…Something irreplaceable just died within the chasms of my very soul. 😉
NO. Just NO.
I wanted to save this one for the gloomy season, but I decided I liked the story to much to hold it back. Courtesy of http://www.librivox.org.
– Also, I am testing the Publishing Schedule feature. If tomorrow I get up, and find this on my blog, good times. 🙂
Benedict Cumberbatch is certainly the man of the moment, but besides that, he really is a man of extraordinary talent. I am not thinking so much of his recent work on Sherlock, or even Parade’s End (which should have been more critical of Imperialism), but I liked his performance in To the Ends of the Earth, a series that I will review in a while from now, and warmly recommend to all of you. All the childish hype aside, Cumberbatch is quickly becoming the leading character actor of his day, if Hollywood doesn’t waste him over the usual villain roles.
This has to be the single best reading of Keats’ Nightingale that I ever had the pleasure to listen to. So, without much ado, enjoy! 🙂
Like many Romantic poems, Der Knabe im Moor (“The Boy in the Bog”) works as a song, and even to this day, the poem is, at least with some fringe musicians, popular enough to receive an arranged recording here and there.
I have collected some of the finer musical arrangements for you – mind you that I do not know much about the respective bands outside of this, though, asI am not particularly interested in the neo-pagan musical scene, or whatever genre those songs are supposed to belong. Still, I have to give the bands that their respective treatments of Droste’s poem are pretty remarkable. 🙂
Another of my favorite Lovecraftian poems, another one that I feel that I will have to take a closer look on, for Coleridgian connections – but later. As we reach 200 posts with the blog, I am looking to print the blog again in book form, for later review. And this text got to be in it. 😉
The following text, again excised from The H. P. Lovecraft Archive:
|There is a lake in distant Zan,
Beyond the wonted haunts of man,
Where broods alone in a hideous state
A spirit dead and desolate;
A spirit ancient and unholy,
Heavy with fearsome melancholy,
Which from the waters dull and dense
Draws vapors cursed with pestilence.
Around the banks, a mire of clay,
Sprawl things offensive in decay,
And curious birds that reach that shore
Are seen by mortals nevermore.
Here shines by day the searing sun
On glassy wastes beheld by none,
And here by night pale moonbeams flow
Into the deeps that yawn below.
In nightmares only is it told
What scenes beneath those beams unfold;
What scenes, too old for human sight,
Lie sunken there in endless night;
For in those depths there only pace
The shadows of a voiceless race.
One midnight, redolent of ill,
I saw that lake, asleep and still;
While in the lurid sky there rode
A gibbous moon that glow’d and glow’d.
I saw the stretching marshy shore,
And the foul things those marshes bore:
Lizards and snakes convuls’d and dying;
Ravens and vampires putrefying;
All these, and hov’ring o’er the dead,
Narcophagi that on them fed.
And as the dreadful moon climb’d high,
Fright’ning the stars from out the sky,
I saw the lake’s dull water glow
Till sunken things appear’d below.
There shone unnumber’d fathoms down,
The tow’rs of a forgotten town;
The tarnish’d domes and mossy walls;
Weed-tangled spires and empty halls;
Deserted fanes and vaults of dread,
And streets of gold uncoveted.
These I beheld, and saw beside
A horde of shapeless shadows glide;
A noxious horde which to my glance
Seem’d moving in a hideous dance
Round slimy sepulchres that lay
Beside a never-travell’d way.
Straight from those tombs a heaving rose
That vex’d the waters’ dull repose,
While lethal shades of upper space
Howl’d at the moon’s sardonic face.
Then sank the lake within its bed,
Suck’d down to caverns of the dead,
Till from the reeking, new-stript earth
Curl’d foetid fumes of noisome birth.
About the city, nigh uncover’d,
The monstrous dancing shadows hover’d,
When lo! there oped with sudden stir
The portal of each sepulchre!
No ear may learn, no tongue may tell
What nameless horror then befell.
I see that lake—that moon agrin—
That city and the things within—
Waking, I pray that on that shore
The nightmare lake may sink no more!
I keep wondering which of Lovecraft’s novelette’s can be considered his most famous one: The Shadow Over Innsmouth, or, indeed, The Call of Cthulhu.
For me, personally, both rank equally high, though Innsmouth is perhaps more accessible and conventional, from today’s standards – and arguably famous through numerous adaptations.
The text having reverted to the public domain a while ago (for all I know, at least), dedicated fans have rejoiced using it for all kinds of treatments and derivations, dramatic readings being one of them, in the age of Youtube.
This one, by veteran podcaster Mike Bennett, is my favourite one (outside from the “pro” Lovecraft) audiobooks in German. And so I thought, without further ado, that I’d share it.
The Shadow Over Innsmouth is really among the most famous texts of 20th century horror literature, so, even if you’re not particularly interested in the topic, I highly recommend listening to this one, just to give it a try…
One of the biggest revelations during my work on Coleridge has been, oddly enough, ghost story writer M. R. James. I enjoy his fiction, as sort of an easy read – or easy listening, for that matter – whenever I find the chance.
This is one of his best stories, in my not so humble opinion, anticipating a certain other count who would become the dominating figure in 20th century horror fiction…
Oh, SNAP, that was the wrong video!
Well, so, here you know it, Dexter, one of my favorite novel series, and The Deftones, by far, FAR my favorite band.
So, enjoy that one, too.
And here’s the real video:
Gaah, gonna get a coffee.
More famous nowadays for its comic potential, Der Erlkönig is one of the most famous German horror ballads, a textual form we know many English Romanticists read with great ardor.
I had meant to keep this for later, but this video – it is GOOD!
There has been some speculation what kind of monster Der Erlkönig might be. I think it’s an anticipation for another kind of monster; one that would come to dominate 19th century fiction, and from then on, to the present day…
Via the good people at Librivox, a complete – and extraordinarily well done reading of Sleepy Hollow. The original story, you know. Without the extras we seem to need today to make literature interesting. Like witches, demon worship, and time travel. Sigh.
(Yes, I will get off my soapbox. Eventually. Maybe.)
I’d love to see a by-the-book filming of the story. Not out of some misplaced snobism, but because it’s really an educational story – with a message that is rather unpopular these days. The guy whose weakness of character is expressed through his superstition gets fooled by a down-to-earth, pragmatic prankster, with an implicit religious discourse, and all. But then again, movie making today is something else, lamentably.