Monday, April 24, 2006

Nyarlathotep: Part 4 - L Sprague de Camp weighs in

"That concluding paragraph (which Lovecraft paraphrased in "The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath") has alwats reminded me of one of the noisier nightclubs." [1]

He meant: And through this revolting graveyard of the universe the muffled maddened beating of drums, and the thin, monotonous whine of blasphemous flutes from inconceivable unlighted chambers beyond Time; the detsetable pounding and piping whereunto dance slowly, awkwardly, and absurdly the gigantic tenebrous ultimate gods - the blind, voiceless, mindless gargoyles whose soul is Nyarlathotep.

deCamp [2] says that 'hotep' means 'contented'. He belives that nyarlat... is from Bantu which language often negins with a palatized 'n' (as in Spanish, with the 'ny' sound).

Chrispy has notice two other possible linkages - and these may be somewhat original ideas. The Hebrew (and Arabic/Semitic) word for 'paper' is 'nyar'. With Loveman being an incredible influence and we know that HPL dabbled in Arabic and the Qabballa, maybe the word 'paper' has a significance?

In addition, the initials stand for the New York & Altantic Railway.


1 H P Lovecraft: A Biography, de Camp, Barnes & Noble Edition, 1975, p. 139
2 op. cit. p. 458, note 25

1 comment:

John Rowlands said...

COuld "nyar" have anything to do with the "New York & Atlantic Railway" which HPL could have ridden?


Blog Archive


Google Analytics