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Paranormal Friends with Gadgets

In the last post I reviewed examples of technology used in early 20th century horror fiction to conjure egregore-like entities.  The basic plot of these stories involved a narrator whose doomed friend summons dangerous beings using an invention.  The device augments human visual perception, though other sensory apparatus may come into play. An underlying assumptionContinue reading “Paranormal Friends with Gadgets”

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Technologies of Conjuration in Weird Fiction

“What to my mind forms the essence of sound weird literature today is not so much the contradiction of reality as the hypothetical extension of reality.”             —H.P. Lovecraft, in a letter to Clark Ashton Smith, 1932 Ancient Examples An interesting episode in Homer’s Odyssey is when Odysseus visits the Kingdom of the Dead.  He conjures the souls ofContinue reading “Technologies of Conjuration in Weird Fiction”

Egregoric Imagery in Clark Ashton Smith’s “Genius Loci”

Even without the benefit of hallucinogenic drugs, many of us perceive—in the random arrangements of clouds, trees, rocks, grass—faces and figures both familiar and strange.  If the breeze is a bit more spirited, we may even see, up in the tree tops, animals stalking each other, faces conversing or grimacing, and oddly distorted figures standing over us orContinue reading “Egregoric Imagery in Clark Ashton Smith’s “Genius Loci””