“The Hound”

 

The Lovecraft series continues.

Raw Feed (2005, 2013): “The Hound”, H. P. Lovecraft, 1922.Dagon and Other Macabre Tales

Another early Lovecraft tale with buddies, here a couple of dissolute rich guys who take to occultism and graverobbing for thrills, in which the narrator talks about how his friend comes to a bad end after robbing the wrong tomb. There’s no tension between them unlike the main characters of Lovecraft’s “From Beyond” or “Herbert West: Reanimator“, but, like the narrator of Lovecraft’s “Dagon“, the storyteller knows his horrible end is near.

On reading this story for at least the second time, I noticed there really is a lot of attention to dead human bodies in Lovecraft.

Here we have grave robbers.

His collaboration with C. M. Eddy, “The Loved Dead”, is of course, veiled necrophilia.

“Imprisoned with the Pharoahs” is sort of in this vein via the classic image of mummies.

Curwen messes with sort of condensed bodies in The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.

And there’s the ghouls of “Pickman’s Model“.

It’s never a reveling in gore, more contemplation of the aesthetics of the dead as highly evocative bits of matter. (Of course, the body is fascinating for lots of weird/horror writers.)

I was definitely reminded of M.R. James’ “Count Magnus” (though I don’t know if Lovecraft had read it yet or not. Both feature a sort of supernatural guardian pursuing those who have stolen a treasure. The narrator and his friend could be thought to be trapped in a sort of folie de deux , and I couldn’t help but think their search for ever more powerful, decadent thrills was probably going to end up in murder like Leopold and Loeb.

 

More Lovecraft related reviews are on the Lovecraft page.

More reviews of fantastic fiction are indexed by title and author/editor.

 

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