HP Lovecraft Was Not A Good Prophet
HP Lovecraft was not a good prophet. He thought that the First World War, for example, was going to last for ten more years than it actually did. And he pre-visualised the Great Old Ones in a uniform past, present and future. But where were they? Where are they?
But as I pursue this thought, I somehow settle upon an intrinsic truth for which I thank HPL. Somehow to be as truly old as I assume the Old Ones to be, they surely cannot live in the present at all, in any present, because that would curtail their existence, give it a finite enclosure, truncating their spaces of mind as well as cropping their forces of form. They can only live in the future, in a future where time has been taught to encompass their intrinsic Oldness. Time is in its infancy. It has not yet matured into its full potential and needs training from us to do so. Only then will HPL’s prophecy be borne out. Meanwhile, we need to begin the tuition of time, at least scratch the surface of training it towards becoming a medium of reality where can be countenanced a true Oldness.
But how can we mere humans possibly train time to reap its full harvest?
I have struggled night and day to solve this – not so much a conundrum to while away my old age – but a sheer necessity for fulfilling HPL’s prophecy, because if it be not fulfilled, who knows whither the Old Ones?
If I cannot establish them in their rightful place within time’s reality, they may plague me (and me alone!) within the realms of a Hellish unreality that awaits me after I die – as surely die I must, whether or not I manage to reach this my goal of pre-empting any such ‘Hell’.
My struggle took me to primary sources, but none quite so primary as HPL’s own works of fiction. Here at last I stumbled on the keystone of my eventual success:
“This was a simple explanation which everyone could understand, and because Malone was not a simple person he perceived that he had better let it suffice.” — The Horror at Red Hook
Whether or not HPL prophesied my own reincarnation from the seeds of Malone, I am unsure. But I lowered my head upon my desk-resting arms in the light of the guttering candle with some relief.And even through the drawn curtains of my London casement, I managed to sense the gradually increasing light of a false dawn. It was the darkest part of night, you see, and here were the Old Ones, I guessed, swirling in upon a refulgent cloud of mental certainty about right and wrong, past and present, white and black, straight and bent, youth and age, love and hate, joy and grief, art and non-art, truth and fiction: the challenge and response that maketh History.
For ‘History’: read ‘Horror’?
Quotation at the head of ‘The Horror at Red Hook’ (which is the most amazing story of all time, I feel):
“There are sacraments of evil as well as of good about us, and we live and move to my belief in an unknown world, a place where there are caves and shadows and dwellers in twilight. It is possible that man may sometimes return on the track of evolution, and it is my belief that an awful lore is not yet dead.” –Arthur Machen
Regarding my point above about HPL’s ‘prophecy’ regarding the First World War, this is what he wrote to Reinhart Kleiner on June 27, 1918;
“I believe we are in for a fairly Napoleonic era of continuous fighting. It seems to me unlikely that we shall see the end in less than ten or fifteen years.”
Anyone read the ‘Red Hook’ story? It’s full of what HPL thought were stinking life-forms and foul alleyways. It’s stew of evil. Nowhere else in HPL’s Hell does the stew bubble so noxiously.
You can smell it as you read it, I reckon. It literally pulsates like a maggot-riddled thing in your hand. A story that crawls into your brain and eats it. Then spits it out and pines for you to eat *it*.