So I had a lot of plans for the intercession between the spring and summer semesters. Reading articles, blogging, all sorts of productive things.
But instead I loafed around and read a bunch of H.P. Lovecraft stories online. Apparently the copyrights on most of his works have expired, because now many can be found online.
I especially enjoyed “The Shadow Out of Time,” for library-related reasons. The narrator suffers a sudden bout of amnesia which lasts five years, after which he regains his memory and identity, except for the last five years of his life. After his recovery from the amnesia, he is plagued by strange dreams in which he roams through the halls of immense cyclopean buildings, populated by strange, tentacled creatures. In his dreams, these creatures are known as the Great Race, which lived on Earth 150 million years prior to humans. These creatures had the ability to “mind-swap” with other creatures in the past, present and future, creatures on other planets as well as on Earth. While members of the Great Race studied alien civilizations by temporarily assuming the identity of one of the creatures studied, the mind of the switch subject resided in the body of the member of the Great Race. The subjects of the mind-swap were encouraged by the Great Race to chronicle their experiences and the history of their culture for preservation and future study within the archives of the Great Race. This practice enabled the Great Race to capture knowledge of past and future from civilizations throughout the universe.
As you might expect, if you are familiar with Lovecraft, the narrator’s dreams become even more disturbing when he learns that a group of archaeologists discover the ruins of cyclopean strutures, over 150 million years old, in the desert of Australia. When the narrator explores these ruins, and finds them familiar, the truth of his amnesia and dreams becomes horribly clear!
…and yet, as I read, knowing I am expected to be overcome with horror at this astonishing discovery, all I can think of is how much I’d like to get my hands on those archives…
I also read The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat in the last month. Interesting accounts of various neurological disorders. Currently reading Women Who Run with the Wolves.
And now for a comic.