“Not back on it Joe. Still on it.”
So, I am currently reading and re-reading some of Lovecraft’s short stories and I came across one that I haven’t read before called “The Nameless City”. It is about an explorer who finds an ancient city that has been lost for eons. The city was populated when the world was young and before the dawn of man, as such, its inhabitants were strange creatures. This week’s sketch is of what I believe the creatures to have looked like:
They were described by Lovecraft as being small, reptilian, with little or no nose, horned, large-eared, and wearing elaborate robes. Their mummified corpses are found in class cases that line a long hallway. While their bodies are dead, their spirits still thrive.
All in all, this story does a fabulous job of defining what Lovecraft’s work is. There is an exotic, forbidden location; there is someone exploring the location and discovering that mankind is relatively young. Lastly, the explorer is harrowed by some dread thing. That’s his basic formula. I was considering that at its core, his fiction is about the inevitable fall of civilization; that man’s life is dwarfed by the weight of history and that what we do not know could fill volumes are additional themes, but the cycle of civilizations rising and falling (like in Robert E. Howard’s work) is usually somewhere in his narratives.
Food for thought as I continue reading.