The places of Lovecraft – a review of Ilario Gobbi
The places of Lovecraft is an essay by Nicholas Fish Publisher: a “nightmare” to the places created by H. P. Lovecraft. A review of Ilario Gobbi.
I accept with pleasure a guest post by Ilario Gobbi, owner among many other things, of the channel of the myths of The Pipe, dedicated to the extraordinary insights on the world of Lovecraft.
You want to rediscover the picturesque – not to say: disturbing, gruesome, profane – environments of the stories of Lovecraft in a way more lighter and original than usual?
“The places of Lovecraft”, edited Nicola Pesce Editore, is a unique reinterpretation of the works of Howard Phillips Lovecraft in the form of a friendly but detailed guide to the locality of the nightmare born from the wild fantasy of the Solitary of Providence, that I allowed myself to review for my Youtube channel de The Myths of the Pipe, and that to follow I am going to explain.
This style guide and the early Twentieth century, the work of Michele Mingrone, Sara Vectors and Catherine Scardillo, was commissioned by Nyarlathotep to introduce humans to places that will lead them inevitably to madness. It is not only a re-enactment faithful descriptions of the original places horrific Lovecraft, but a real tour guide, therefore, a collection – for example – of the best hotels (let's call them so) of Innsmouth, of the most evocative of the Mountains of Madness, of the best night of the Lovecraft Country, where to eat and where to be eaten by the picturesque dishes of the region.
The narrator, in a tone snob English transplanted to the new continent, describes with admirable nonchalance, all the absurdities that are found in every part of the stories that are dear to us, and offers survival tips coins and notes on the main points (read: mortal dangers) that await the unwary visitors.
Part of the fun is in discovering the features, always creepy and faithful to the stories of Lovecraft, places to eat and sleep, usually honored by some Shoggoth lurking or ghoul for a walk in cemeteries. There is even a handy dictionary of languages pre-human that certainly will help the traveler to be eaten alive sooner than expected.
The descriptions are very faithful to those reported by the Master in the original works, to follow you here's the list of stories that I identified as the sources of the cities described.
All cities that may come to mind with regard to Lovecraft, here.
– Arkham is described in: “The witch's house”; “The color came from outer space”; “Herbert West: Resuscitator”; “The thing on the threshold”; “The model of Pickman”; “The house of the cannibal”; “The horror of Martin's Beach”, “The Dunwich horror”. Kingsport is described in “The old terrible”.
– Dunwich is described in “The Dunwich horror”.
– Providence is described in “The strange case of Charles Dexter Ward”, “The haunted house”, “The lair of the dark”, “The model of Pickman”, “The call of Cthulhu”.
Speaking of Providence, are mentioned, also the hospital, William Harris (where he was curate, father of Howard) and the house of the same Howard and his mother. A duty is also the visit to the tomb of our favorite writer.
IT also refers to Paris, and never ever should miss the view on the abyss of the house of Erich Zann. It continues with the memorable atmosphere of Antarctica, narrated by a ditzy bride-to-be that visit the memorable attractions of The mountains of madness, with a hubby a little too interested at the right alignment of the stars.
There are even excursions in the most picturesque places out of reach, from the Town Without a Name in the sands of Yemen of the picturesque men snake preumani, the lovable R yleh the seat of the Great Ancient that welcome visitors to the tentacles, always narrated with the incredible (and unjustified) confidence of the narrator in their good fortune.
And if you are looking for a dream destination for the holidays, nothing is better of the Dreamland, he also says the name!
The narratives, always very ironic, are interspersed with photos of the locations, newspaper articles, maps of the place, the recipes somewhat peculiar, and quite surreal, not devoid of a certain artistic taste (the corpse of Whateley, designed, for example, is reminiscent of Alberto Breccia, in his version of the Cthulhu mythos).
The edition, long 240 pages, with a cover lined in canvas, is ultimately quite pleasant, very nice narration and very useful for those who want a summary of the questionable attractions of the destinations lovecraftiane always at the reach of the tentacle.
Very nice also the easter egg scattered here and there in the book. In the section of the text relative to the volumes contained in the library of the Miskatonic University in Arkham, for example, we have the reference to the “De Vermiis Mysteriis” and the story Jerusalems's Lot Stephen King, as well as to “In the mouth of madness” by Sutter Crane and the film “The seed of madness” (1994). Another quote that I tore a smile, was that relating to the Joker, in the paragraph relating to the Asylum of Arkham.
If you're a fan of Lovecraft, this book will surely meet your approval, and I recommend buying it. We'll see you in the next one!