Friday, October 26, 2012

City life--and afterlife?

{Photo by rocketlass.}

Some atmospheric urban horrors for your Friday night, from a letter H. P. Lovecraft sent to Bernard Austin Dwyer on March 26, 1927:
The key-note of the whole setting--house, neighbourhood, and shop, was that of loathsome and insidious decay, masked just enough by the reliques of former splendour and beauty to add terror and mystery and the fascination of crawling motion to a deadness and dinginess otherwise static and prosaic. I conceived the idea that the great brownstone house was a malignly sentient thing--a dead, vampire creature which sucked something out of those within it and implanted in them the seeds of some horrible and immaterial psychic growth. Every closed door seemed to hide some brooding crime--or blasphemy too deep to form a crime in the crude and superficial calendar of earth.
I love that "fascination of crawling motion"--and the transposition of Lovecraft's twisted rural horrors to the rectilinear city. We urban dwellers house our horrors, too, and find a place for our petrified isolation despite the press of the crowd.

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