Bsides 11 - Nyarlothotep

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eggyolk
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Bsides 11 - Nyarlothotep

Postby eggyolk » Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:17 am

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Bsides 11- Nyarlathotep by H.P. Lovecraft
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Nyarlathotep... the crawling chaos... I am the last... I will tell the audient void...

Art by Liz Pennies

---

I really love Lovecraft, but have gotten sick of Lovecraft being the "filler" in podcast fiction from time to time.
Imagine my surprise when Norm busted out this B-sides episode.
Norm you read this one with authority, I was listening to on the couch after getting home from church. I gotta say, this one got to me more than the sermon, and we had a pretty good sermon. Strangely I kept hearing in that context, that churchy context. I try to keep my crazy evangelical side locked up in a very very small box, but man one of these days you have do some production on Isaiah. Seriously, full creepy music and everything.

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Re: Episode #11 (I think) Nyarlothotep

Postby ejbman » Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:26 am

I had this B-Side auto-loaded via the SmartList on my iPod, back-to-back with episode #175, so it was a nice, continuous Lovecraft morning for me. (Listened before I even got out of bed, then didn't really want to anymore).

I appreciated the historical note about Tesla. Very interesting. Made me consider whether the Tesla inspiration made it all the way through to the "Bubba Ho-tep" derivation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubba_Ho-tep
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Re: Episode #11 (I think) Nyarlothotep

Postby Mister Gester Ghost » Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:32 pm

I'm not normally a Lovecraft fan, a sign of my youth, but he uses too much abstract imagery for my liking. He'd write something like, "And it was the most terrifying thing he had even seen." and "His horrifying form was beyond human explanation." Nyarlothotep, however, I enjoyed. I don't know exactly what it was about the story, but I liked it.
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Re: Episode #11 (I think) Nyarlothotep

Postby normsherman » Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:54 pm

Yah, this complaint is raised against HP a lot. It may help to know that Lovecraft addressed this himself-- in the opening paragraph of the story "The Unnamable" Lovecraft’s friend chides: “Your constant talk about “unnamable” and “unmentionable” things was a very puerile device, quite in keeping with your lowly standing as an author.” But after encountering a real monster, he claims:

“No – it wasn’t that way at all. It was everywhere – a gelatin – a slime yet it had shapes, a thousand shapes of horror beyond all memory. There were eyes – and a blemish. It was the pit – the maelstrom – the ultimate abomination. Carter, it was the unnamable!”

A truly unnamable unknowable monster has no words by which to define it, which sucks for writers because they only have words to convey the horror and describe the monstrous. I stopped viewing this as a writing cop-out once I actually thought about how similes/metaphors work and how, in most instances of "cosmic horror," there really wouldn't be-- or shouldn't be-- anything adequate to draw comparisons to. Just a series of stammering unsuccessful attempts, followed by an empty phrase like "beyond explanation" which makes you want to violently shake the stuttering lunatic witness/speaker and scream at him "Gah! Get a hold of yourself man, what in the blazes did it look like!?"
Alas, we get "a color that was not a color" and "a shape that was not a shape," and
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Re: Episode #11 (I think) Nyarlothotep

Postby dreamrock » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:11 pm

I like the way H.P. Lovecraft's prose drips. He's not much on imagery, but he's great on describing its effects on the beholders. It's a different kind of showing ("show, don't tell"), so to speak.

It's also easy to overdo. He's like the logical conclusion to Poe (see Mask of the Red Death, Fall of the House of Usher, and The Black Cat in particular) ... there's a lot to be said for his style, and some of it is good.

Despite the silly bits and the hard-to-ignore racism, there's something compelling about his stories and the cosmicism plays a big role in what compels. The idea that human beings aren't simply inferior, but irrelevant on a cosmic scale lends extreme weight. Cthulhu isn't driving men mad by invading their dreams ... his dreams are simply floating in the void and humanity just happens to pick them up (example, not necessarily specifically accurate).

Lovecraft tells the stories in a way that makes me feel like his characters aren't writers or storytellers. They are driven and shocked normal(ish) human beings who have come face to face with unspeakable horrors (uber dramatic voice).

