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Encyclopedia > The Call of Cthulhu
"The Call of Cthulhu"
Author H. P. Lovecraft
Country Flag of United States USA
Language English
Genre(s) Horror short story
Published in Weird Tales
Media type Magazine
Publication date February, 1928
Cthulhu with the insane city R'lyeh in the background.
Cthulhu with the insane city R'lyeh in the background.

"The Call of Cthulhu" is one of H. P. Lovecraft's best-known short stories. Written in the summer of 1926, it was first published in Weird Tales, February 1928.[1] It is the only story written by Lovecraft in which the extraterrestrial entity Cthulhu himself makes a major appearance. Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937) was an American author of fantasy, horror and science fiction. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Horror fiction is, broadly, fiction in any medium intended to scare, unsettle, or horrify the reader. ... This article is in need of attention. ... This page is about the fantasy and horror fiction pulp magazine and its heirs. ... Image File history File links Cthulhu_and_R'lyeh. ... Image File history File links Cthulhu_and_R'lyeh. ... Rlyeh is in the middle of one of the biggest patches of empty ocean on Earth. ... Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937) was an American author of fantasy, horror and science fiction. ... This article is in need of attention. ... Summer is one of the four seasons of the year. ... See also: 1925 in literature, other events of 1926, 1927 in literature, list of years in literature. ... This page is about the fantasy and horror fiction pulp magazine and its heirs. ... See also: 1927 in literature, other events of 1928, 1929 in literature, list of years in literature. ... Cthulhu and Rlyeh For other uses, see Cthulhu (disambiguation). ...


It is written in a documentary style, with three independent narratives linked together by the device of a narrator discovering notes left by a deceased relative. The narrator pieces together the whole truth and disturbing significance of the information he possesses, illustrating the story's first line: "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents."

Contents

Plot summary

The story is presented as a manuscript "found among the papers of the late Francis Wayland Thurston, of Boston".[2] In the text, Thurston recounts his discovery of notes left behind by his grand-uncle, George Gammell Angell, a prominent professor of Semitic languages at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, who died suddenly in "the winter of 1926–27" after being "jostled by a nautical-looking negro".[3] 14th century BCE diplomatic letter in Akkadian, found in Tell Amarna. ... Brown University is a private university located in Providence, Rhode Island. ... Nickname: Location in Rhode Island Coordinates: Country United States State Rhode Island County Providence Government  - Mayor David N. Cicilline (D) Area  - City  20. ...


"The Horror in Clay"

The first part of the story, "The Horror in Clay", concerns a small bas-relief sculpture found among the papers, which the narrator describes: "My somewhat extravagant imagination yielded simultaneous pictures of an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature.... A pulpy, tentacled head surmounted a grotesque and scaly body with rudimentary wings."[4] Bas relief is a method of sculpting which entails carving or etching away the surface of a flat piece of stone or metal. ... Suborders †Pohlsepia (incertae sedis) †Proteroctopus (incertae sedis) †Palaeoctopus (incertae sedis) Cirrina Incirrina Synonyms Octopoida Leach, 1817 The octopus (Greek , eight-legs) is a cephalopod of the order Octopoda that inhabits many diverse regions of the ocean, especially coral reefs. ... It has been suggested that European dragon be merged into this article or section. ...


The sculpture turns out to be the work of Henry Anthony Wilcox, a student at the Rhode Island School of Design who based the work on his dreams of "great Cyclopean cities of titan blocks and sky-flung monoliths, all dripping with green ooze and sinister with latent horror." These images are associated in the dreams with the words Cthulhu and R'lyeh.[5] The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD, pronounced /RIZ-dee/) is one of the premier fine arts institutions in the United States. ... Dreaming is the subjective experience of imaginary images, sounds/voices, thoughts or sensations during sleep, usually involuntarily. ... Cyclopean is a descriptor applied to the characteristic wall-building method of the Mycenaean culture. ... Rlyeh is in the middle of one of the biggest patches of empty ocean on Earth. ...


