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Tyson specifies a number of Lovecraft stories that he says are based directly on his dreams or which concern dreaming as a central theme. It was one of these dreams that inspired not one but two stories: "Dagon" and what is probably Lovecraft's most well-known work: "The Call of Cthulhu. In "Cthulhu," the narrator investigates a "voodoo cult" believed to be behind the disappearance of women and children near New Orleans.

They worship a group of deities known as the Great Old Ones, "who lived ages before there were any men. Before leaving Providence, I paid a visit to Lovecraft's grave in Swan Point cemetery, where a friend and I found the family plot without too much trouble. Even in death he can't get away from his mother. Scattered around the small, unassuming grave marker lay a number of items, including guitar picks, a ticket stub for a concert by a Swedish black metal band called Watain, and the business card of a Toronto-area magic shop. The first mention of the Necronomicon was in April , when Lovecraft submitted "The Hound" for publication.

In this short story, the book is mentioned briefly, as a sort of reference book for grave robbers. Check the Necronomicon! Lovecraft's posthumous fame began in the s and really took off in the s, coinciding with both an Aquarian Age hunger for all things otherworldly and the introduction of mass-market paperback collections of his stories. As his audience increased, so did the desire of fans to possess a Necronomicon of their own. When Simon's Necronomicon finally hit the shelves, it must have seemed as if Lovecraft's universe had cracked open and spilled its contents all over New York City.

At the time, Simon was also conducting workshops on occult subjects in the backroom of The Magickal Childe. Among those who couldn't resist coming to get a better look at the man responsible for the Necronomicon were two young men who would go on to become key figures in the burgeoning field of Lovecraft studies: S. Joshi and Robert M. Simon, though still in his 20s, had an aura of mystery and authority.

Simon was formally dressed. He was rocking "black hair and a goatee. Anyone considering becoming involved … in the occult practices which form the greater part of the Necronomicon must first realize that this is first of all a work of Ancient Sumerian religion. That is to say, these practices predate both Judaism and Christianity by thousands of years The above passage is taken from a tape called "Simon Says," a lecture credited to the occultist and priest that's available on the internet as a bootleg. It might not be Simon, but it's sure in line with his spiel regardless.

Simon's Necronomicon supposedly has its roots in ancient Sumerian magic. He came across it, the story goes, while on a trip to the Bronx to peruse the wares of two characters named Michael Huback and Steven Hapo who would go on to be busted for hocking books they had stolen from Yale University's Sterling Memorial Library. As for the few similarities between his book and the Necronomicon of H. Lovecraft, Simon contends that they're purely coincidental. This is supposed to convince us that the Simon Necronomicon is the real deal: why would someone go to all the trouble of fabricating the book and then come up with something completely unlike Lovecraft's version?

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As Simon has said himself on multiple occasions: "If it is a hoax, it's a damn poor one! There is so little there that corresponds to Lovecraft's oeuvre that it might be embarrassing as a hoax. Hoax or not, the Simon book has been in print more or less continuously since , when it was picked up by Avon books after two small press editions. You may be familiar with the thing: it's a glossy black paperback featuring a magical symbol on the cover and its title printed in capital letters.

The whole thing is set off by a garish neon-red border, at once both futuristic and ancient. There's no author listed on the front cover or the spine of the book. The border, the symbol, and the title all have a lens flare effect added, for some reason. This book has been a classic among freaks, geeks, and Dungeon Masters for decades. The back cover blurb proclaims it "the most famous, the most potent, and potentially, the most dangerous Black Book known to the Western World.

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In , a 20 year old Kenneth Grant spent several months working as the secretary for Aleister Crowley, a ceremonial magician, author, mountain climber, and possibly even spy for British intelligence during World War I. Crowley's books are key texts of modern occultism, and his reputation as "The Wickedest Man In The World" or simply "The Beast" has given him pride of place in any number of heavy metal songs — not to mention a choice spot on the cover of the Sgt.

At the end of his life, Crowley was unable to afford a secretary, so he let Grant fill that role in exchange for magical instruction. By the time he passed away in at the age of 86, Grant had produced nine volumes that constitute what he called "The Typhonian Trilogies," which explored the connections between all manner of occult systems — incorporating voodoo and tantra and elements from the work of 20th century magician and the artist Austin Osman Spare. In turn, Grant's work is the subject of a recent book by Peter Levenda.

The Dark Lord explores the connection between Lovecraft's writings and modern occultism. In Lovecraft, Grant had found someone with the rare ability to articulate and illustrate the face of evil — which is something that most religious and magical systems gloss over.

Ten things you should know about HP Lovecraft

But to be worthwhile, he explains, a magical system "has to be totally encyclopedic. It must represent all of reality Ultimately, Grant read Lovecraft's stories and found the work of someone with a very coherent understanding of this darkness. Even if Grant's idea of magic doesn't fit into Lovecraft's universe, he could take elements of Lovecraft's universe and bring them into his own. At the Fales Library at NYU, inside the computer-regulated atmosphere of the electronically secured special collections department, there is a document dated April 7th, and signed by the Beat Generation author William S.

Burroughs, considered shocking and at times dangerous for books like Junky and The Naked Lunch , doesn't get nearly enough credit for being playful in his work or in his relation to the world.


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His stories are confabulations of his dreams, his fantasy life, and his real life, woven into something of immense depth and weirdness and black humor. This quality, the idea that you can rearrange the world like a child rearranges Lego-brand building blocks, extended outward from his writing into his everyday life. He believed in magic. He put curses on people, using the same "cut-up" method that he used to compose stories.

By cutting a document into pieces, whether a newspaper or something by Shakespeare or his own writing, and reassembling it, looking for a story in the newly remixed document. The results, Burroughs told The Paris Review in , are "new connections between images," new ways of viewing an old text and discovering hidden or obscure messages within. From this description, artists and sculptors have created artwork depicting the monster with a head that looks like an octopus complete with tentacles and a massive pair of wings attached to his back. Lovecraft didn't reveal much about Cthulhu in that first story.

He wrote that Cthulhu had once ruled the Earth, and that one day he would do so again. As the story unfolds, the narrator discovers that Cthulhu was trapped in a stone city beneath the ocean, but an earthquake pushed part of the city back above the surface. Although Cthulhu did not awaken, he was able to make contact with the minds of particularly creative or insane people rational, mundane minds seem to be insulated from Cthulhu's influence. Near the end of the story, the narrator discovers that after a massive storm the city once again sank in the ocean, and Cthulhu apparently lies dreaming once more.

The story also introduces the Cult of Cthulhu, an organization of humans who are convinced that Cthulhu's return is inevitable and work to hasten it.

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They foresee a time when Cthulhu will rise up and rule over Earth, and mankind will cast aside concepts of civilization and inhibition. Upcoming movies. New "To Watch" List. Learn more More Like This. Tower of Terror. Summer Loving. Spy vs. Sophia, Princess Among Beasts. Game Boys.

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