Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Review: The Outsider
The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories:
by Howard Phillips Lovecraft
Penguin Classics (1999), Paperback, 448 pages
The Outsider is a short story written between March and August 1921.
‘Unhappy is he to whom the memories of childhood bring only fear and sadness.’ (p. 43)
A man who has been living alone in a castle decides to search human contact. The narrator knows the world outside only from his reading of antique books.
He finds a way out of the castle and tries to join a party, but the people are terrified before him and run away.
The man detects a presence: ‘It was the ghoulish shade of decay, antiquity, and desolation.’ (p. 48)
Conscious of his figure:
‘Now I ride with the mocking and friendly ghouls on the night-wind, and play by day amongst the catacombs of Nephren-Ka in the sealed and unknown valley of Hadoth by the Nile. …
Yet in my new wildness and freedom I almost welcome the bitterness of alienage.’ (p.49)