05 January 2012

The White Ship by HP Lovecraft


The White Ship by HP Lovecraft
Delving further into Lovecraft’s work, I read his short story “The White Ship”.  It was a stark contrast from the previous two stories I read - “The Call of Cthulhu” and “The Colour Out of Space” - and conveyed an ethereal, dream-like story.
It followed the voyage of a man named Basil Elton through a series of dreamy harbors, past mysterious shores, and eventually to the utter edge of the world, all while aboard The White Ship, captained by a figure known only as the bearded man.
The language of the story bordered on the poetic; it brought to my mind the Elven poems of Tolkien (though perhaps simply because I’m also currently engaged in my annual reading of The Lord of the Rings); he passes misty shores, majestic cities and immense rivers.  The names Lovecraft invokes for the locations - Thalarian, City of a Thousand Wonders; Xura, the Land of Pleasures Unattained; Sona-Nyl, the Land of Fancy - are wildly different from R’lyeh where dead Cthulhu lies dreaming, or Yuggoth where the Mi-Go dwell.  The names in “The White Ship” seem, like the White Ship itself, to float out of a pleasant dream, rather than a nightmare.
I suppose, in a way, it’s difficult to quantify “The White Ship.”  It almost seems like some sort of psychedelic trip - indeed, I imagine it would be quite impressive to read while listening to Dark Side of the Moon.  Actually, everything is good when read while listening to Dark Side of the Moon.  Even so.
Either way, it was a nice reprieve from the grim stories that came before it, and which will no doubt come after it, as I journey through Lovecraft’s works.

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Books: Finished  A Lion Among Men, reading Out of Oz right now, then Ready Player One.

Bottles: Tried a bottle of Bl├╝feld Riesling.  Not bad, but not spectacular.

Writing: Still on hiatus.

Guitar: "A Pocketful of Stones," and soon to be starting a new bar chord exercise, which I sorely need.