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I accidentally read some Derleth this week, mistakenly thinking it was Lovecraft. I'm not the greatest fan of HPL's writing finding it, except in a few cases, somewhat turgid. But Derleth, ugh. Even when there is clear narrative progression from blithely unaware but doomed soul to crushed and eviscerated protagonist, he manages to suck any soul from the story. It is like watching a Hollywood remake of an Almodovar film.

Having had two very dull weeks off work, I've now got a big stack of internet ordered books - I didn't feel like doing much except aimless browsing. So I've started with a collection of Ligotti shorts. He is supposedly the new underground HPL and whilst, in the stories I've read so far, there's no sense of any mythos, there's certainly more than was dreamt of in your philosophy. Slightly less interestingly, it always seems to be out to get you. Or at least that's the case in the three I've read so far. The writing is very similar to HPLs with little sense of excitement and overwordiness but it is much more readable than the big D.

I see Ramsey Campbell's creation Ygonlac, the enormous wodge of fat with no head and mouths on his hands, best seen in Blair Reynold's cover of Courting Madness, as being some embodiment of Derleth.

But even so, Ligotti hasn't really got me yet. I've also got a couple of Japanese mythos volumes which I'm hoping will deliver more.

I also got Paula a silent mouse (from Thanko.jp) so that one can click on the laptop in the sitting room without clicking and disturbing anyone who happens to be watching Eastenders. It's a very strange thing to use because the click is what tells you that you've done something so it's hard to get a sense of having done anything. Even when it's apparent on the screen.

Finally, in pursuit of the mi-go, I read HPL's poem the Fungi of Yoggoth, " Seth bricked the well-mouth up as tight as glue - Then hacked an artery in his gnarled left arm." He must have read the poem too.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 2nd, 2007 11:35 am (UTC)
I recall, from my Lovecraft reading phase, that most of his writing was indeed poor bordering on funny. "I've got all these big words and I'm going to use them! Reader comprehension be damned!" A couple of stories were actually scary - I think The Rats in the Walls was one. Get some M R James down you as an antidote!
Mar. 2nd, 2007 12:27 pm (UTC)
I'm not quite so interested in the scariness of the stories, I especially dislike the way Derleth ends half of his with a paragraph in italics, finished off with an exclamation!.

But James is great, more creepy than scary and very well written. The BBC's series of dramatisations is rather good too, particularly A Warning to the Wise.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )