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There is Life Before Reading Moby-Dick, and There is Life After Reading Moby-Dick
Works mentioned: Report to Greco by Nikos Kazantzakis Moby-Dick; or, The Whale by Herman Melville Education of a Wandering Man by Louis L’Amour 50 Great American Short Stories edited by Milton Crane Great Short Works of Herman Melville edited by Warner Berthoff The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
“Arma Virumque” by Ambrose Bierce
The Sermon on the Mount by Jesus The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick The Sea-Wolf by Jack London The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot
Other authors mentioned:
Patrick F. McManus
Edgar Allan Poe
U.S. Inauguration Day:
“All the multiple manifestations of a free and democratic society fail of their predicted issue, and we find ourselves lapped in confusion and numb with disappointment and chagrin.”
“Why We Do Not Behave Like Human Beings”
Ralph Adams Cram
The Ancient doctrine of progressive evolution which became dominant during the last half of the nineteenth century, was, I suggest, next to the religious and philosophical dogmas of Dr. Calvin and the political and social doctrines of M. Rousseau, the most calamitous happening of the last millennium. In union with Protestantism and democracy, and apparently justified in its works by the amazing technological civilization fostered by coal, iron, steam and electricity, it is responsible for the present estate of society, from which there is no escape, it would seem, except through comprehensive calamity. Continue reading →
Winter is the darkest time of year.
⁓The Voice before the Void
In German-speaking Alpine folklore, Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure. According to traditional narratives around the figure, Krampus punishes children during the Christmas season who have misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards well-behaved children with gifts. Regions in the Austrian diaspora feature similar figures and, more widely, Krampus is one of a number of Companions of Saint Nicholas in regions of Europe. The origin of the figure is unclear; some folklorists and anthropologists have postulated a pre-Christian origin for the figure. Continue reading →
However phantasmical his narratives may be, Lovecraft’s assertion that it is horrific to ponder what immensities in our universe must lie hidden from us oozes through as profoundly true.
(R’lyeh might be the capital of North Carolina.)
⁓The Voice before the Void
“The Call of Cthulhu”
Of such great powers or beings there may be conceivably a survival… a survival of a hugely remote period when… consciousness was manifested, perhaps, in shapes and forms long since withdrawn before the tide of advancing humanity… forms of which poetry and legend alone have caught a flying memory and called them gods, monsters, mythical beings of all sorts and kinds…
I. The Horror in Clay
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.
Theosophists have guessed at the awesome grandeur of the cosmic cycle wherein our world and human race form transient incidents. They have hinted at strange survivals in terms which would freeze the blood if not masked by a bland optimism. But it is not from them that there came the single glimpse of forbidden eons which chills me when I think of it and maddens me when I dream of it. Continue reading →
Glory in boldness and liberty seized.
⁓The Voice before the Void
“Canción of the Pirate”
José de Espronceda
translated from the Spanish by James Kennedy
The breeze fair aft, all sails on high,
Ten guns on each side mounted seen,
She does not cut the sea, but fly,
A swiftly sailing brigantine;
A pirate bark, the “Dreaded” named,
For her surpassing boldness famed,
On every sea well-known and shore,
From side to side their boundaries o’er.
The moon in streaks the waves illumes
Hoarse groans the wind the rigging through;
In gentle motion raised assumes
The sea a silvery shade with blue;
Whilst singing gaily on the poop
The pirate Captain, in a group,
Sees Europe here, there Asia lies,
And Stamboul in the front arise.
“Sail on, my swift one! nothing fear;
Nor calm, nor storm, nor foeman’s force,
Shall make thee yield in thy career
Or turn thee from thy course.
Despite the English cruisers fleet
We have full twenty prizes made;
And see their flags beneath my feet
A hundred nations laid. Continue reading →