The Starry Wisdom – Part 2

I said I would continue my review of The Starry Wisdom, and here it is!

Reviewing several stories this time.

Recognition – By Alan Moore
Very short, frankly absurd, and actually quite good. In the introduction to the whole book, Ramsey Campbell asks the question ‘what would Lovecraft have made of this book if he were alive to see it?’ The VERY NEXT PAGE Alan Moore provides us with the answer with a story that is entirely about H.P.Lovecraft’s mother being raped by the devil. It almost defies explanation, however it contains a slight twist in the end which actually makes the whole thing quite interesting. For people interested in the Mythos the story can be interpreted as the mocking horror of Nyarlathotep, but any supernatural presence in the story is actually entirely ambiguous. Well written by a master.

This is well into the ‘weird’ territory of ‘weird fiction’, and also follows the modern tradition of the previous two stories by being EXTREMELY EDGY. This is further demonstrated by the entire story being written in Caps. It describes in exhaustive detail five scenes of elaborate science-fiction torture. The overall idea is quite clearly that each of these violent transformations is meant to develop some kind of realisation inside the protagonist as he reaches enlightenment. The gore is sufficiently intense to keep you very engaged if you’re into that sort of thing. Very abstract concept, but also memorable.

Wind die, you die, we die – by William S. Burroughs
A story of disconnected memories, joined together to show only fragments of a much bigger story. Reminds me a little of my own story ‘That Which You Seek’ except this one is better. Figures. This story is my favourite so far. It follows a relatively conventional structure (compared to the last three!), which a clear beginning, middle and end for events, as opposed to a bunch of random shit just happening everywhere. I also find it especially effective for it’s theme of blurring reality and fiction, a device it uses to portray horrors and creatures in great and exacting detail (fantastical) but still leaving the unknown and mysterious element by suggesting the truth of what the character experienced is far worse. Would read again, great stuff.

If I noticed one theme in the stories so far, it would be the idea of reading an enlightenment that destroys you. This is certainly very accurate to one interpretation of Lovecraft’s work, but it hasn’t escaped my attention that the first three stories of this book are borderline gibberish. These guys sure just love to express their of cavalcade of verbosity, but somehow I feel I can’t quite question them. Further review is required.


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