Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hypnos by H.P. Lovecraft

by H.P. Lovecraft

"Hypnos" is a logical melding of Lovecraft's dream-related fantasy tales and his horror stories, a melding which proves to be quite beneficial. Our Nameless Narrator here is a sculptor, who one day meets a strange man on a subway platform. Looking into this man's intense and powerful eyes, our narrator senses a natural wisdom regarding the unnatural world, and sees a way into the realm of forbidden secrets that he has longed for.

Our Nameless Narrator and his equally Nameless New Friend strike up a complex relationship and move in together. From there they begin to explore an alternate plane of existence, one hidden behind the veil of sleep, a nightmare land populated by forbidden knowledge and aspects of the arcane. With the assistance of a pharmaceutical cocktail, they dig deeper and deeper into this new world...but it's only a matter of time before they find themselves in too deep.

The horror here is once again unglimpsed, barely even spoken of, in fact. We see more of the side-effects of said horror, actually, which is in fact a horror of its own. The utter fear of sleep that these two develop, and their willingness to medicate themselves to stay awake, are both conventions used here that predate the Nightmare On Elm Street series by a vast number of years. So don't let anyone say that Freddy started it all...

The major difference between this story and the author's other dream tales is that the characters her are, well, real characters and not just fleshy vehicles used to explore the imaginary topography of Lovecraft's fantasy lands.

But the biggest difference? I actually wanted to finish reading this story, and didn't just do it out of some ridiculous obligation.


1 comment:

  1. Lol I thought I was the only one who wrote "Nameless Narrator" as if it were some trademark stock character. Glad to see we're on the same page! *Groan*


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