Wilcox's dreams began on March 1, 1925, culminating in a period from March 23 until April 2 when Wilcox was in a state of delirium. During the same period, Angell's research reveals, there were cases of "outre mental illnesses and outbreaks of group folly or mania" around the world — from Paris and London, Africa and South America, Haiti and the Philippines, western Ireland and India. In New York City, "hysterical Levantines" mob police; in California, a Theosophist colony dons white robes to await a "glorious fulfillment."[6] This article is about the mental state and medical condition. ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) The Eiffel Tower in Paris, as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... The Levant is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in Southwest Asia south of the Taurus Mountains, bounded by the Mediterranean Sea in the west, and in the east, the north Arabian Desert and Mesopotamia. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... Theosophy, literally god-wisdom (Greek: θεοσοφία theosophia), designates several bodies of ideas. ...


"The Tale of Inspector Legrasse"

In the second part of the story, "The Tale of Inspector Legrasse", Angell's notes reveal that the professor had heard the word Cthulhu and seen a similar image much earlier. At the 1908 meeting of the American Archeological Society in St. Louis, Missouri, a New Orleans police official named John Raymond Legrasse had asked the assembled antiquarians to identify a statuette, made of an unidentifiable greenish-black stone, that "had been captured some months before in the wooded swamps south of New Orleans during a raid on a supposed voodoo meeting." The "idol, fetish, or whatever it was" closely resembled the Wilcox bas-relief: This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... New Orleans is the largest city in the state of Louisiana, United States of America. ... Voodoo (Vodou, Vodoun, Vudu, or Vudun in Benin, Togo, southeastern Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Senegal; also Vodou in Haiti) is a name attributed to a traditionally uten West African spiritual system of faith and ritual practices. ... A fetish (from French fétiche; from Portuguese feitiço; from Latin facticius, artificial and facere, to make) is an object believed to have supernatural powers, or in particular a man-made object that has power over others. ...

It represented a monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind. This thing, which seemed instinct with a fearsome and unnatural malignancy, was of a somewhat bloated corpulence, and squatted evilly on a rectangular block or pedestal covered with undecipherable characters.[7]

On November 1, 1907, Legrasse had led a party in search of several women and children who disappeared from a squatter community. The police found the victims' "oddly marred" bodies being used in a ritual that centered on the statuette, about which roughly 100 men — all of a "very low, mixed-blooded, and mentally aberrant type" — were "braying, bellowing, and writhing", repeatedly chanting the phrase, "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn."[8] This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about occupying land without permission. ... Frederick Douglass with his second wife Helen Pitts, who was white, and their daughter Eva, a 19th century American example of miscegenation. ...


After killing five of the participants and arresting 47 others, Legrasse interrogated the prisoners and learned "the central idea of their loathsome faith":

They worshipped, so they said, the Great Old Ones who lived ages before there were any men, and who came to the young world out of the sky. Those Old Ones were gone now, inside the earth and under the sea; but their dead bodies had told their secrets in dreams to the first men, who formed a cult which had never died...hidden in distant wastes and dark places all over the world until the time when the great priest Cthulhu, from his dark house in the mighty city of R'lyeh under the waters, should rise and bring the earth again beneath his sway. Some day he would call, when the stars were ready, and the secret cult would always be waiting to liberate him.[9]

The prisoners identified the statuette as "great Cthulhu", and translated the chanted phrase as "In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming."[10] One particularly talkative cultist, known as "old Castro", named the centre of the cult as Irem, the City of Pillars, in Arabia, and points out a relevant passage in the Necronomicon: Iram of the Pillars (إرَم ذات العماد, Iram dhāt al-`imād), also called Ubar or Wabar or the City of a Thousand Pillars, is a lost city apparently on the Arabian Peninsula. ... The Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula is a mainly desert peninsula in Southwest Asia at the junction of Africa and Asia and an important part of the greater Middle East. ... A prop designed to look like the Necronomicon. ...

That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die.[11]

One of the academics queried by Legrasse, William Channing Webb, a professor of anthropology at Princeton, points out that he had encountered, "high up on the West Greenland coast", a similar phenomenon on an 1860 expedition: "a singular tribe or cult of degenerate Esquimaux whose religion, a curious form of devil-worship, chilled him with its deliberate bloodthirstiness and repulsiveness." Webb said that the Greenland cult had both the same chant and a similar "hideous" fetish.[12] Anthropology (from Greek: ἀνθρωπος, anthropos, human being; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the comparative study of the physical and social characteristics of humanity through the examination of historical and present geographical distribution, cultural history, acculturation, and cultural relationships. ... Princeton University is a private coeducational research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, in the United States of America. ... For other uses, see Inuit (disambiguation). ...


