cobaltnine: cobaltnine name and retro-looking shapes (Default)
cobaltnine ([personal profile] cobaltnine) wrote2010-08-02 08:48 pm

VNS Day 7 - Sound in HPL's writing.

I read 'The Festival' at lunch, as the compilation I grabbed this morning was missing 'Nyarlathotep.' Both stories mention sound. (A quick survey of 'At the Mountains of Madness' failed to reveal many references.) There appear to be two types of sound in Lovecraft's writing - sounds that portent madness or the great foreign Otherness, and a lack of sound that illustrates solitude.

The solitary scenes are emphasized by their lack of sound, and nearly always, 'deserted streets', or the lack of lights in windows. These serve to show isolation of the body. Sound then pierces the still air, which is effective in modern films and only slightly less so when the atmosphere has been built up to be quiet and alone. As most reading is also done in quiet places, this can be compounded within those persons who have the ability to have a strong focus on his or her task. (Strong focus, incidentally, is correlated with the ease by which a person may be hypnotized.) The sound is rarely the sound of crowds or of another human person breaking the spell of quiet, or solitude. The sound serves to transport the narrator over the lintel of silence into the Other, as it is an unidentifiable, horrible sound.

Flippant remark: I think Lovecraft would hate my favorite falafel place.

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