Re: Nyarlathotep--ye Crawling Chaos
This is so amazingly weird it feels like eldritch enchantment. Earlier today I did a review on Amazon of Gary Myers' Arkham House book, The House of the Worm. He's been on my mind of late, and meeting him at last year's Lovecraft Film Festival was fantastic, he's so cool. There were only two reviews of the book at Amazon, and neither of them were okay, so I wrote me review, which has yet to be posted (I hope it will appear to-morrow). So, tonight, I brought the book up to reread some of it, and I began with Gary's Introduction. Now, in relation to my last post here about Other Gods, Elder Ones, &c &c ------ well, here's Gary's Introduction to the Arkham House book, which I have just read in bed five minutes ago in a state of nameless wonder.
"Chapter One of this book is not a major contribution to the Cthulhu Mythos of H. P. Lovecraft, as expounded by his friend and publisher, the late August Derleth, but it does present an interesting heresy.
"According to Derleth, the central precept of the Cthulhu Mythos is that the evil Great Old Ones once made war on the benign Elder Gods, and were banished by Them to outer darkness, where they abide the hour of their resurgence. The body of Mythos lore recounts the modern manifestations of the Ancient Ones trying to return. The theme of resurgence is an important one in Lovecraft, and the Great Old Ones are his invention, though other writers have added to the pantheon; but the Elder Gods, with the exception of Nodens, are entirely the creation of August Derleth.
"Only Lovecraft is scripture. Elder ONES, at least, are mentioned with Nodens in 'The Strange High House in the Mist'; but the Elder Ones are younger than infinity's Other Gods, who came to dance on Hatheg-Kla 'before the gods or even the Elder Ones were born.' And Kuranes, in 'The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath,' identifies the Elder Ones with the Great Ones of Kadath, who carved their own anthropomorphic likeness on Ngranek. It was the Great Ones who banished the Gugs 'to caverns below' because of their sacrifices to Nyarlathotep and the Other Gods. But the Other Gods are the ultimate gods even in the opinion of the priests of Nasht and Kaman-Thah, as Lovecraft states plainly. Probably the Great Ones had more than one reason for desiring to escape from Kadath, and Nyarlathotep for keeping them there. Protection by the Other Gods is refined cruelty.
"The Great Old Ones of this book are the Other Gods and their affiliates, but the Elder Gods are only a somewhat optimistic appraisal of the Great Ones of Kadath. Man has frankly biased opinions about the ordering of his universe and the obligations of his gods toward himself; the gods, being mindless, have no opinions, or else they have found that obligations can be evaded successfully merely by swallowing whoever would call them to their attention. The cotters of Vornai are orthodox Derlethians, but the Worm is notoriously a skeptic."
To come upon this short after writing the just previous post is truly a wonderful and strange experience. It is a sign, but of what I am nor certain......