level worse, ritualized cannibalism, keeping them alive within themselves, the body of Christ, Sigmund Freud, the universal taboo, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, mad-cow disease, prion disease, weird proteins, Mark Twain’s Cannibalism In The Cars, the honorable member from Arkansas, a time of food abundance, mass starvation in Germany and Ireland, no Costcos to break into, where Hansel and Gretel’s horror comes from, the children are too expensive, exogamy vs. incest, the Royal families of Europe vs. the Royal family of Hawaii, coming from pre-genetics, how many stories are out there where a twin inseminated a twin’s wife?, our levels of taboo are odd, coming from the genetic level, an instinctual repulsion from these acts, cultures where the genetic father doesn’t matter, adopting kids, what humans do, values and stories, you want someone to take care of you in your age, in welfare-ish states, dogs suckling cats and cats suckling dogs, quasi-mammals (marsupials), a wombat in a kangaroo pouch, experimenting to do, Filippo Pigafetta’s Regnum Congo the book inside the book, written in Latin, Thomas Huxley, H.G. Wells’ boss, Evidence As To Man’s Place In Nature by Thomas Huxley, the source?, our bearded host, didn’t realize the antique printing couldn’t represent dark skin tones well, black Africans, not represented well, lost white races, Opar from She, false ideas being propagated by a printing limitation, plate 9, a zebra as drawn by someone who has never seen one, those look like oxen or antelopes, half-monkey people, alligator with wings!, a dinosaur?, droopy leaves, banana leaves, two levels, a game of telephone, interpreting, quaint, the butcher shop is a market stall, almost childish interpretation, what’s happening all over the place, actual impression, we’ve seen what a zebra looks like, an extant or an extinct creature, a vulture, weird animals, a bear with mange, hairless dogs and cats, spirit bear (white black bears), white foam, designed to fit, a black swan incident, cooper’s hawks, cougars are more often seen today, bears are browsers, injuns, the elephants look pretty legit, komodo dragons are not small, Evan Lampe‘s podcast, kinda dour, the ocean and the sea and transatlantic trade, he died in the War, always seeking immortality, The Alchemist, The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward, the Deep Ones, we’re afraid of death, distracting, romance novels, making podcasts, making podcasts spawn other podcasts, we have this within us, to exist into the future, interrogate my own psychology, intimately tied to thinking about the past and the sea, England or Ireland or Africa, that’s what makes it so good, if its not very deep or I don’t see if it is deep, something deep within us, shallow stories and deep shadows, where did this rock come from, grapple with the reality that’s in it, you put it in my hand, this is the bloody knife I used to kill your mother, she died from neglect, its probably good even if it is badly written, reading in a foreign language, harder to access, harder to appreciate, the book of Lovecraft Country, great (from what Trish has heard), Lovecraft’s fear of the other, interesting and pitiable, shock and horror, more horrible than anything, ridiculous, they never fell because they never rose, our northern ancestors, generations of strange people, seized with a gloomy and fanatical belief, treeland turned to a farm, free from restriction, the dismal phantasms of their own mind, so deplorable, the strength of these Puritans, morbid self-repression, Nature (the enemy), cold norther heritage, how can it be there are white trash, sew the suit back up, a personal psychological problem, his parents taught him racism, an exchange between Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft, taught them there place, I applaud you sir, a bicyclist, this actually happened, visiting somebody’s – where do you keep the books – they don’t have a book, THE HORROR!, engaging on a level we think is important, constantly struggling, his self esteem is based on his genealogy (and living up to it), make it always fit, his inability to go to university, reading pulp magazines, running himself down, taking pride in something is a mistake, he had a hand in some bad stories, a gift, studying, when people wrote to him he gave them advice, Brown, whatever scrap paper was around, professional writers, Jesse can see this in himself, getting the math answers right, phd at Harvard (I’ve created a monster), the requisite shape to fit that thing, Adolphe De Castro, The Automatic Executioner and The Electric Executioner, letters to August Derleth are terse, not intellectually interesting, maybe people appreciate you, not a hater, part of being a gentleman, a Lovecraft explainer that calls HPL the king of the all the Karens, a slur, the automat, shallow work, Connor Kaye delves deep, YouTube has a problem with explainer videos (an industry on hot topics), bad incentives in podcasting (and YouTube), worth struggling through the mess, sensitive ourselves for what is junk, why Jesse loves Evan Lampe so much, nautical stuff, the original oil industry (whale oil), Evan’s YouTube channel, sex stuff, the body is in the bedroom, one of Leslie S. Klinger’s annotations, sexually repressed, theories that Lovecraft was gay, you have to reconcile with it, gay bashing is a real thing, Jeffrey Dahmer, repressed sexuality, he’s not married, kind of bear like, not a twink, femme, Providence by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows, big beard and weird, if Alan Moore played the host, Robert Black, the H.P. Lovecraft stand-in figure, a series of sexual encounters, Asenath Waite, her father, an ancient wizard, an alien, literally a transgender character on some level, the sexuality of all of these relationships, traumatized in the rain, the Lilith figure in The Horror At Red Hook, full of sexual imagery, letters where he says he investigated that stuff, disgusted or disappointed, aromantic, his weirdness, a very dutiful husband, there are many such around us, all kinds of ways to live, one lives on the land one lives on the river, husband and wife who live next to each other, the serial killer amongst us, a modern Lovecraftian trailer, The Shunned Trailer by Esther Friesner, The Terrible Parchment by Manly Wade Wellman, a whole bunch a sticks and a camera The Blair Witch Project, Manly Bannister.