Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Lovecraftian Thing a Day No.265: The Mind Parasites and The Return of the Lloigor

Colin Wilson's 1962 The Strength to Dream was a something of a thematic follow-up to his famous study of pessimism and alienation in Euro-American literature and philosophy, The Outsider. While (despite its title) the earlier book had nothing to do with Lovecraft, The Strength to Dream contained a rather withering critique of HPL, leading August Derleth to challenge Wilson to write his own Cthulhu Mythos novel - or so the story goes. In any case, Wilson subsequently produced The Mind Parasites in 1967 (the copy shown above is the 1969 Panther paperback edition); interestingly, the novel subverts Lovecraft's pessimistic cosmicism via an existentialist optimism, in effect prefiguring the development of Wilson's notion of 'Faculty X' - a speculated human capacity for the expansion of consiousness - which he introduced in 1971s The Occult. Wilson's refutation of the damaging effects of modern philosophical pessimism is also present in one of my favourite of his Cthulhu Mythos tales, The Return of the Lloigor - shown here in what I think is the relatively rare 1974 Village Press chapbook edition.

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