The SFFaudio Podcast #684 – AUDIOBOOK/READLONG: The Strange High House In The Mist by H.P. Lovecraft

Podcast
The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #684 – The Strange High House In The Mist by H.P. Lovecraft; read by Gordon Gould. This is an unabridged reading of the story (18 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Evan Lampe, and Jason Thompson

Talked about on today’s show:
Weird Tales, October 1931, rather different, this guy has a family, a series of wellness checks, some tea, knock knock knock, old people are the gateway to the mystic, an old sailor, worldbuilding, Granny Orne (The Shadow Over Innsmouth), The Terrible Old Man, written in 1926, the Klinger anthologies, Kadath, The Horror At Red Hook, He, walking tours of New York, back in Providence, Sonia Greene, Pickman’s Model, Kingsport, a 17th century city, temporal geographies, set in the modern era, architecture, clothing, tudor clothing, maratime connections, 17th and 18th century, The Festival, the third family, the masks and the religious ceremony, underground temple visit, the modules for Call Of Cthulhu, the graveyard, burrows under the graveyard, Indians, sea-folk, Portuguese sailors, a love letter to the sea, between the woods and the sea, positive and uplifting, Olney, he made a friend vs. damned for all time, the sea is faery, horror, a dream story, the Brown library, a fantastic short story by me, like a fantasy, dream-like, raining down dreams, very poetic, improving the language, old replaced with ancient, the original Weird Tales publication, white and feathery, the rim of all the earth, the rim of all earth, a deliberate repeat, its brothers the clouds, conchs and seaweed cities, laden with lore, the solemn bells of the bouys tolled-free in the aether of faery, forgetting and then remembering, when Olney begins learning, Olney’s supposition, faultless, dark skinned, a sailor, a demigod of some kind, he flew in there, he’s airing out the place, sailing the abysses of heaven, a great disposition, Lovecraft’s mystic friend stories, an essay about friendship, a literary trope, super-best friends, an awareness of queerness, a pre-homophobic era, The Rim Of Morning by William Sloane, we were super close friends (not in a weird way), not that kind of too close, don’t grow Granny Orne under the bus, the wife’s name doesn’t matter, male male, immediate bromance, Cool Air, Dr. Munoz, Hypnos, dangerous friendships, friends in his bottles, Robert E. Howard, everybody’s super-religious, indoctrinated by the horrors, stupid pedantic, taboo and scary and yuck, a communicable level, a delight, a lot of people thought he was a weirdo, it wasn’t always easy, they’re not gay for each other all the time, something we think about a lot, evidence please, he makes really good friends, huggings and walkings, taking women on walks, the pink beam moment in Philip K. Dick’s life, ankh moment, Lovecraft’s Kingsport, Marblehead, cruising those streets, Orne looking down, Jason Thompson’s changed the focus to home, the subconscious reading, the doormat, what he is thinking subconsciously, dwelling differently, he left some of himself up there, he’s a philosopher, unlike the tourists, unlike the locals, a chasm, he leaves a note to his wife, he comes back in the morning, experiences with the friend, like him with a beard, the doubles in Hypnos, admirable doubles, in comes Poseidon, Nodens, the diadem of father Neptunes and tritons and naiads, back to Olney, a boring philosopher, The Shadow Out Of Time, a nice little frame, having to pay his mortgage, the bored students, “Nargasucket Bay”, Randolph Carter in The Silver Key, his eyes, plant monsters, the blueberries and briars, set in August, The Festival is set at Christmas, April, we need a Granny Orne story for autumn, she’s got a gambrel roofed house, the idols, immortality, an undeniable theme, The Thing On The Doorstep, The Alchemist, Cool Air, The Tomb, page 14, the life of the mundane, alone high on a mountain peak communing with that which is beyond, the abysses above and below, what planets tell planets, romance is something we can delight in, coffee is great an all (its not an end in itself), coffee is an end in itself, appreciating of the beauty, where his spirit dwells within the house, its a party, a joyous mystic brotherhood, a community of dreamers beyond, friendship and joy, they’re not made of the gossips, lore, lore is something you learn from a local, one of the longest tunnels in North America, there’s a silver mine, water street and ship street, nothing you will learn in those schools, that book needs to be handed to you by one who knows, wiggling at the windows, a hand reaches out and pulls him through, come in come in, don’t try and housebreak him, a very positive and uplifting story, almost completely devoid of horror, the introduction of the supernatural into your life, the ending with the kids, a new kind of unfear, the horror of parents seeing kids playing videogames or social media, my kid is not conforming, generational curiosity, hereditary, The Other Gods, thrown up into the sky, the apprentice survivor, soul trapped in fairyland, the weird shadow against the windows, Futurama, Kif with more fingers, alcohol, going on a bender, bottles everywhere, he resumes his life, a large tradition, H.G. Wells’ Mr. Skelmersdale In Fairyland, La Belle Dame Sans Mercy by John Keats, a powerful and amazing place, fairies are tricksters, he’s lost something, the children have gained the spirit that he’s left, the caves leviathan, raining down as dreams, vernacular knowledge, Ex Oblivione, that whiteness, a black canvas over the rim of the world, the realm of the forms, Lovecraft doing another kind of reincarnation, small