Thurston, the narrator, notes that at this point in his investigation, "My attitude was still one of absolute materialism, as I wish it still were."[13]


"The Madness From the Sea"

In the third part of the story, "The Madness From the Sea", Thurston extends the inquiry into the "Cthulhu Cult" beyond what Professor Angell had discovered. He discovers by chance an article from the Sydney Bulletin, an Australian newspaper, for April 18, 1925, that reported the discovery of a derelict ship in the Pacific Ocean with only one survivor — Norwegian sailor Gustaf Johansen, second mate on the schooner Emma out of Auckland, New Zealand, which on March 22 encountered a heavily armed yacht, the Alert, crewed by "a queer and evil-looking crew of Kanakas and half-castes" from Dunedin, N.Z.[14] After the Alert attacked without provocation, the crew of the Emma fought back and, though losing their own ship, managed to board the opposing ship and kill all their attackers. Two-masted fishing schooner A schooner (IPA: ) is a type of sailing vessel characterized by the use of fore-and-aft sails on two or more masts. ... Auckland, in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest urban area in New Zealand. ... This article or section needs copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone and/or spelling. ... The Kanakas were workers brought from the Pacific Islands as indentured servants to cover serious labor shortages in various European colonies, such as Fiji, Australia and British Columbia, Canada. ... Dunedin (ÅŒtepoti in Maori) is the second-largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and the principal city of the region of Otago. ...


The article went on to say that the survivors encountered an island the next day, in the vicinity of 47° 9' S, 126° 43' W, even though there are no charted islands in that area. Most of the remaining crew died on the island, but Johansen is said to be "queerly reticent" about what happened to them.[15]


Thurston realizes from the article that the crew of the Alert was connected to the Cthulhu Cult, and travels, first to New Zealand, then to Australia (where he sees a statue retrieved from the Alert with a "cuttlefish head, dragon body, scaly wings, and hieroglyphed pedestal"[16]) and finally to Oslo, where he learns that Johansen died suddenly after an encounter with "(t)wo Lascar sailors".[17] This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Egyptian hieroglyphs, which have their origins as logograms. ... County District Viken Municipality NO-0301 Administrative centre Oslo Mayor (2004) Per Ditlev-Simonsen (H) Official language form BokmÃ¥l Area  - Total  - Land  - Percentage Ranked 224 454 km² 426 km² 0. ... Lascars is a now outmoded word that comes from an ancient Persian word Lashkar. ...


When Johansen's widow gives Thurston a manuscript written in English that her husband left behind, the narrator learns of the crew's discovery of the uncharted island which is described as "a coast-line of mingled mud, ooze, and weedy Cyclopean masonry which can be nothing less the tangible substance of earth's supreme terror — the nightmare corpse-city of R'lyeh."[18] Exploring the risen land, which is "abnormal, non-Euclidian, and loathsomely redolent of spheres and dimensions apart from ours",[19] the sailors manage to open a "monstrously carven portal", and from The term non-Euclidean geometry (also spelled: non-Euclidian geometry) describes both hyperbolic and elliptic geometry, which are contrasted with Euclidean geometry. ...

the newly opened depths...It lumbered slobberingly into sight and gropingly squeezed Its gelatinous green immensity through the black doorway.... The stars were right again, and what an age-old cult had failed to do by design, a band of innocent sailors had done by accident. After vigintillions of years great Cthulhu was loose again, and ravening for delight.[20]

Thurston (or Johansen) writes that "(T)he Thing cannot be described", though the story does call it "the green, sticky spawn of the stars", and refers to its "flabby claws" and "awful squid-head with writhing feelers". Hinting at its scale, the story says, "A mountain walked or stumbled." Johansen manages to get back to the yacht; when Cthulhu enters the water to pursue the ship, Johansen rams the creature's head, which bursts with "a slushy nastiness as of a cloven sunfish" — only to immediately begin reforming as Johansen and a sole companion (insane, and soon dead) make their escape.[21] The standard dictionary numbers Throughout this article, exponential or scientific notation is used. ... Binomial name (Linnaeus, 1758) The ocean sunfish (Mola mola) or common mola is the heaviest bony fish in the world, with an average weight of 1000 kilograms. ...


