Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Lovecraftian Thing A Day No.26: The Mask of Cthulhu.

After completing Derleth’s The Trail of Cthulhu, the next mythos tome I read – also in my local library in the above Neville Spearman edition - was The Mask of Cthulhu. I'm less fond of this than Trail, although Mask is notable for introducing Hastur as an actual mythos entity. Whilst Lovecraft mentions Hastur and the Yellow Sign, he does so fleetingly and with no clear indication of what these things are. As such, later mythos interpretations of Hastur – especially those found in The Call of Cthulhu rpg – are almost entirely dependent on Derleth. Again, I think this highlights the significant influence of Derleth on the rpg setting and, insofar as the rpg has been responsible for introducing many people to the Lovecraftian milieu, on the popularising of the mythos more generally.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:08 AM

    I was pleased to discover that Sonc;air Lewis observed this about Derleth: "It is a proof of Mr. Derleth's merit that he makes one want to make the journey and see his particular Avalon: The Wisconsin River shining among its islands, and the castles of Baron Pierneau and Hercules Dousman. He is a champion and a justification of regionalism. Yet he is also a burly, bounding, bustling, self-confident, opinionated, and highly-sweatered young man with faults so grievous that a melancholoy perusal of them may be of more value to apprentices than a study of his serious virtues. If he could ever be persuaded that he isn't half as good as he thinks he is, if he would learn the art of sitting still and using a blue pencil, he might become twice as good as he thinks he is–which would about rank him with Homer." Steve Wilson