changes, the young men, young folk, aspects of sexism, highlights, the symbolist painters, an old man digging a grave, wheat stalks growing in the winter, the gravedigger’s space, an angel with black wings, time has come, the children hearing the music, polyps, venturesome youths, a light may be gone from their eyes, barnacles, humans coming out, a tie of the sea, connected to us, these things are fantastic in our youth, a book of gods, is there a god of forklifts?, the goddess of the sewers, going up there to play, what makes them responsible adults, the horror, they’re playing the Dungeons & Dragons, they’re going to summon demons, return to childhood, less literal, very symbolic, adulthood is being a barnacle (stuck in place), oysters on the rocks, being sedentary, stuck in place, oppositional elements, elfin horns rang over the ocean, elfin things hiding, looking with the right eyes, old and sad, like Lovecraft wearing glasses and signing, drinking, spaghetti, fairyland but straightedge, nightgaunts, sea creatures, The White Ship, Celephais, afraid but still finding beauty, the horror of danger, the horror of revelation, the celestial city in our mind, From Beyond, beautiful, what the sing brings, immigrants, weird smelly fish things, leave the sea alone, Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo (2008), fantasy sea imagery, Wagnerian moments, sea-fairies, the castle, the graphic novel, The Dreamquest Of Unknown Kadath, the same gods, everybody’s adaptations of Robert E. Howard’s Conan, using Lovecraft’s words, his cap, the sign you’re an adult, kids can’t be held responsible for their hats, hat callback, a ray of hope, he stays in the dreamlands, returned to a mundane life, less irresponsible on the weekends, go work for a law firm, any sort of horrible job, pressure, finding the way to be, a gentleman has a car and a driver and a house and not just a room, keep that initial dream alive, how to avoid a mid-life crisis, a kiddie thing to do, how life should be all the time, a series of mundane commutes to work, the mundanity of a terrible commute, massively depressed, blunt and grim, Thomas Ligotti-like, called back again to the horror of flesh, why keep picking at this scab?, Dagon, sleep is oblivion and the Dreamland, describing an experience in words is difficult, more like computer gaming or a great story, not getting out of bed, the place where oblivion can be found, having the experience even if you don’t remember it has to count for something, a general anesthetic doesn’t dull the pain, it makes you forget it, its about Lovecraft’s marriage and place in life when he wrote it, their body lives on and does all the responsible things that bodies do, conflicting desires, that normal life, talk to ancient sea-captains and gods, cut away from Nodens, help me fight the frogpeople, a sense of responsibility, afraid to disappoint, the body remains but the soul escapes, his doppleganger [has] to stay on the world, the soul of Olney, an apocalyptic conclusion, use anything to escape reality, you can have it both ways, closeted gay, queer in a broad sense, the sequence where he talks, sea-creatures getting forked and speared, going through a temple, Gulliver’s Travels, The Drowned Giant by J.G. Ballard, Towing Jehovah by James K. Morrow, snowglobes polyping, a bivalve’s foot, this what they talked about, hardness and liquidity, an hourglass, Ernst Haeckel’s sea-life illustrations, constellation like gods making gestures, the opening sentence is missing a comma, In the morning comma, how grammar works, why didn’t he fix that?, make somebody read it the way you want it to be read, explicitly, where is the comma?, morning mist still, the same morning mist, a cycle, the skydial, what is obscured, paying attention to the missing comma, Aeneid, noir unending or unfinished?, how do you know that?, it flows faster, to what’s in the mist, doing its work, a little curiosity, something to note, more about Granny Orne, solitary figures, she has to be something, he consults them, bachelors or bachlorettes and widows or widowers, The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward, essential saltes, the made up name of one of his friends?, the really young people and the really old people, a Stephen King thing, the old standing watch, one of the definitions of fantasy, where is the magic, the hole in reality where magic creeps in, the magic of childhood, drugs, old age, the ancient past, the sea, where the sea leads, a widows walk on one of the gambrel, shipping out for Herman Melville stories, why bouys are important, conflating the sound of the buoys with other things, a lighthouse for sound, something is happening, an inference, what’s going on in the sea, the lampreys and the fish, the fisherfolk, the shells, the bubbles and the copulation, that mysterious mass, Marblehead with an added grey frozen wind cloud pointing to space, this vast connection, a bottomless pit, infinity, the sky is an abyss, pointing us up and pointing us down, creatures near the coastline, philosophy for the fisherfolk, ascending, astronomy, what’s going on on Pluto, the magic of science, why reading Lovecraft is joyful in a story like this, the North side of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Fransisco, ascent and experience with the other, the view back down, The Tomb, Kadath and Celephais, The Doom That Came To Sarnath, The Beast In The Cave, insubstantial as a story, The Alchemist, about sexuality, H.P.L. (fanzine), Freudian analysis of H.P. Lovecraft stories, body hair, colouring the images, what happens, literally set in a dreamland, what going into a fairyland does to a person, very biblical, set in the age of myths, high house studio, fairly wise use.

