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THE NIGHT LAND
#1
On Wednesday mornings episode of OSOM I brought up a book entitled "The Night Land" published in 1912 that I initially referenced in the old Enterprise Mission conference in 2006. 

I first read it in 1990 and I agree with the criticism that the artifically antique syntax is difficult, but the author was attempting to convey, I think, an abstract quality that could not be communicated by modern diction. It is flawed  (to use the words of Lovecraft) with many problems but its the landscape setting that is so compellingly Cydonian.

Project Gutenburg link:

http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/10662/pg10662.html

ALternate version:
http://fiction.eserver.org/novels/nightland/


Here are some relevant quotations from that book that might interest you:


"Always, it seemed to me when I awaked into the Future, into the Everlasting Night that lapped this world, that I saw near to me, and girdling me all about, a blurred greyness. And presently this, the greyness, would clear and fade from about me, even as a dusky cloud, and I would look out upon a world of darkness, lit here and there with strange sights. And with my waking into that Future, I waked not to ignorance; but to a full knowledge of those things which lit the Night Land; even as a man wakes from sleep each morning, and knows immediately he wakes, the names and knowledge of the Time which has bred him, and in which he lives. And the same while, a knowledge I had, as it were sub-conscious, of this Present—this early life, which now I live so utterly alone."

"I had a dim knowledge—visionary, as it were, of the past, which confounded, whilst yet it angered, those who were the men of learning of that age; though of this matter, more anon. But this I do know, that from that time, onwards, my knowledge and assuredness of the Past was tenfold; for this my memory of that life told me."

"I turned from the haze and pain of my dream-memories, once more to the inconceivable mystery of the Night Land, which I viewed through the great embrasure. For on none did it ever come with weariness to look out upon all the hideous mysteries; so that old and young watched, from early years to death, the black monstrosity of the Night Land, which this our last refuge of humanity held at bay."

"...how shall I make all this clear to you who may read? The thing cannot be; and yet I must tell my history; for to be silent before so much wonder would be to suffer of too full a heart; and I must even ease my spirit by this my struggle to tell to all how it was with me, and how it will be. Aye, even to the memories which were the possession of that far future youth, who was indeed I, of his childhood's days, when his nurse of that Age swung him, and crooned impossible lullabies of this mythical sun which, according to those future fairy-tales, had once passed across the blackness that now lay above the Pyramid."

"
How shall you ever know, as I know in verity, of the greatness and reality and terror of the thing that I would tell plain to all; for we, with our puny span of recorded life must have great histories to tell, but the few bare details we know concerning years that are but a few thousands in all; and I must set out to you in the short pages of this my life there, a sufficiency of the life that had been, and the life that was, both within and without that mighty Pyramid, to make clear to those who may read, the truth of that which I would tell; and the histories of that great Redoubt dealt not with odd thousands of years; but with very millions; aye, away back into what they of that Age conceived to be the early days of the earth, when the sun, maybe, still gloomed dully in the night sky of the world. But of all that went before, nothing, save as myths, and matters to be taken most cautiously, and believed not by men of sanity and proved wisdom."


"And when the humans had built the great Pyramid, it had one thousand three hundred and twenty floors; and the thickness of each floor was according to the strength of its need. And the whole height of this pyramid exceeded seven miles, by near a mile, and above it was a tower from which the Watchmen looked (these being called the Monstruwacans). But where the Redoubt was built, I know not; save that I believe in a mighty valley, of which I may tell more in due time.

And when the Pyramid was built, the last millions, who were the Builders thereof, went within, and made themselves a great house and city of this Last Redoubt. And thus began the Second History of this world."

"And thereafter came a million years, maybe, of silence; with ever the birthing and marrying and dying of those lonesome humans. And they grew less; and some put this to the lack of the Earth-Current, which dwindled slowly through the centuries of that Eternity."
"The stones were still in their native quarries had it been left to us to seek them; we are like the conies in the ruins... the inheritors of what other hands have done..."
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#2
His style is very comprehensible.
Seek and ye shall find. JESUS
------------------------------------------
I am a recovering vegetarian   Hi
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#3
(11-05-2015, 10:07 AM)BONES Wrote: On Wednesday mornings episode of OSOM I brought up a book entitled "The Night Land" published in 1912 that I initially referenced in the old Enterprise Mission conference in 2006. 

