Thursday, April 27, 2006

Nyarlathotep Part 7 The gullible public

"Last night I had a brief but typical dream. I was standing on the shore of the Skekonk River, anout three quaretrs of a mile south of the foot of Angell Street, at some unearthly nocturnal hour. The tide was flowing out horribly - exposing parts of the river-bed never before exposed to human sight. many persons lined the banks, looking at the receding waters & occassionally glancing at the sky." [1]

"To the editor ...

The general ignorance of the public as regards ... science ... has been noted and deplored... while in the business section fo the city on Christmas Eve, about 6 P.M. the writer noticed excited groups of people on the street corners, and mystified individuals everywhere pointing to the western sky. ... he beheld the planet Venus ... the centre of attraction ... it seems the general idea existed that the planet was nothing more than the searchlight from some airship ,,, the writer heard remarks as tot he perect control to which the aeroplane must be subject ... and estimates of its distance above the earth varying in a half mile to two miles. When apprised of their error, the gentlemen of the aforementioned group exhibited only mild surprise." [2]

Nyarlatehotep drave us all out ... I screamed aloud that I was not afraid; that I never could be afraid ...

Lovecraft, the elite, the prepared, the scientist, in real life a pedantic lecturer, but in fiction, the one who is translated and (while sometiems battered) always translated and survives.

1 Letters to Rheinheart Kleiner, p. 188, beginning of the May 21, 1920 letter of the dream that presaged Nyarlatehotep by several months.

2 Venus and the Public Eye, 26 Dec 1909, letter to the editor, Collected Essays, Vol. 3, Science, p. 99

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