Hm, I can see I'm waxing long. And I haven't even heard the episode yet. More thoughts on this later, perhaps. :lol:
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Re: Episode #11 (I think) Nyarlothotep

Postby normsherman » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:56 pm

Oh and welcome to the forums Mister Gester Goat!
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Re: Episode #11 (I think) Nyarlothotep

Postby ejbman » Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:12 pm

Fans of Charles Stross may be interested to know that "N'yar lath-Hotep" makes an appearance in his latest Laundry Files title, The Fuller Memorandum (http://www.amazon.com/Fuller-Memorandum-Laundry-Files-Novel/dp/044101867X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1282162211&sr=8-1).
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Re: Episode #11 (I think) Nyarlothotep

Postby tbaker2500 » Sat Aug 21, 2010 10:39 pm

Not as good as #175, but short and sweet.
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Re: Episode #11 (I think) Nyarlothotep

Postby moonowl » Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:11 pm

oooh, this really came alive for me. Plus the Tesla connection? No idea. Makes a lot of sense though!
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Re: Episode #11 (I think) Nyarlothotep

Postby Mikes » Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:10 am

normsherman wrote:A truly unnamable unknowable monster has no words by which to define it, which sucks for writers because they only have words to convey the horror and describe the monstrous.


One of my favourite Lovecraft monster was the Dunwhich Horror (I believe, I'm not too hot on names), and I think it shows that this monster is described through the description given by one of his slack-jawed yokels, with their usual limited vocabulary. Who also happens to be going mad.
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Re: Episode #11 (I think) Nyarlothotep

Postby tamarbucks » Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:13 am

Wow. Thanks for turning me onto this story.

I was sucked in. The production was thoughtful and well-executed and greatly enhanced the story, making it easier to enjoy the savory bits of wordplay ("pale pitying moon" ,"corpses of dead worlds with sores that were cities", "the terrible city of unnumbered crimes" etc). The production was indeed so powerful, that I remained swept up in spite of one brief diversion, where the reference to ancient Egypt and space aliens indicated Nyarlathotep was actually a G'ould from Stargate SG1.

The imagery and tone of this production gave me the same feeling I experienced watching Apocalypse Now. Kurtz' horrific village is in the midst of the decaying Buddhist monastery of "false gods" - we are taken "up the endless stairs into the choking room" - and everywhere are shadows and hints of Kurtz's followers' "yellow, evil faces peering from behind fallen monuments".


Anyone -- why was the second tower ragged at the top? Converted to a landing G'ould pad? A post-war WWI image, quietly crumbling with a whimper not a bang?

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Re: Bsides 11 - Nyarlothotep

Postby nevermore_66 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:31 pm

One of my favorite Lovecraft pieces. I took a re-listen at the start of October and (inspired by H.P. and Norm) changed my choice in costume...

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Re: Bsides 11 - Nyarlothotep

Postby ejbman » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:17 pm

Rock ON!!! Awesome costume.

nevermore_66 wrote:One of my favorite Lovecraft pieces. I took a re-listen at the start of October and (inspired by H.P. and Norm) changed my choice in costume...

Image

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Re: Bsides 11 - Nyarlothotep

Postby nevermore_66 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:23 pm

Boy meets girl.
Boy looses girl.
Boy gets girl back...
...one piece at a time.
Strangeness in the Proportion
(Now with 20% more absinthe!)

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Re: Bsides 11 - Nyarlothotep

Postby ejbman » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:07 pm

Ha! Excellent.

nevermore_66 wrote:Thanks!

This was the playbill I was passing out while in costume:

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/315091_10150917081100201_849045200_21829733_1643478536_n.jpg
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Re: Bsides 11 - Nyarlothotep

Postby StalinSays » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:14 pm

Sick stuff man, love it.
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Re: Bsides 11 - Nyarlothotep

Postby normsherman » Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:06 am

Yah, kickass!
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Re: Bsides 11 - Nyarlothotep

Postby nevermore_66 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:50 am

"A sickened, sensitive shadow writhing in hands that are not hands..."

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/319982_10150918011995201_849045200_21838696_1298833468_n.jpg

And finally...

They do their mad, piping dance in chambers that are not chambers, lit by light that is not light, beneath space that is not space, eating peanuts which are neither peas nor nuts -- the Outer Gods: Shub-Niggurath, Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep, Magnum P.I., Azathoth...

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/381093_10150917996875201_849045200_21838467_399026096_n.jpg

Magnum P.I. was.
Magnum P.I. is.
Magnum P.I. shall be.
Boy meets girl.
Boy looses girl.
Boy gets girl back...
...one piece at a time.
Strangeness in the Proportion
(Now with 20% more absinthe!)

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Re: Bsides 11 - Nyarlothotep

Postby tbaker2500 » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:27 am

Sweeeet.
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Re: Bsides 11 - Nyarlothotep

Postby Unblinking » Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:35 pm

Lovecraft tends to be hit-and-miss for me. This one was a miss, unfortunately, I just had trouble paying attention. Give me the Music of Erich Zann anyday!


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