The Music Of Erich Zann by H.P. Lovecraft

SFFaudio Online Audio

The Music Of Erich Zann is one of H.P. Lovecraft’s most popular short stories (it runs just 3,450 words).

The Music Of Erich Zann - illustration by Andrew Brosnatch

Here are the opening lines:

“I have examined maps of the city with the greatest care, yet have never again found the Rue d’Auseil. These maps have not been modern maps alone, for I know that names change. I have, on the contrary, delved deeply into all the antiquities of the place, and have personally explored every region, of whatever name, which could possibly answer to the street I knew as the Rue d’Auseil. But despite all I have done, it remains an humiliating fact that I cannot find the house, the street, or even the locality, where, during the last months of my impoverished life as a student of metaphysics at the university, I heard the music of Erich Zann.

That my memory is broken, I do not wonder; for my health, physical and mental, was gravely disturbed throughout the period of my residence in the Rue d’Auseil, and I recall that I took none of my few acquaintances there. But that I cannot find the place again is both singular and perplexing; for it was within a half-hour’s walk of the university and was distinguished by peculiarities which could hardly be forgotten by any one who had been there. I have never met a person who has seen the Rue d’Auseil.

The Rue d’Auseil lay across a dark river bordered by precipitous brick blear-windowed warehouses and spanned by a ponderous bridge of dark stone. It was always shadowy along that river, as if the smoke of neighboring factories shut out the sun perpetually. The river was also odorous with evil stenches which I have never smelled elsewhere, and which may some day help me to find it, since I should recognize them at once. Beyond the bridge were narrow cobbled streets with rails; and then came the ascent, at first gradual, but incredibly steep as the Rue d’Auseil was reached.”

And the Rue d’Auseil, by the way, translates to “street of the threshold” – most appropriate.

Public domain:

LibriVoxThe Music Of Erich Zann
By H.P. Lovecraft; Read by Cameron Halket
1 |MP3| – Approx. 19 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: October 19, 2008
A student of philosophy is forced, by lack of funds, to to take lodgings in a run down rooming house in a strange part of Paris. First published in National Amateur (March 1922), then later in the May 1925 issue of Weird Tales.

Creative Commons:

PseudopodEpisode #100 – The Music Of Erich Zann
By H.P. Lovecraft; Read by B.J. Harrison
1 |MP3| – Approx. 30 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Pseudopod
Podcast: July 25th, 2008

Commercial audiobook:

Horror Audiobooks - The Dark Worlds Of H.P. Lovecraft Volume 4 - The Rats In The Walls, The Shunned House, The Music Of Eric ZahnThe Dark Worlds Of H.P. Lovecraft, Volume 4: The Rats In The Walls, The Shunned House, The Music Of Eric Zann
By H.P. Lovecraft; Read by Wayne June
3 CDs – 2 Hours 41 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audio Realms
Published: 2006
ISBN: 1897304242


H.P. Lovecraft Literary PodcastEpisode #23 – The Music Of Erich Zann
Participants Chris Lackey, Chad Fifer and Andrew Leman
1 |MP3| – Approx. 29 Minutes [DISCUSSION]
Podcaster: H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast
Podcast: September 12, 2010


The Music Of Erich Zann

There is a very good comics adaptation, by writer Roy Thomas and artist Johnny Craig, done for issue #5 (June 1970) of Marvel Comics’ Chamber Of Darkness (the title was changed to The Music From Beyond).

Here’s a disturbingly wordless stop motion animation adaptation:

Posted by Jesse Willis

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