Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Lovecraftian Thing a Day (2018) No.118: The Great God Pan

This transfiguration - and death - of Helen Vaughan in Machen’s The Great God Pan (first published in 1894) is, for me, a foundational literary moment in the history of cosmic horror. It is also a rare, early example of body horror - although as is so often the case in Machen’s work, such embodied intrusions of the weird into the pedestrian routines of the everyday are nothing more than the alchemical ciphers of a hidden (and more awful) numinous reality.

In any case, the horrifying corporeality of that scene is effectively captured in this print by Dave Carson, which forms part of the Masters of Nightmare portfolio mentioned a few days ago.

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