Cyberfriend, as well as Professor, Miltonist, translator, reviewer, philosopher, theologian etc. Jeffery Hodges just posted this book cover on his own blog, because he implies that, according to him, sort of seems like there is something wrong in it. But, mumble mumble, what?!
Wilfried Podriech aka Sätty: the greatest collage illustrator, together with Alberto Breccia. Some samples from his Dracula, 1974-75.
|Bram Stoker, Dracula, ed. Leonard Wolf, |
transl. Adriana Pellegrini,
Milano: Longanesi / Club degli Editori, 1979.
|The Shadow over Innsmouth|
- background by Selkis -
The very deep did rot: O Christ!Atlantis... the tale of the Little Mermaid... the myth of Glaucus... and Pinocchio, why not? Very different sources could inspire The Shadow Over Innsmouth [a title that in Italy has always been wonderfully translated as La maschera di Innsmouth, based on the Lovecraftian phrase “the Innsmouth look,” but literally meaning “the Innsmouth mask.”] Just, those sources suggest a joyful or glorious mood, maybe with a nuance of sadness; whereas HPL insists on feelings of disgust and nausea, the more so as he had a very personal reason for it, i.e. he was allergic to fish. Yet, “he” himself finally---
That ever this should be!
Yes, slimy things did crawl with legs
Upon the slimy sea.
To our Miltonists: Were it possible to state a reference to Paradise Lost, Book 10?
As it had mentioned in a previous post, in this short story Lovecraft deals with economy much more than he used to. And he describes a “rotten” capitalism.
1. Aqualong ( = GMO Guanlong), by Z10
2. Piranhotaurus ( = GMO Carnotaurus), by 10
|Luca's [nearly G. Lucas!] Piranhotaurus|
is so fine that Z10 couldn't help
making his own rendering of it.
|... And the last marvel:|
the Selkised version.
|The Whisperer in Darkness|
… But release me from my bands
With the help of your good hands:
Gentle breath of yours my sails
Must fill, or else my project fails,
Which was to please. Now I want
Spirits to enforce, art to enchant …
Moreover, this is the only time HPL deals with alien technology – except in The Shadow Out of Time, which however doesn't belong to the Cycle of Cthulhu. Science has a major relevance on the terrestrial side too, by stressing the role of photography, though deluding.
Finally, among the different realms of science fiction explored by the writer of Providence, in The Whisperer in Darkness we meet Cryptozoology, i.e. the search for animals whose existence is maintained by legends but not (yet) scientifically proved and officially accepted, e.g. the Mokele-Mbembe or Bigfoot. In Northern America, by the very coasts of New England, “cryptids” were reported already in the 19th century, like the Sea Serpent of Gloucester.
Sopravvissuta is, among the many books written by Fulvia Degl'Innocenti, the one which comes closer to Science Fiction... that's why it 'even' deserves a place here :-) Not "hard SF," to be sure, but a novel based on a possible scientific scenario, the starting point being sort of a she-Robinson Crusoe escaped from a letal global virus. Spoilering-tho-not-spoilering, it can be added that, in the final pages, the origin of the virus and the survival of Sara (the teenage protagonist) is not clearly explained, that is a good thing; unlike, alas, David Moody's Hater where the very explanations 'kill' the so far gripping story. Favorite episodes: the legend about August 10, the village of the dead, the viper.
Sara Ruano is a Spanish illustrator. Having come across her book El Gran Libro de las Princesas (Barcelona: Parramón, 2009 - just translated into Italian as C'era una volta una principessa, Milano: Paoline, 2011), what strikes the eye is her refined art, her skills, her ability in rendering the tritest subject matter of all times in an outdated but updated, and fascinating way.
Sea XLR8, underwater version of one of the alien warriors the young Ben Tennyson ("10") can turn into thanks to his very-high-tech watch.
Incidentally, this is a record picture: after being uploaded in Photobucket, it's been seen by some 1,500 people.
|The Dunwich Horror|
when he was mid-sized
All visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks. But in each event — in the living act, the undoubted deed — there, some unknown but still reasoning thing puts forth the mouldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask. If man will strike, strike through the mask! … Sometimes I think there's naught beyond. But 'tis enough. He tasks me; he heaps me; I see in him outrageous strength, with an inscrutable malice sinewing it.Lovecraft's aliens too are 'empty masks': you strike them, and they disappear as a balloon. But that's no happy end at all, since they can reassemble or revive or reincarnate themselves, one way or another, by ancient magic and/or by superior psychical powers.
From a philosophical standpoint, they look like embodiments of Arthur Schopenhauer's Will[e]. They are not biological beings as the earthly animals and humans are, but somehow they do want, they need, they crave, they fight in order to assert themselves; and they are eternal, ever-coming-back like our desires. (Incidentally, HPL mentioned Schopenhauer in at least one of his letters.)
The extraterrestrials are not strictly evil; they simply follow their own inner spurs. From their point of view, humans are usurpers on planet Earth, their opponents from time immemorial, having mankind conquered the dry lands after the Other Ones from Space were already there. Our mythical ancestors knew how to stop these dark powers--- but now---
[N.B. SPOILER] In The Dunwich Horror, besides, Lovecraft reworks the old, always fascinating theme of the mysterious twin brother and/or Doppelgänger. Indeed, he very clearly writes sort of a blasphemous Gospel: Wilbur – as well as his hidden twin – is born of a human woman and a 'heavenly' entity, we don't know how. And his unnamed brother will die on top of a cursed hill, hideously crying, though in vain, “Help! Help, Father Yog-Sothoth!”
Sociologically speaking, a frequent feature in these stories is decadence and racism: of WASPs against the other peoples, of well educated citizens against often half-brutish villagers, of aliens against terrestrials. With odd consequences when a WASP feels superior to handicapped peasants, and then discovers that they feel superior to him because they have alien blood in their veins, that's why their outer frame is so strange. Wilbur's brother too despises, even kills, Wilbur since the latter is “more human than him.” As it already happened in The Colour Out of Space, the true horror lurks in the homes of very 'normal, common' people. That might be not so obvious in the 1920s.
Don Quijote, by Salvador Dalí, 1946.
Rather than Cervantes' hero, the pictures shows Dali's own Nuclear Mystique, i.e. the body / matter glorified through 'resurrection' (the symbol of the butterfly), i.e. the cosmic, angelic, divine power reshaping Man and making him immortal. The ultimate, subatomic element of matter being "archangelic substance." See the mix among religion, biology, physics and magic in Paracelsus. Dali can be termed the last Renaissance artist and thinker, even turning the crucified Christ into the Super-Human-Being.
Don Quijote, both in Cervantes' text and especially in Dali's illustrations, breaks the laws of common human behavior, undergoes a Passion, and his glory lies in his very going beyond our mean mind limits. In many of Dali's pictures, even the worn-out Rocinante is changed into a wonderful, muscular, nimble white horse, another symbol of resurrection.