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Author Topic: PseudoPod 685: The Loved Dead  (Read 700 times)

Bdoomed

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on: January 18, 2020, 05:15:17 AM
PseudoPod 685: The Loved Dead

Authors: C.M. Eddy, Jr. and H.P. Lovecraft
Narrator: Andrew Leman
Host: Alasdair Stuart
Audio Producer: Chelsea Davis

“The Loved Dead” originally published in Weird Tales, May-June-July 1924



It is midnight. Before dawn they will find me and take me to a black cell where I shall languish interminably, while insatiable desires gnaw at my vitals and wither up my heart, till at last I become one with the dead that I love.

My seat is the fetid hollow of an aged grave; my desk is the back of a fallen tombstone worn smooth by devastating centuries; my only light is that of the stars and a thin-edged moon, yet I can see as clearly as though it were mid-day. Around me on every side, sepulchral sentinels guarding unkempt graves, the tilting, decrepit headstones lie half-hidden in masses of nauseous, rotting vegetation. Above the rest, silhouetted against the livid sky, an august monument lifts its austere, tapering spire like the spectral chieftain of a Lemurian horde. The air is heavy with the noxious odors of fungi and the scent of damp, moldy earth, but to me it is the aroma of Elysium. It is still–terrifyingly still–with a silence whose very profundity bespeaks the solemn and the hideous. Could I choose my habitation it would be in the heart of some such city of putrefying flesh and crumbling bones; for their nearness sends ecstatic thrills through my soul, causing the stagnant blood to race through my veins and my torpid heart to pound with delirious joy–for the presence of death is life to me!




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I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
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Marlboro

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Reply #1 on: January 18, 2020, 08:26:29 PM
Positives: Extremely effed up subject matter for 1924.

Negatives: Clark Ashton Smith levels of flowery language.

Good reading. I need to get caught up on my HPLHS listening. I think the last thing I bought was The Rats in the Walls.



Fenrix

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Reply #2 on: January 19, 2020, 02:08:24 AM

Negatives: Clark Ashton Smith levels of flowery language.


I'm not sure I see that as a negative.  ;) Of the Weird Tales triumvirate, I would argue that CAS was the most technically capable writer.

Speaking of HPLHS, I recommend Andrew Leman's new podcast Voluminous. I'm rather enjoying the podcast. I like the curated aspect of the presentation of the correspondence, as I randomly perused some of Howie's letters last time I was in Providence. There's not enough time to think about a reasonable approach, because the collection at the John Hay Library is impressive.

If y'all want to hear a little more about C.M. Eddy, the episode "Tidings of Comfort and Joy" provides some further insight. https://www.hplhs.org/voluminous.php 


All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


Simberto

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Reply #3 on: January 23, 2020, 12:42:17 PM
I wasn't that into the flowery language either. It kind of broke the story for me by making me laugh instead of being creepy. When even the most mundane of actions gets described using absurd amounts of alliterations focusing on deep dark depths of despair, it is kind of hard to take the thing seriously.

"It was as if I had quaffed deep draughts of some exotic elixir - some abominable concoction brewed from blasphemous formulae in the archives of Belial." was the point the story lost me and got me into "laugh at silly language" mode.



Languorous Lass

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Reply #4 on: January 30, 2020, 06:23:38 AM
I randomly perused some of Howie's letters last time I was in Providence.

Do Lovecraft fans habitually refer to him simply as “Howie”?  I was struck by the fact that the bio for Eddy said something along the lines of “they were introduced by Howie’s mother.”  But the Lovecraft bio came after the Eddy bio, and (not being a Lovecraft fan, and not having gotten to his bio yet), I thought, “Howie?



Fenrix

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Reply #5 on: January 31, 2020, 03:38:59 AM
I randomly perused some of Howie's letters last time I was in Providence.

Do Lovecraft fans habitually refer to him simply as “Howie”?  I was struck by the fact that the bio for Eddy said something along the lines of “they were introduced by Howie’s mother.”  But the Lovecraft bio came after the Eddy bio, and (not being a Lovecraft fan, and not having gotten to his bio yet), I thought, “Howie?

Well, I wrote that bio copy, so that line collapses back into a point. That said, I find it an effective way to take the piss out of him without feeling the obligation to enunciate his asterisk.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


Languorous Lass

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Reply #6 on: January 31, 2020, 03:21:12 PM
Gotcha. 



Scuba Man

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Reply #7 on: February 22, 2020, 11:39:57 PM
Damn fine. Damn fine. The first time I listened to it,
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
. The story held up much better the 2nd time around.

Great, purple-prose narration, eh.  :)

"What can do that to a man?  Lightning... napalm? No, some people just explode [sic]. Natural causes".  Source: Repo Man.


Fenrix

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Reply #8 on: February 23, 2020, 01:30:05 PM

The first time I listened to it, I thought our little pervert was a necrophiliac. Nah. Pity. That would have been awesome and gloriously screwed-up. As it is, he was caught cadaver-cuddling and that the next best thing, eh.


Oh, it's there. Just not explicitly on the page. Much like Machen's "The Great God Pan" is an utterly filthy story, once you glance off the edge of the page.

There are certain things you can't publish in 1924, and what was written here did still get them in trouble. While there's some debate as to whether the issue was actually yanked off the shelves or not, the hate mail received did strain the relationship between the authors and the editor Farnsworth Wright.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


JDuckworth

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Reply #9 on: February 23, 2020, 03:21:58 PM
This was as good a reminder as any that--despite what some of his fans will tell you--Lovecraft was actually not a very good prose stylist.

When horror has you laughing at a seven-adjective sequence instead of shivering, it's missed its mark.