Sunday, June 19, 2016

Lovecraftian Thing a Day No.171: The Azathoth Cycle

Azathoth is, perhaps, one of the least easily definable features of the Cthulhu Mythos - despite its conceptual centrality to Lovecaft's imagined cosmology. I sometimes wonder if this is why Cthulhu has become the figurehead of Lovecaftian fandom: an anthropomorphised cephalopod it might be, but anthropomorphised nonetheless. Yet despite Cthulhu's capacity to usher in humanity's ultimate demise, he/she/it is ultimately a parochial entity - at least in the wider context of the universe of the Mythos. For this very reason I have always been intersted in Lovecraftian literature which seeks to further explore the nature of the Blind Idiot God. Enter Chaosium's The Azathoth Cycle. A defining feature of Chaosium's Cthulhu Mythos fiction line was (and remains) a kind of Derlethian desire to classify, categorise and systematise; thus, since its inception, the line has sought to explore (in a relatively structured fashion) the various concepts and entities key to Lovecraft's cosmc vision through the publication of dedicated anthologies. The Azathoth Cycle - though one of the earlier collections in the series - follows some of its precursors by the inclusion of both key texts by Lovcraft alongside others which dilineate the anthology's chosen theme. In this respect, The Azathoth Cycle certainly contains much that is worthy of any neophyte seeking to embrace the Mysteries of That Most Unspeakable of Beings; yet there are a few prevarications, repetitions and thematic wrong-turns here that also make this feel a little like a lost opportunity. Even so, a worthy early contribution to the series...

No comments:

Post a Comment