Protecting Project Pulp 50: H P Lovecraft

Main Fiction: “The Nameless City” by H. P. Lovecraft, first published in the November 1921 issue of The Wolverine. This is the first ever story in the Cthulhu Mythos.

Narrator: Wilson Fowlie.

When I drew nigh the nameless city I knew it was accursed. I was traveling in a parched and terrible valley under the moon, and afar I saw it protruding uncannily above the sands as parts of a corpse may protrude from an ill-made grave. Fear spoke from the age-worn stones of this hoary survivor of the deluge, this great-grandfather of the eldest pyramid; and a viewless aura repelled me and bade me retreat from antique and sinister secrets that no man should see, and no man else had dared to see..

8 thoughts on “Protecting Project Pulp 50: H P Lovecraft”

  1. As mentioned in last week’s comments, Smith is certainly a name you should be watching out for in the near future. 🙂

    Seabury Quinn isn’t currently in our pipeline, though – Odilius, can you point us at a story you’d recommend?

  2. Ufff… It’s a very tough task to pick up a story from the literary bulk of Seabury Quinn’s pulp legacy. But I can mention the last one I read by him: “Frozen Beauty” (Weird Tales, February 1938). Of course, that’s only one title among his huge production.

    As for Klarkash-Ton… Well, I’d like to hear some of his pulp science fiction published in Wonder Stories. For they haven’t received much atention so far.

    Thanks!!!

  3. Hi, Odilius. We always appreciate your comments. I’m completely unfamiliar with Quinn, so I will definitely take a closer look. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that we deal in public domain stories, almost exclusively, so that may be one reason why I haven’t noticed him. (Although I see now “Frozen Beauty” is PD; I’ve passed on it so far because it would be almost 2 hours long. I will read it however, since you recommended it.)

  4. Ok… In the other hand, It’s imposible to me not to draw a comparison between this story and Abraham Merritt’s “The People of the Pit”, for is obvious that we’re dealing here with the Lost Worlds’ genre.But let’s face it… “The People of the Pit” has no match in this genre by the masterful evocation Merritt did of an otherworldly horror that creep through your mind like the intoxication of an hallucinogenic fungus does it through your blood. To Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwod’s “The Willows” was the best horror story ever penned.But man!!!… Even if this sound like a blaphemy against the Master, I dare to say that with all its expresion of the dark forces of Nature, “The Willows” doesn’t open the tangible horror “The People of the Pit” does.

    And of course, regarding “The Nameless City”, the way in which Lovecraft’s narration unfolds the ancient horror of the lost world, is naive beside Merritt’s. Only think about a scene shared by the two stories: the discovery of a stairway leading into the underworld. Here’s how Merritt introduced his:

    “I traced them out vaguely. Suddenly I felt Unaccoutably sick. There had come to me an impression -I can’t call it sight- an impression of enormous upright slugs. Their swollem bodies seemed to dissolve, then swim into sight,then dissolve again -all except the globes which were their heads and that remained clear. They were -unutterably loathsome.Overcome by an inexplicable and overpowering nausea I streached myself upon the slab. And then -I saw the stairway that led down into the pit!

    -A stairway! We cried”

    That’s fucking creepy man!!!

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