After reading this manuscript, Thurston ends his own narrative on a pessimistic note: "Loathsomeness waits and dreams in the deep, and decay spreads over the tottering cities of men." He assumes that he will soon meet the fate of Angell and Johansen: "I know too much, and the cult still lives." He also thinks that Cthulhlu, whilst restoring his broken head, was dragged down again with the sinking city, thus keeping humanity safe untill the next time, when the stars are right.[22]


Characters

George Gammell Angell

(1834–November 23, 1926)


Professor Emeritus of Semitic Languages at Brown University who was "widely known as an authority on ancient inscriptions, and had frequently been resorted to by the heads of prominent museums." He died suddenly after being bumped by a black man (possibly a sailor) while returning from the Newport boat. At the time of his death, at age 92, he was a childless widower. His research notes on the worldwide Cthulhu cult were discovered after his death by his nephew, Francis Wayland Thurston. In linguistics and ethnology, Semitic (from the Biblical Shem, Hebrew: שם, translated as name, Arabic: سام) was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages. ... Brown University is a private university located in Providence, Rhode Island. ... Newport is a city in Newport County, Rhode Island, about 30 miles (48 km) south of Providence. ... Cthulhu and Rlyeh For other uses, see Cthulhu (disambiguation). ...


Angell is an old Providence family name; Angell Street was Lovecraft's childhood address. He had an uncle named Gamwell, whose name was pronounced with a silent W.[23]


Francis Wayland Thurston

A Bostonian anthropologist who died mysteriously on the waterfront near Providence, Rhode Island. He was the grand-nephew of George Angell and the sole heir and executor of his estate. While going through the late Professor Angell's papers, he discovered the secret of the Cthulhu Cult, a revelation that probably sealed his doom. Nickname: Location in Massachusetts, USA Coordinates: , Country United States State Massachusetts County Suffolk County Settled 1630 Incorporated (city) 1822 Government  - Governor Deval Patrick (D) Area  - City  89. ... Anthropology (from Greek: ἀνθρωπος, anthropos, human being; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the comparative study of the physical and social characteristics of humanity through the examination of historical and present geographical distribution, cultural history, acculturation, and cultural relationships. ... Nickname: Location in Rhode Island Coordinates: Country United States State Rhode Island County Providence Government  - Mayor David N. Cicilline (D) Area  - City  20. ... Cthulhu and Rlyeh For other uses, see Cthulhu (disambiguation). ...


Thurston is another old Providence name. Francis Wayland was the fourth president of Brown University, who did much to build up the institution. Thurston's name appears only in the story's subtitle, which originally appeared in Weird Tales but was dropped from later reprints until the 1981 Arkham House edition.[24] Francis Wayland (March 7, 1796 - September 30, 1865), American educationist, was born in New York City. ... Arkham House is a weird fiction specialty publishing house founded by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei. ...


Henry Anthony Wilcox

He is described, in terms that somewhat recall Lovecraft himself, as a

thin, dark young man of neurotic and excited aspect.... The youngest son of an excellent family...who had latterly been studying sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design and living alone at the Fleur-de-Lys Building near that institution. Wilcox was a precocious youth of known genius but great eccentricity, and had from chidhood excited attention through the strange stories and odd dreams he was in the habit of relating. He called himself "psychically hypersensitive", but the staid folk of the ancient commercial city dismissed him as merely "queer".

"Wilcox" is a name from Lovecraft's own family tree.[25] A neurosis, in psychoanalytic theory, is an ineffectual coping strategy that Sigmund Freud suggested was caused by emotions from past experience overwhelming or interfering with present experience. ... Fleur de Lys is a Canadian superheroine created in 1984 by Mark Shainblum and Gabriel Morrissette. ...


