Tuesday, March 1, 2011
The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories:
THE WHISPERER IN THE DARKNESS
by Howard Phillips Lovecraft
Penguin Classics (1999), Paperback, 448 pages
Akeley: “Do you realise what it means when I say I have been on thirty-seven different celestial bodies-planets, dark stars, and less definable objects - including eight outside our galaxy and two outside the curved cosmos of space and time?” (page 255)
The Whisperer in the Darkness (February - September 1930, soon after the Planet Pluto’s discoveries) refers to Cthulhu Mythos, although the main theme concerns the Migo, an extraterrestrial race of fungoid creatures.
The story is narrated by Albert Wilmarth, an instructor of literature at Miskatonic University in Arkham.
During a flood in Vermont, strange things are seen floating in rivers. Wilmarth starts a debating on newspapers, and although he is skeptical about the floating things in Vermont, he uncovers old legends about monsters living in the Vermont’s hills.
Henry Wentworth Akeley, a farmer living in Vermont, learns of Wilmarth from the local newspaper and he writes to him affirming that he has proof about an extraterrestrial race of monstrous living in Vermont hills. Akeley writes that the monstrous don’t menace the human race, they only hire human agents as spies.
Akeley’s first letters describe the attacks of the monstrous at his farm.
Eventually he decides to meet the extraterrestrials (but is he truly Akeley, or someone else?), so he writes to Wilmarth that they are a peaceful race and they have taught him about marvels beyond all imagination.
Akeley invites Wilmarth to his farm.
“Mad or sane, metamorphosed or merely relieved, the chances were that Akeley had actually encountered some stupendous change at once diminishing his danger - real or fancied - and opening dizzy new vistas of cosmic and superhuman knowledge. … to be linked with the vast outside - to come close to the nighted and abysmal secrets of the infinite …” (page 237)
Wilmarth arrives finding Akeley immobilized in a chair. Akeley, whispering in the darkness, tells to Wilmarth that the extraterrestrial have extract his brain, so to permit him a travel in the outer space.
“I knew enough now. It must indeed be true that cosmic linkages do exists - but such things are surely not meant for normal human beings to meddle with.” (page 257)