I first read it in 1990 and I agree with the criticism that the artifically antique syntax is difficult, but the author was attempting to convey, I think, an abstract quality that could not be communicated by modern diction. It is flawed  (to use the words of Lovecraft) with many problems but its the landscape setting that is so compellingly Cydonian.

Project Gutenburg link:

http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/10662/pg10662.html

ALternate version:
http://fiction.eserver.org/novels/nightland/


Here are some relevant quotations from that book that might interest you:


"Always, it seemed to me when I awaked into the Future, into the Everlasting Night that lapped this world, that I saw near to me, and girdling me all about, a blurred greyness. And presently this, the greyness, would clear and fade from about me, even as a dusky cloud, and I would look out upon a world of darkness, lit here and there with strange sights. And with my waking into that Future, I waked not to ignorance; but to a full knowledge of those things which lit the Night Land; even as a man wakes from sleep each morning, and knows immediately he wakes, the names and knowledge of the Time which has bred him, and in which he lives. And the same while, a knowledge I had, as it were sub-conscious, of this Present—this early life, which now I live so utterly alone."

"I had a dim knowledge—visionary, as it were, of the past, which confounded, whilst yet it angered, those who were the men of learning of that age; though of this matter, more anon. But this I do know, that from that time, onwards, my knowledge and assuredness of the Past was tenfold; for this my memory of that life told me."

"I turned from the haze and pain of my dream-memories, once more to the inconceivable mystery of the Night Land, which I viewed through the great embrasure. For on none did it ever come with weariness to look out upon all the hideous mysteries; so that old and young watched, from early years to death, the black monstrosity of the Night Land, which this our last refuge of humanity held at bay."

"...how shall I make all this clear to you who may read? The thing cannot be; and yet I must tell my history; for to be silent before so much wonder would be to suffer of too full a heart; and I must even ease my spirit by this my struggle to tell to all how it was with me, and how it will be. Aye, even to the memories which were the possession of that far future youth, who was indeed I, of his childhood's days, when his nurse of that Age swung him, and crooned impossible lullabies of this mythical sun which, according to those future fairy-tales, had once passed across the blackness that now lay above the Pyramid."

"
How shall you ever know, as I know in verity, of the greatness and reality and terror of the thing that I would tell plain to all; for we, with our puny span of recorded life must have great histories to tell, but the few bare details we know concerning years that are but a few thousands in all; and I must set out to you in the short pages of this my life there, a sufficiency of the life that had been, and the life that was, both within and without that mighty Pyramid, to make clear to those who may read, the truth of that which I would tell; and the histories of that great Redoubt dealt not with odd thousands of years; but with very millions; aye, away back into what they of that Age conceived to be the early days of the earth, when the sun, maybe, still gloomed dully in the night sky of the world. But of all that went before, nothing, save as myths, and matters to be taken most cautiously, and believed not by men of sanity and proved wisdom."


"And when the humans had built the great Pyramid, it had one thousand three hundred and twenty floors; and the thickness of each floor was according to the strength of its need. And the whole height of this pyramid exceeded seven miles, by near a mile, and above it was a tower from which the Watchmen looked (these being called the Monstruwacans). But where the Redoubt was built, I know not; save that I believe in a mighty valley, of which I may tell more in due time.

And when the Pyramid was built, the last millions, who were the Builders thereof, went within, and made themselves a great house and city of this Last Redoubt. And thus began the Second History of this world."

"And thereafter came a million years, maybe, of silence; with ever the birthing and marrying and dying of those lonesome humans. And they grew less; and some put this to the lack of the Earth-Current, which dwindled slowly through the centuries of that Eternity."

