Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Weird, Yog Meet & The Occult of Personality

After yet another extended hiatus (nearly three months!) the amorphous hive-mind that is the Ghooric Zone is back. Albeit at short notice, here's some info about the follow-up to the Weird Realism: Lovecraft & Theory event at Goldsmiths College this coming Saturday suitably entitled The Weird

Papers already circulated indicate that Lovecraft will continue to be a key focus of discussion. Although I was planning on attending this (despite negative comments about the Weird Realism thing in an earlier post), I've realised it clashes with this year's Yog Meet at Dragonmeet 2007 (which I missed last year). Hmm, roleplaying or academia...tough choice, though I think a day of gaming goodness (and the chance to grab copies of The Trail of Cthulhu and Cthulhutech rpgs) wins out on this occasion.

Onto other news: a round table discussion of Lovecraft's influence upon occultism can be found at the Occult of Personality podcast site. Sadly, the participants collectively demonstrate a confused and rambling understanding of Lovecraft's life and work that is also shot through with factual errors, vague supposition and 'occult insight'. Echoing 'Pickman's Model', one of the hosts suggests that Lovecraft actually summoned up the entities of the Cthulhu mythos and took his descriptions of them 'from life' as it were. Another denies this, but claims that Lovecraft didn't practice ceremonial magick because he was too lazy...None of the discussants seem to have any inkling as to Lovecrafts well-attested atheism and mechanistic materialism (despite the fact that one of them admits to having read a biography of Lovecraft), instead recapitulating the old chestnut about Lovecraft being a practicing occultist with genuine knowledge of forces from Outside. If this weren't enough, constant reference is made to the Simon Necronomicon as if it were the genuine article, and one of hosts even uses Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos as 'proof' of her own ideas - via The Book of Enoch & Simon Necronomicon - about Atlantis. A case of a fiction being used to verify a myth. As I recall, the whole thing ends up being dragged in the direction of some kind of Icke-derived Ultraterrestrial Illuminati conspiracy. Oh dear...