08 December 2011

The Colour Out of Space


The Colour Out of Space by HP Lovecraft
The second short story in my Lovecraft collection was The Colour Out of Space. It tells the story of a meteor that crashes in the Blasted Heath outside of Arkham, Massachusetts, releasing a non-corporeal entity that can only be described as "a colour" into the farm of the Gardner family.  The story is told in the first person by a character interviewing Ammi Pierce who witnessed the events which occurred.
 Stylistic similarities to The Call of Cthulhu were immediately apparent: New England setting, first person narration, cosmic entity beyond the scope of human understanding.  What I found most compelling about Colour was, perhaps, the inexplicability of the creature: that those who saw it were incapable of processing its appearance. The descent into madness of those who were exposed to it, and the blind denials of the townsfolk and the scientific community, were realistically portrayed, frustrating though the latter were.
As a tale of terror I think perhaps Colour was slightly more successful in generating the necessary anxiety in the reader; on the other hand, the sense of grim foreboding and the fascinating depiction of R'lyeh made Call the more enduring in memory.
Both were enjoyable and I look forward to exploring Lovecraft's work further.  Meanwhile I shall enjoy playing in the world he created - my friends and I have become devotees of the Arkham Horror board game and play it frequently.

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Books: Still finishing On Grief and Grieving for ITSS.

Bottles: Nothing much new.

Writing: Finished(!) the second draft of Into the Shining Sun.  Will take a break from it for a while and take a look at it again in the New Year.  Meanwhile had thoughts of a short story that could be fun to work on in the interim, featuring some elements of Lovecraft's mythos.

Guitar: "Coming Back to Life," "Study in A," and a new oblique bending study which is proving quite exciting!