Friday, October 28, 2016

Lovecraftian Thing a Day No.302: There's Something In The Woods.

Nick Redfern's cryptozoological opus There's Something In The Woods offers more by way of Lovecraftian paranormalism, employing as it does August Derleth's novel The Lurker on the Threshold as a kind of framing device for his particular brand of monster-hunting. Here Redfern includes quotes from Lurker to introduce each chapter of the book; even better, he goes further toward embedding contemporary paranormal beliefs within a Cthulhuvian framework with the following:
'Did Derleth perhaps uncover some horrific secret about frightful beasts, other realms of existence and ancient rite and ritual in darkest Madison, Wisconsin all those years ago? Almost four decades have now passed since Derleth’s death and so we may never know the full story. I do not rule out the possibility, however, that perhaps the answers that I [...] and so many other investigators of mysterious creatures seek, may well have been known to a long-dead novelist who took some of his unsettling secrets to the grave, but who also elected to present at least a part of his arcane knowledge in fictional form within the pages of The Lurker at the Threshold.'
Redfern's basis for such claims? Some of the things presented in Lurker are a bit like some other reported paranormal phenomena; in addition to which, Lurker mentions Fort. From this, Redfern infers that Derleth might have known more than he was letting on (the possibility that Derleth may have been using Fort and other accounts of supposedly-paranormal phenomena as the basis for his fictions isn't really given serious consideration). It's difficult here to feel sympathetic towards Redfern's work in the face of a rather inept attempt to by-pass critical thinking; indeed, this use of inferentially-rhetorical questions is an overused device that remains sadly typical of many paranormal writers. That said, I have a soft-spot for Redfern's work, insofar as his books move at a briskly-entertaining pace, which is made all the more fun because of his not-infrequent cojoining of the Cthulhu Mythos to contemporary paranormalist narratives

No comments:

Post a Comment