The Strange High House In The Mist from Weird Tales, October 1931

The Strange High House In The Mist - from the comic by Jason Thompson

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The SFFaudio Podcast #414 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Unnamable by H.P. Lovecraft

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #414 – The Unnamable by H.P. Lovecraft; read by Mr Jim Moon. This is an unabridged reading of the short story (24 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse Willis, Paul Weimer, and Mr Jim Moon.

Talked about on today’s show:
Weird Tales, a joke, W. H. Pugmire, the Lovecraft learning curve, a very short story indeed, the meta-story, beyond our ken, a literary argument, someone from the Great Race Of Yith came back in time, defending his own fiction, playtesting, every paragraph has vocabulary expanding words, resonances between stories, Philip K. Dick, the night, architecture, the numinous, a fake and also legit defense against the arguments marshaled against him, Neil Degrasse Tyson, dark matter, dark energy, a scare story, the orchestration of the vocabulary, the bat, Carter and Manton, the beginning of it, The Unnamable (1988), mercifully short,

It is all in that ancestral diary I found; all the hushed innuendoes and furtive tales of things with a blemished eye seen at windows in the night or in deserted meadows near the woods. Something had caught my ancestor on a dark valley road, leaving him with marks of horns on his chest and of ape-like claws on his back; and when they looked for prints in the trampled dust they found the mixed marks of split hooves and vaguely anthropoid paws. Once a post-rider said he saw an old man chasing and calling to a frightful loping, nameless thing on Meadow Hill in the thinly moonlit hours before dawn, and many believed him.

New England puritanical horror, who it is or what it is, Cotton Mather, The Tree by H.P. Lovecraft, a hidden murder, Pan, one aspect of the unnameable creature, a faun, a creature of indiscriminate sexuality, pan -> panic, the panisci, the panic of the herd, what are they doing in the hospital, attacked by a bull, a rape story, Archive.org, fs for Ss, the Attic Window, Whispers, The Gable Window by August Derleth, a cruel joke, precipitating the event, Manton’s reaction, ha ha ha I told you so, I whispered an awestruck question, was it like that?, like my memory?, in an earlier age, What Was It? by Fitz-James O’Brien, an unseen demonic force, The Shunned House by H.P. Lovecraft, a two-fisted investigation, flamethrowers, bones and a skull with horns, noisome frigid air, a piercing shriek, a rifted tomb of man and monster, Carter’s sucker punch, an inverse Scooby Doo ending, a malice, a more charitable reading, spinning up a story with a similar effect, the short film, The Shadow Of The Unnamable (2011), the hint of a German accent, the Germans love Lovecraft, the aspect of the animals, the snails, moths, the bat, experiences with bats, tangled in women’s hair, brushed by a bat at night, what is going on in the original Cotton Mather story?, the goose barnacle, bothering farmyard animals, Ring Of Bright Water, a pet otter, a diving terrier, in the film the unnamable has a name: Elida, the 1988 film, the empty Miskatonic University campus, the under-dressed sets, the blank slate (or slab), tabula rasa, nicely drawn out, The Unnamable II: The Statement Of Randolph Carter, a being from “we best not speculate where”, co-terminus beings, an illegible slab, colossal roots sucking, illegible vs. blank, an olive tree, The House by H.P. Lovecraft, magnifying an aspect, a real house, Fungi From Yuggoth, The Howler by H.P. Lovecraft

They told me not to take the Briggs’ Hill path
That used to be the highroad through to Zoar,
For Goody Watkins, hanged in seventeen-four,
Had left a certain monstrous aftermath.
Yet when I disobeyed, and had in view
The vine-hung cottage by the great rock slope,
I could not think of elms or hempen rope,
But wondered why the house still seemed so new.

