Friday, February 25, 2011

Thoughts and quotes: The Colour Out of Space by H.P. Lovecraft

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

“It is not because of anything that can be seen or heard or handled, but because of something that is imagined.” (page 170)

The Colour Out of Space (March 1927) is narrated by an unnamed surveyor from Boston. He is looking for a place where to build a new reservoir.
Surveying a rural area he comes across a patch of land. The surveyor’s feelings are of angst, so he hurries to go on.
Curiosity grows in the surveyor, he asks for information and talks with an hermit, Ammi Pierce.
Ammi tells to the surveyor an horrific story: in June 1882 a farm, run by Nahum Gardner and his family, was hit by a meteorite containing a substance of an indescribable colour.
“It was just a colour out of space …” (page 199)

Lovecraft in The Colour Out of Space quotes two painters: Salvator Rosa and Johann Heinrich Fuessli.
Both painters probably had been source of inspiration for Lovecraft: Salvator Rosa for his landscapes, overgrown wilderness, mountains swept by wind, haunting vistas.
Johann Heinrich Fuessli’s paintings suggesting of the supernatural.

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