The Fleur-de-Lys Building is an actual building that still stands in Providence. Bernard K. Hart, a Providence Journal columnist who lived in the building, took mock-offense at its appropriation by Lovecraft, and threatened in print to send a ghostly visitor to Lovecraft's own address. Lovecraft's sonnet "The Messenger" is his response to this threat. The Providence Journal is a daily newspaper serving the metropolitan area of Providence, Rhode Island. ...


John Raymond Legrasse

A New Orleans police inspector who led the raid on the Cthulhu cult on November 1, 1907. Described as "a commonplace-looking middle-aged man". New Orleans is the largest city in the state of Louisiana, United States of America. ... For the band, see The Police. ... Cthulhu and Rlyeh For other uses, see Cthulhu (disambiguation). ... Year 1907 (MCMVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ...


Horror writer C. J. Henderson wrote a series of short stories with Legrasse as their protagonist, which were collected under the title The Tales of Inspector Legrasse.


Castro

An "immensely aged mestizo...who claimed to have sailed to strange ports and talked with undying leaders of the cult in the mountains of China." Arrested on November 1, 1907 during a New Orleans police raid on a cult ceremony. Languages Predominantly Spanish, (with a minority of other languages), while Mestiços speaks Portuguese Religions Christianity (Predominantly Roman Catholic, with a minority of Protestant and other Religions) Related ethnic groups Other Spanish people, Portuguese people, Amerindian, African people, Austronesian people, Hispanics and Latinos Mestizo (Portuguese, Mestiço; French, Métis...


Robert M. Price believes that Castro's name is based on that of Adolphe DeCastro--born Adolph Danziger--an author of "unbelievably bad fiction" who hired Lovecraft as a ghostwriter. [26] Joshi and Schultz, however, report that Lovecraft did not become acquainted with DeCastro until late 1927.[27]


William Channing Webb

A professor of Anthropology at Princeton University and "an explorer of no slight note". When Inspector Legrasse conferred with a meeting of the American Anthropology Society about the Cthulhu Cult, Professor Webb was the only member of the assembly to be familiar with an idol found during the raid and the ritualistic chants used by the cult, based on his investigation of a "singular tribe or cult of degenerate Esquimaux" he encountered "high up on the West Greenland coast" in 1860. Anthropology (from Greek: ἀνθρωπος, anthropos, human being; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the comparative study of the physical and social characteristics of humanity through the examination of historical and present geographical distribution, cultural history, acculturation, and cultural relationships. ... Princeton University is a private coeducational research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, in the United States of America. ...


Gustaf Johansen

A Norwegian sailor "of some intelligence", the second mate of the Emma out of Auckland, whose home address was in Oslo's Old Town. He died shortly after his return from the South Pacific in 1925; his papers, found posthumously, provide the only first-hand account of Cthulhu in Lovecraft's fiction. His report was written in English to spare his wife from learning the horror of Cthulhu. County District Viken Municipality NO-0301 Administrative centre Oslo Mayor (2004) Per Ditlev-Simonsen (H) Official language form BokmÃ¥l Area  - Total  - Land  - Percentage Ranked 224 454 km² 426 km² 0. ...


Price suggests that Johansen's nationality is a tip of the hat to the Kraken, a creature from Norwegian folklore, for helping to inspire Cthulhu.[28] Pen and wash drawing by malacologist Pierre Dénys de Montfort, 1801, from the descriptions of French sailors reportedly attacked by such a creature off the coast of Angola. ... Norse or Scandinavian mythology comprises the pre-Christian religion, beliefs and legends of the Scandinavian people, including those who settled on Iceland, where the written sources for Norse mythology were assembled. ...


Cthulhu

While not strictly a character, The god does play a key role in the story as the antagonist. Cthulhu is the lord of R'lyeh, and the ancient evil being that came from the stars thousands of years ago, to destroy the elder beings on our world. After the task was completed, the god retreated to R'lyeh and became trapped in his sunken tomb. Cthulhu and Rlyeh For other uses, see Cthulhu (disambiguation). ... Rlyeh is in the middle of one of the biggest patches of empty ocean on Earth. ...


At the end of the story, Cthulhu is awakened by the fishermen, and proceeds to slaughter them. As two escape to their boat, the god gives chase, wading into the ocean after them. The fisherman then rams the boat into Cthulhu's head; it immediately starts to reform, but whilst the god is confused, he is trapped in the sinking city and is sent once more, to the ocean floor.


