Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Antediluvian World Returns

The antediluvian world, as commonly understood, is shrouded in mystery, in the mists of time, yet presses into the modern world through the subconscious collective at various moments. It's a world variously portrayed as a Utopia, as simple and peaceful, as even horrible, but always as a world with something that has been lost.

As we push forward into the future, as the population grows and we are beset by crisis after crisis, the restless desire to know or have that something that was lost grows. Literature, art, and film turn abruptly towards the antediluvian experience, as vampires, elves, and dragons all rise again, just as they have done in past moments of great social anxiety. Tales drenched in mystery and In the the writings of decadent, non-euclidean philosophers are born and reborn, time and again.

The trenches of World War I--the Great War, the War to End All Wars--were filled with young officers, clutching Zarathustra amid the mustard gas and drifting smoke, dreaming of Siegfried and shielded maidens. In the 1960's, as the US and the Soviet Union teetered on the brink of holocaust, the drug-induced fantasy music from Haight-Ashbury filled the air and "Frodo Lives" was the underground rallying cry. And Japan still dreamed of monsters, as it struggled to define itself, yet again.

It wasn't just the turmoil of the present, but also the uncertainty of the future, the unknowability of a world seemingly without limits, with boundless potential, yet born from the daemonic gold of war and servitude. Guilt loomed as large as fear.

The sugar-coating of such turmoil notwithstanding, there is always hope. But it teeters over the chasm, the gulf of despair. And we are there, once again. We are on the edge, barely balancing as a world between normalcy and absolute chaos. And we dream of an imaginary past, beyond comprehension but on the edge of understanding.

He mentioned the establishment of the Dynasty in Carcosa, the lakes which connected Hastur, Aldebaran and the mystery of the Hyades. He spoke of Cassilda and Camilla, and sounded the cloudy depths of Demhe, and the Lake of Hali. "The scolloped tatters of the King in Yellow must hide Yhtill forever," he muttered, but I do not believe Vance heard him. Then by degrees he led Vance along the ramifications of the Imperial family, to Uoht and Thale, from Naotalba and Phantom of Truth, to Aldones, and then tossing aside his manuscript and notes, he began the wonderful story of the Last King.--Robert W. Chambers, from The King in Yellow

Cheers all.


This post was a part of the AbsoluteWrite October 2011 blog chain. Read the other posts here:

orion_mk3 - http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to this month's post)
Ralph Pines - http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ (link to this month's post)
Cath - http://blog.cathsmith.com/ (link to this month's post)
Diana Rajchel - http://blog.dianarajchel.com/ (link to this month's post)
Alynza - http://www.alynzasmith.blogspot.com/ (link to this month's post)
pyrosama - http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com/ (link to this month's post)
dolores haze - http://dianedooley.wordpress.com/ (link to this month's post)
leahzero - http://www.leahraeder.com/words (link to this month's post)
AbielleRose - http://stainedglassinthenight.wordpress.com/ (link to this month's post)
pezie - http://www.erinbrambilla.wordpress.com/ (link to this month's post)
MysteryRiter - http://incessantdroningofaboredwriter.wordpress.com/ (link to this month's post)
Inkstrokes - http://drlong67.wordpress.com/ (link to this month's post)
AuburnAssassin - http://clairegillian.com/ (link to this month's post)
Alpha Echo - http://writersramblings81.blogspot.com/ (link to this month's post)
robieae - http://thepondsofhappenstance.blogspot.com/ (link to this month's post)
JSSchley - http://www.jessicaschley.com/ (link to this month's post)
spacejock2 - http://halspacejock.blogspot.com/ (link to this month's post)
Madelein.Eirwen - http://madeleineirwen.blogspot.com/ (link to this month's post)

7 comments:

  1. Oho, very nice. It works both as an essay and a prologue or interlude in a fictional work. And major bonus points for mentioning Chambers, an honorary Lovecraftian if ever there was one.

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  2. Hope teetering over the chasm of despair. Love it! That's what it's been like trying to comment on this post. *tosses Blogger into the chasm*

    Diane Dooley

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  3. lol @Diane

    A time of unknowing is a time for writing! What great stories we find when we know people are looking to be entertained during times of crisis and the unknown of the future.

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  4. Thanks, people.

    Btw, Chambers is da domb...

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  5. Loved this, "born from the daemonic gold of war and servitude".

    Also LOL @ Diane Dooley. Blogger and me often bicker too which is why I created a Blogger account JUST for friggin' commenting if it refuses to shake hands with WP.

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  6. Amazing.
    "but always as a world with something that has been lost."
    Sounds like our world. Aren't we always looking for something? Don't we feel like we've lost something important but don't quite know what it is?
    Well, done. Loved it!

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  7. Very nice. I loved this whole paragraph: "It wasn't just the turmoil of the present, but also the uncertainty of the future, the unknowability of a world seemingly without limits, with boundless potential, yet born from the daemonic gold of war and servitude. Guilt loomed as large as fear."

    And LOL @ Diane Dooley & Claire. Sometimes blogger and I don't get along either. Though it has gotten better since I created a Google account.

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