The Starry Wisdom

Ever read a great short story and think to yourself: I really have no idea what they’re talking about?

My latest literary purchase – The Starry Wisdom, some vintage 1994 weird fiction by the some of the big names of the genre (Alan Moore, Ramsey Campbell, Grant Morrison). It’s some heavy, classy shit. For those who like to think of themselves as ultra-sophisticated interpreters of the venerable tradition Lovecraftian fiction (who?), the introduction is more or less straight-up gratification. I’m sure I’ll drool all over it sometime in the near future. But on to the first story!

“Lovecraft in Heaven” by Grant Morrison. It’s, erm, a little hard to take in? It reads as about ten straight pages of psychedelic hallucinations. As in its literally a story about hallucinations. Lovecraft is dying, and as he lies on his deathbed he sees visions of his creations and their true meaning, hence the title. This links well with the theme of the anthology, that of returning to a purer, intensive form of the Lovecraft’s original world-view. It’s also a pretty ballsy move to directly convey the original master’s thoughts, though (sadly) its far from the first time its been attempted and, well, full marks for weirdness. Liberal spatterings of the c-word keep it edgy (did I mention this was written in the 90s?), but then I’m increasing of the view that Lovecraft’s work is obsessed with sex even as he utterly refused to touch it as tribute to his Victorian morality (cosmic miscegeny will doom us all!)

Near the end of the story, Lovecraft declares that he is in hell. His dream associate informs him that he is experiencing ‘quite the reverse’. So… Lovecraft’s most deserved fate is to experience his enlightenment as an endless brain-warping nightmare, but that enlightenment brings with it a degree of serenity. At least that’s what I got. It even manages a few endearing references to the classics, as long as you can handle a bit of semen at the same time.

Next story – “Extracted from the mouth of the Consumer, Rotten Pig,” which, I shit you not, is written in ALL CAPS. Should be good.

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