Inspiration

Wikisource has original text related to this article:
The Call of Cthulhu

Cthulhu Mythos scholar Robert M. Price, in his introduction to The Cthulhu Cycle, points to Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem "The Kraken" as a major inspiration for Lovecraft's story. The poem depicts the Kraken—elsewhere described as a giant octopus or squid—sleeping "Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea/His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep": Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... The original Wikisource logo. ... Robert McNair Price was born July 7, 1954 in Mississippi and is a Professor of Theology and Scriptural Studies. ... Lord Tennyson, Poet Laureate Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson (August 6, 1809 - October 6, 1892) is generally regarded as one of the greatest English poets. ... Pen and wash drawing by malacologist Pierre Dénys de Montfort, 1801, from the descriptions of French sailors reportedly attacked by such a creature off the coast of Angola. ... Suborders †Pohlsepia (incertae sedis) †Proteroctopus (incertae sedis) †Palaeoctopus (incertae sedis) Cirrina Incirrina Synonyms Octopoida Leach, 1817 The octopus (Greek , eight-legs) is a cephalopod of the order Octopoda that inhabits many diverse regions of the ocean, especially coral reefs. ... Suborders †Plesioteuthididae (incertae sedis) Myopsina Oegopsina Squid are a large, diverse group of marine cephalopods. ...

There hath he lain for ages and will lie,
Battening on huge seaworms in his sleep;
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.[29]

Price points to the parallels with Lovecraft's creature: a huge, octopoid sea monster, sleeping for ages at the bottom of the ocean (either "dreaming" or "dreamless"), and destined to emerge from his slumber in an apocalyptic age.[30]


Price also considers the work of Lord Dunsany to be a major source for Lovecraft's dreaming god. Lovecraft himself noted that he read some Dunsany, an author he greatly admired, on the day that he conceived the plot of "Call of Cthulhu"; Price points in particular to "A Shop in Go-by Street", which talks of "the heaven of the gods who sleep", and notes that "unhappy are they that hear some old god speak while he sleeps being still deep in slumber". Another Dunsany work cited by Price is The Gods of Pegana, which depicts a god who is constantly lulled to sleep, because if he should awaken "there will be worlds nor gods no more."[31] Best known as Lord Dunsany, Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany (July 24, 1878–October 25, 1957) was an Irish writer and dramatist notable for his work in fantasy and horror. ... The Gods of Pegāna is the first book by Irish fantasy writer Lord Dunsany, published on a commission basis in 1905. ...


S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz point to a different set of literary inspirations: Guy de Maupassant's "The Horla", which Lovecraft described in "Supernatural Horror in Literature" as concerning "an invisible being who...sways the minds of others, and seems to be the vanguard of a horde of extra-terrestrial organisms arrived on earth to subjugate and overwhelm mankind"; and Arthur Machen's "The Novel of the Black Seal" (1895), which uses the same "piecing together of disassociated knowledge" (including a random newspaper clipping) to reveal a horrific ancient survival.[32] Sunanda Tryambak Joshi (b. ... Guy de Maupassant. ... Cordier and his lover, Odette Diary of a Madman is a 1963 horror film directed by Reginald Le Borg and starring Vincent Price as Simon Cordier, a French magistrate and amateur sculptor who comes into contact with a malevolent spirit. ... Supernatural Horror in Literature is a collection of essays written in 1927 and added to between 1933 and 1935 by the famed fantasy and horror author H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937). ... Arthur Machen (March 3, 1863 – December 15th, 1947) was a leading Welsh-born author of the 1890s. ... The Three Impostors is a episodic novel by British horror fiction writer Arthur Machen, first published in 1895. ...


Other inspirations for Lovecraft's story are referenced in the story itself--for example, James Frazer's The Golden Bough, Margaret Murray's Witch-Cult in Western Europe, and W. Scott-Elliot's Atlantis and the Lost Lemuria, a work based on theosophy.[33] Sir James George Frazer (January 1, 1854, Glasgow, Scotland – May 7, 1941), was a Scottish social anthropologist influential in the early stages of the modern studies of mythology and comparative religion. ... The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion is a wide-ranging comparative study of mythology and religion, written by Scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazer (1854–1941). ... This article or section seems not to be written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia entry. ... Picture of Platos description of Atlantis Atlantis (Greek: , Island of Atlas) is the name of a legendary island first mentioned in Platos dialogues Timaeus and Critias. ... Lemuria is the name of a hypothetical lost land variously located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. ... Theosophy, literally god-wisdom (Greek: θεοσοφία theosophia), designates several bodies of ideas. ...


