Sunday, July 17, 2011

HP Lovecraft's Commonplace Book: entries 201-221

201 Planets form’d of invisible matter.
202 A monstrous derelict—found and boarded by a castaway or shipwreck survivor.
203 A return to a place under dreamlike, horrible, and only dimly comprehended circumstances. Death and decay reigning—town fails to light up at night—Revelation.
204 Disturbing conviction that all life is only a deceptive dream with some dismal or sinister horror lurking behind.
205 Person gazes out window and finds city and world dark and dead (or oddly changed) outside.
206 Trying to identify and visit the distant scenes dimly seen from one’s window—bizarre consequences.
207 Something snatched away from one in the dark—in a lonely, ancient, and generally shunned place.
208 (Dream of) some vehicle—railway train, coach, etc.—which is boarded in a stupor or fever, and which is a fragment of some past or ultra-dimensional world—taking the passenger out of reality—into vague, age-crumbled regions or unbelievable gulfs of marvel.
209 Special Correspondence of NY Times—March 3, 1935
“Halifax, N.S.—Etched deeply into the face of an island which rises from the Atlantic surges off the S. coast of Nova Scotia 20 m. from Halifax is the strangest rock phenomenon which Canada boasts. Storm, sea, and frost have graven into the solid cliff of what has come to be known as Virgin’s Island an almost perfect outline of the Madonna with the Christ Child in her arms.
The island has sheer and wave-bound sides, is a danger to ships, and is absolutely uninhabited. So far as is known, no human being has ever set foot on its shores.”
210 An ancient house with blackened pictures on the walls—so obscured that their subjects cannot be deciphered. Cleaning—and revelation. Cf. Hawthorne—Edw. Rand. Port.
211 Begin story with presence of narrator—inexplicable to himself—in utterly alien and terrifying scenes (dream?).
212 Strange human being (or beings) living in some ancient house or ruins far from populous district (either old N.E. or far exotic land). Suspicion (based on shape and habits) that it is not all human.
213 Ancient winter woods—moss—great boles—twisted branches—dark—ribbed roots—always dripping. . . .
214 Talking rock of Africa—immemorially ancient oracle in desolate jungle ruins that speaks with a voice out of the aeons.
215 Man with lost memory in strange, imperfectly comprehended environment. Fears to regain memory—a glimpse. . . .
216 Man idly shapes a queer image—some power impels him to make it queerer than he understands. Throws it away in disgust—but something is abroad in the night.
217 Ancient (Roman? prehistoric?) stone bridge washed away by a (sudden and curious?) storm. Something liberated which had been sealed up in the masonry of years ago. Things happen.
218 Mirage in time—image of long-vanish’d pre-human city.
219 Fog or smoke—assumes shaped under incantations.
220 Bell of some ancient church or castle rung by some unknown hand—a thing . . . or an invisible Presence.
221 Insects or other entities from space attack and penetrate a man’s head and cause him to remember alien and exotic things—possible displacement of personality.

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