Stopping a while to watch the fading day,
I heard faint howls, as from a room upstairs,
When through the ivied panes one sunset ray
Struck in, and caught the howler unawares.
I glimpsed—and ran in frenzy from the place,
And from a four-pawed thing with human face.

Lovecraft books become the books, The Weird Writings Of H.P. Lovecraft, spellcasting books,

It had been an eldritch thing—no wonder sensitive students shudder at the Puritan age in Massachusetts. So little is known of what went on beneath the surface—so little, yet such a ghastly festering as it bubbles up putrescently in occasional ghoulish glimpses. The witchcraft terror is a horrible ray of light on what was stewing in men’s crushed brains, but even that is a trifle. There was no beauty; no freedom—we can see that from the architectural and household remains, and the poisonous sermons of the cramped divines. And inside that rusted iron strait-jacket lurked gibbering hideousness, perversion, and diabolism. Here, truly, was the apotheosis of the unnamable.

combining points of view, going back to that 17th century New England horror, The Witch (2016),

Others knew, but did not dare to tell—there is no public hint of why they whispered about the lock on the door to the attic stairs in the house of a childless, broken, embittered old man who had put up a blank slate slab by an avoided grave, although one may trace enough evasive legends to curdle the thinnest blood.

inviting speculation, the image of a person retained in glass, Bob Shaw’s stories about Slow Glass, The Light Of Other Days by Bob Shaw, images imprinted on glass, the motif of photographic lightning, the emotions in physics, The Martians by Ray Bradbury, Oh!, when Paul became an SF fan, legend, the murderer’s eye,

Whether or not such apparitions had ever gored or smothered people to death, as told in uncorroborated traditions, they had produced a strong and consistent impression; and were yet darkly feared by very aged natives, though largely forgotten by the last two generations—perhaps dying for lack of being thought about. Moreover, so far as aesthetic theory was involved, if the psychic emanations of human creatures be grotesque distortions, what coherent representation could express or portray so gibbous and infamous a nebulosity as the spectre of a malign, chaotic perversion, itself a morbid blasphemy against Nature? Moulded by the dead brain of a hybrid nightmare, would not such a vaporous terror constitute in all loathsome truth the exquisitely, the shriekingly unnamable?

The hour must now have grown very late. A singularly noiseless bat brushed by me, and I believe it touched Manton also, for although I could not see him I felt him raise his arm. Presently he spoke.
“But is that house with the attic window still standing and deserted?”
“Yes,” I answered. “I have seen it.”

the skull, the telling of the tale is the summoning of the creature, if only…, Arkham Asylum, rough sex or something, thinking about Elida, why is she so white?, justification, home invaders, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Leatherface takes a moment, backstory, bringing dignity to the situation, get off my tomb!, 6 pages of high level vocab words, the meta-aspect, lazy critical opinions, a linguistic trap, Lovecraft’s riposte to his critics, rumor, imagination, illusion, what effect does it have upon us?, the real horror, what does that do to a man?, Boston, the delicate overtones of life, what are they?, silly milksops, having it both ways, there’s no California gothic, what Algernon Blackwood can do with the wilderness, the power of nature vs. the power of an old building or a graveyard, The Wendigo, a reverence for that witch is unnamed, afflicted by a being, how could Lovecraft exist in a place like California?, had Lovecraft been to Florida by 1925, C.M. Eddy, The Loved Dead, withdrawn from Indiana, Farnsworth Wright, Kissed (1996), a very tasteful and very repellent film, “love knows no bounds”, a take that, Dagon by H.P. Lovecraft, In Defense Of Dagon, an old argument, every day things transcribed, a proper film about Albanian engineers, give us some awards, Tropic Thunder (2008), never go full retard, skewering truth, gameas that people play, pretending to have seen movies or read books, the guilty pleasure, don’t listen to the milksops (whatever they are), Philip K. Dick wanted to write realistic fiction, Lovecraft never dabbled in trying to be respectable, intertextual obssession, a library and a graveyard and a grove, F. Scott Fitzgerald, all the problems that the people at the Great Gatsby party have, facing the nature of the universe, keep the fright away, the beauty and terror of the universe, daytime is for writing letters, petting cats, and eating ice-cream, dreams, attacking F. Scott Fitzgerald, great writing, rushingly boundlessly toward, as an even more concrete opposite: Upton Sinclair and Theodore Dreiser, grinding detail, social documents but not fun to read.

Magnalia Christia Americana Book VI page 35 by Cotton Mather
PROVIDENCE - The Unnamable
The Unnamable scene in Providence, issue 8
H.P. Lovecraft's The Unnamable UNEARTHED CLASSICS

Posted by Jesse Willis