Literary significance & criticism

Lovecraft himself called "The Call of Cthulhu" "rather middling—not as bad as the worst, but full of cheap and cumbrous touches." It was originally rejected by Weird Tales editor Farnsworth Wright, who only accepted it after writer Donald Wandrei, a friend of Lovecraft's, talked it up to Wright and falsely claimed that Lovecraft was thinking of submitting it elsewhere.[34] Farnsworth Wright was a British ] who published the book Britain in the Age of Economic Management. ... Donald Wandrei (1908 - 1987) was an American science fiction, fantasy and weird fiction writer, poet and editor. ...


When it was published, however, some hailed it as a remarkable achievement. "Mr. Lovecraft's latest story, 'The Call of Cthulhu', is indeed a masterpiece, which I am sure will live as one of the highest achievements of literature," Robert E. Howard (the creator of Conan) wrote in a letter to Weird Tales. "Mr. Lovecraft holds a unique position in the literary world; he has grasped, to all intents, the worlds outside our paltry ken. His scope is unlimited, and his range is cosmic."[35] Robert Ervin Howard (January 22, 1906 – June 11, 1936)[1] was a classic American pulp writer of fantasy, horror, historical adventure, boxing, western, and detective fiction. ... Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet. ...


Lovecraft scholar Peter Cannon calls the story "ambitious and complex...a dense and subtle narrative in which the horror gradually builds to cosmic proportions." It is, he adds, "one of [Lovecraft's] bleakest fictional expressions of man's insignificant place in the universe."[36]


French novelist Michel Houellebecq, in his book H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life, describes "The Call of Cthulhu" as the first of Lovecraft's "great texts".[37] Michel Houellebecq (pronounced ) (real name Michel Thomas), born 26 February 1958, on the French island of Réunion is a controversial, award-winning French novelist. ...


Film, TV or theatrical adaptations

The story was adapted as an audio book by Landfall Productions in 1989. It was narrated by Garrick Hagon. Cassette recording of Patrick OBrians The Mauritius Command An audio book is a recording of the contents of a book read aloud. ... Garrick Hagon is a British film and theatre actor and voice actor best known for his portrayal of Biggs Darklighter in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope and Goemon Ishikawa XIII in the Manga UK dubs of The Secret of Mamo and Goodbye Lady Liberty. ...


The story was adapted as a silent movie of the same name in 2005 by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society. This article is about the comedy film. ... This film is about the 2005 film titled The Call of Cthulhu. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Legacy

The "Cthulhu Mythos", a story-cycle developed by Lovecraft, takes its name from the titular creature of the story. Other authors, many of whom were early friends or acquaintances of Lovecraft, have penned their own stories in this milieu. Call of Cthulhu is the title of a popular role-playing game based on the Cthulhu Mythos. Cthulhu and Rlyeh Cthulhu Mythos is the term coined by the writer August Derleth to describe the shared elements, characters, settings, and themes in the works of H. P. Lovecraft and associated horror fiction writers. ... Call of Cthulhu is a horror fiction role-playing game based on the story of the same name written by H.P. Lovecraft and the so-called Cthulhu Mythos the story inspired. ... This article is about games in which one plays the role of a character. ...


For references to Cthulhu in music and film, see Cthulhu in popular culture. This is a list of media that feature H.P. Lovecrafts Cthulhu in popular culture. ...


See also

Arkham Horror is an adventure board game designed by Richard Launius, most recently published in 2005 by Fantasy Flight Games. ... Cthulhu and Rlyeh For other uses, see Cthulhu (disambiguation). ... The following is a list of media featuring H.P. Lovecrafts Cthulhu Mythos in popular culture. ... Call of Cthulhu is a horror fiction role-playing game based on the story of the same name written by H.P. Lovecraft and the so-called Cthulhu Mythos the story inspired. ... The Call of Cthulhu Collectible Card Game is a collectible card game marketed by Fantasy Flight Games. ... Black metal is an extreme heavy metal subgenre. ... Cradle of Filth is a heavy metal band formed in Suffolk, England in 1991. ... This film is about the 2005 film titled The Call of Cthulhu. ... This article is about the song by Metallica. ...

