Thursday, December 16, 2010

Review: Dagon

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories: DAGON
Howard Phillips Lovecraft
Penguin Classics (1999), Paperback, 448 pages

‘Lovecraft’s pseudo mythology brutally shows that man is not the center of the universe, that the - gods - care nothing for him, and that the earth and all its inhabitants are but a momentary incident in the unending cyclical chaos of the universe.’ (p.xvii, from the introduction by S.T. Joshi)

Dagon is the testament, or last letter of a tortured man who plans to commit suicide. The narrator thinks he is destined to die because of the knowledge he has gained.
The narrator is a merchant-marine officer, and during a voyage on the Atlantic Ocean his cargo is captured by a German sea-rider. He manages to escape, but he is stranded on what seems to be a volcanic island. He sees a gigantic white stone covered by hieroglyphs, and when he is watching them … a creature emerges from the sea: Dagon …

This short story introduces Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos: Dagon, the fish-god.

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