How strange...the day before I read your post
I was leafing through The Night Land (2 vol. Ballantine Books ed.)
for the first time since the mid-70s.
I recall the hero had a weapon called a Diskos...
I must conclude I was meant to read something in it... Hmm2

[Image: BallentineTheNightLandByWilliamHopeHodgson565.jpg]
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#4
H. P. Lovecraft's essay "Supernatural Horror in Literature" describes the novel as "one of the most potent pieces of macabre imagination ever written". Clark Ashton Smith wrote of it that "In all literature, there are few works so sheerly remarkable, so purely creative, as The Night Land. Whatever faults this book may possess, however inordinate its length may seem, it impresses the reader as being the ultimate saga of a perishing cosmos, the last epic of a world beleaguered by eternal night and by the unvisageable spawn of darkness. Only a great poet could have conceived and written this story; and it is perhaps not illegitimate to wonder how much of actual prophecy may have been mingled with the poesy."[url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Night_Land#cite_note-1][/url]
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#5
Yes. I am invoking some of what Lovecraft had to say of it in my article I am curently writing on it. I recommend the Ballantine edition as it is an edited version that leaves only the good stuff and gets rid of the tiresome material (although I have read the full version). To use Lovecrafts words from the Supernatural Horror in Literature essay: "It is seriously marred by painful verboseness, repetitiousness, artificial and nauseously sticky romantic sentimentality, and an attempt at archaic language...grotesque and absurd."

But then he says all of these flaws fail to spoil the otherwise tremendous power of the book.

I however can share with what Hodgson was attempting to do with his style. He was conveying a certain bizarreness by the language perhaps and the sentimentality was not an uncommon device for books of those days. After all, the Night Land is subtitled "A Romance". Its stark contrasts convey a duality of things that maybe in themselves are part of what he wanted to do. (More importantly, what the archetypal "Mind" transduces into waking corporeal consciousness.)

An ugly side and a beautiful side.

Sound familiar?

Strength and Beauty are the pillars of...

Lion is strength and...

There can be no doubt of the influence on Lovecraft (and others for that matter including C.S. Lewis.)

The Night Land's Watchers are proto Cthulhu. etc. etc. etc.

"And first, that it did much attract me, there was a huge and blackened mountain unto the left of the mouth of the Gorge, and the mountain did go upward into the night, maybe fifteen and maybe twenty miles. And there was a mighty peaked volcano that grew out from the side of the mountain so high up as five miles, as I did guess that height; and this was upon the far side. And above this there was a second, maybe nine or ten great miles up in the blackness of the night that hung afar upward. And, as that this were not great wonder enough, there did burn and glow two other mighty fire-hills, at an utter height, upon the left crest of that black mountain; and these were upward so monstrous a way, as that they did seem to make strange and smouldering suns within the night. And truly, as you shall perceive, this was a wondrous thing.

And below these upward fire-hills there rose up from the earth vast mountains of ash and burned stuff, that had been cast forth by these perched volcanoes, and had poured downward unto the earth throughout Eternity, and so to build grey and sombre monuments unto the dreadful glory of Time."
"The stones were still in their native quarries had it been left to us to seek them; we are like the conies in the ruins... the inheritors of what other hands have done..."
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#6
                                     
Quote:"The oldest and strongest emotion is Fear,
and the oldest and strongest Fear
is Fear of The Unknown."
                                          HP Lovecraft
...said Lovecraft, apropos of The Night Land,
Quote:"We live on a placid island of ignorance
in the midst of Black Seas of Infinity...
and it was not meant that we should voyage far."
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#7
[Image: the_night_land_map_by_ivymantled-d4vfvqy.jpg]

A key part of The Night Land plot is the description of strange landscape features
seen and described by The Monstruwacans.
The names given them may be seen as like those given by astronomers
to the enigmas they observe...eg. The Great Red Spot, The Face on Mars, etc.
Paired with the archaic language greatly increases
fear created unavoidably through ignorance.

Sorry that image above didn't post of the night land map.
It had a copyright mark...
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