Footnotes

  1. ^ Straub, Peter (2005). Lovecraft: Tales. The Library of America, p. 823. ISBN 1-931082-72-3. 
  2. ^ Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu", p. 125.
  3. ^ Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu", p. 126.
  4. ^ Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu", p. 127.
  5. ^ Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu", p. 129-130.
  6. ^ Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu", p. 128-132.
  7. ^ Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu", p. 133-134.
  8. ^ Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu", p. 137-138.
  9. ^ Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu", p. 139.
  10. ^ Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu", p. 139.
  11. ^ Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu", p. 141.
  12. ^ Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu", p. 135-136.
  13. ^ Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu", p. 144.
  14. ^ Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu", p. 146.
  15. ^ Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu", p. 146.
  16. ^ Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu", p. 148.
  17. ^ Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu", p. 149.
  18. ^ Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu", p. 150.
  19. ^ Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu", p. 151.
  20. ^ Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu", p. 152.
  21. ^ Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu", p. 152-153.
  22. ^ Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu", p. 154.
  23. ^ S. T. Joshi, More Annotated H. P. Lovecraft, p. 175.
  24. ^ Joshi, p. 173.
  25. ^ Joshi and Schultz, "Call of Cthulhu, The", p. 29.
  26. ^ Price, The Cthulhu Cycle, p. 24.
  27. ^ Joshi and Schultz, "Call of Cthulhu, The", p. 29.
  28. ^ Price, "The Other Name of Azathoth".
  29. ^ Alfred Lord Tennyson, "The Kraken".
  30. ^ Robert M. Price, "The Other Name of Azathoth", introduction to The Cthulhu Cycle. Price credits Philip A. Shreffler with connecting the poem and the story.
  31. ^ Price, "The Other Name of Azathoth". This passage is also believed to have inspired Lovecraft's entity Azathoth, hence the title of Price's essay.
  32. ^ S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz, "Call of Cthulhu, The", An H. P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia, pp. 28-29.
  33. ^ H. P. Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu", The Dunwich Horror and Others, p. 128.
  34. ^ S.T. Joshi, More Annotated Lovecraft, p. 173.
  35. ^ Quoted in Peter Cannon, "Introduction", More Annotated Lovecraft, p. 7.
  36. ^ Cannon, pp. 6-7.
  37. ^ Michel Houellebecq, H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life.

Azathoth is a fictional deity in the Cthulhu Mythos stories of H.P. Lovecraft and other authors. ...

References

  • Lovecraft, Howard P. [1928] (1984). "The Call of Cthulhu", in S. T. Joshi (ed.): The Dunwich Horror and Others, 9th corrected printing, Sauk City, WI: Arkham House. ISBN 0-87054-037-8.  Definitive version.
  • Lovecraft, Howard P. [1928] (1999). "The Call of Cthulhu", in S. T. Joshi (ed.): More Annotated Lovecraft, 1st, New York City, NY: Dell. ISBN 0-440-50875-4.  With explanatory footnotes.
  • Price, Robert M. [1928] (1996). "The Call of Cthulhu", in Robert M. Price (ed.): The Cthulhu Cycle: Thirteen Tentacles of Terror, 1st, Oakland, CA: Chaosium, Inc.. ISBN 1-56882-038-0.  A collection of works that inspired and were inspired by "The Call of Cthulhu", with commentary.

External links

Wikisource has original text related to this article:
The Call of Cthulhu
  • The Call of Cthulhu by H. P. Lovecraft
  • "The Kraken", Alfred Lord Tennyson; complete text
  • "A Shop in Go-By Street", Lord Dusany; complete text at litrix.com
  • The Gods of Pegana, Lord Dunsany; complete text at Wikisource
  • "The Horla", Guy de Maupassant; complete text at Wikisource
  • "The Novel of the Black Seal", Arthur Machen; complete text at Project Gutenberg of Australia
  • Cthulhu Lives, movie version of "The Call of Cthulhu"

 
 

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