I think I have a misconceived notion of horror as a genre—the idea that it must shock me to my core is very much a product of my generation, where slasher flicks have to get more and more gruesomely creative to shock an increasingly jaded audience. But I think I need to rethink my idea of horror, which I will as I make my way through the Lovecraftian canon which is, blissfully, all in the public domain. The shoggoths, however, are easier to wrap my brain around.
But the story is worth pushing through this learning curve, once Dyer and his companion are, well, deep in the Mountains of Madness.
Sorry, man. Worth a shot, after a proper introduction. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. At the Mountains of Madness has numerous connections to other Lovecraft stories.
A few include:.
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The H. Lovecraft Historical Society  produced a s-style radio drama of the story, featuring a full cast, original music and sound effects. It is packaged with photos from the expedition, newspaper clippings and other feelies. The psychedelic rock group H. Lovecraft wrote and recorded a song titled "At the Mountains of Madness", which was based on the novella. The song appears on the band's second album H. It is a parody of The Polar Express , telling the story of young Danforth who boards a mysterious plane with Professor Dyer.
They travel to Antarctica to the city of the Elder Things and flee when pursued by shoggoths. At the Mountains of Madness was adapted into a graphic novel created by I. In , Cerasus Media released a hidden object game titled Mystery Stories: Mountains of Madness , with Danforth being replaced by an original female character named Lynn Morgan, who accompanies Dyer on the exploration while Danforth himself becomes the injured pilot of their aircraft and still goes insane from the experience.
Director Guillermo del Toro and screenwriter Matthew Robbins wrote a screenplay based on Lovecraft's story in , but had trouble getting Warner Bros. Del Toro wrote, "The studio is very nervous about the cost and it not having a love story or a happy ending, but it's impossible to do either in the Lovecraft universe. But del Toro is already trying to set up Mountains at another studio possibly 20th Century Fox. Prisoner of Ice is a adventure video game by Infogrames that tells a story set in the aftermath of the expedition.
A Colder War is a loose sequel to At the Mountains of Madness written by Charles Stross in , where the secrets from beyond the Mountains of Madness are used by the Cold War superpowers to dreadful effect. Chaosium Games released a campaign book titled Beyond the Mountains of Madness for their Call of Cthulhu role-playing game in This book details the Starkweather-Moore expedition return to the ice to discover the truth about the Miskatonic Expedition. Call of Cthulhu: Beyond the Mountains of Madness was a cancelled action-adventure video game by Headfirst Productions , announced in The plot deals with a group of American explorers unearthing an Elder Things' tomb and citadel.
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A parallel plot also deals with an expedition using an experimental submersible to breach Lake Vostok , which is named as the location of the underwater city to which the Elder Things fled. The story is set in , when a friend of Dyer receive his journal and a strange obelisk. Two opposite teams try to seize these remnants of the Antarctic expedition, with very different goals - on the one hand helping the Unnamed things, enemies of the Elder Things, seize the Earth, and on the other hand destroying these dangerous monsters. Charles Stross, Cthulhu Mythos, H.
Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness, Alternate history. My Dashboard Get Published. Sign in with your eLibrary Card close. Flag as Inappropriate. Email this Article. At the Mountains of Madness. A dreamer and a visionary: H. Lovecraft in his time. Liverpool University Press, A Dreamer's Tales: Hashish Man. Modern Library.
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Lovecraft, Selected Letters Vol. Joshi, The Annotated Lovecraft , p. The wide white page: writers imagine Antarctica. Victoria University Press, p.
Lovecraft, letter to August Derleth, May 16, ; cited in Joshi, pp. Dyer and Danforth eventually realize that the Elder Things missing from the advance party's camp had somehow returned to life and, after slaughtering the explorers, have returned to their city. Dyer and Danforth also discover traces of the Elder Things' earlier exploration, as well as sleds containing the corpses of both Gedney and his missing dog. They are ultimately drawn towards the entrance of a tunnel, into the subterranean region depicted in the murals.
Here, they find evidence of various Elder Things killed in a brutal struggle and blind six-foot-tall penguins wandering placidly, apparently used as livestock. They are then confronted by a black, bubbling mass, which they identify as a shoggoth, and escape. Aboard the plane, high above the plateau, Danforth looks back and sees something which causes him to lose his own sanity, implied to be the unnamed evil itself. Dyer concludes the Elder Things slaughtered the survivors and dogs only out of self-defense or scientific curiosity, that their civilization was eventually destroyed by the shoggoths and that this further entity has preyed on the enormous penguins.
He warns the planners of the next proposed Antarctic expedition to stay distant from the site. At the Mountains of Madness has numerous connections to other Lovecraft stories. A few include:. Lovecraft had a lifelong interest in Antarctic exploration. Joshi wrote.
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By the s, Antarctica was "one of the last unexplored regions of the Earth, where large stretches of territory had never seen the tread of human feet. Contemporary maps of the continent show a number of provocative blanks, and Lovecraft could exercise his imagination in filling them in The first expedition of Richard E. Byrd took place in , the period just before the novella was written, and Lovecraft mentioned the explorer repeatedly in his letters, remarking at one point on "geologists of the Byrd expedition having found many fossils indicating a tropical past".
In Lovecraft: A Look Behind the Cthulhu Mythos Lin Carter suggests that one inspiration for At the Mountains of Madness was Lovecraft's own hypersensitivity to cold, as evidenced by an incident where the writer "collapsed in the street and was carried unconscious into a drug store" because the temperature dropped from 60 degrees to 30 degrees Fahrenheit 15 degrees to -1 degree Celsius. Joshi has called this theory "facile.
Lovecraft twice cites Poe's "disturbing and enigmatic" story in his text, and explicitly borrows the mysterious cry Tekeli-li or Takkeli from Poe's work. In a letter to August Derleth , Lovecraft wrote that he was trying to achieve with his ending an effect similar to what Poe accomplished in Pym. Another proposed inspiration for At the Mountains of Madness is Edgar Rice Burroughs ' At the Earth's Core , a novel that posits a highly intelligent reptilian race, the Mahar, living in a hollow Earth.
Burroughs' Mahar even employ a species of servants known as Sagoths, possibly the source of Lovecraft's Shoggoth. Other possible sources include A.
Merritt 's "The People of the Pit", whose description of an underground city in the Yukon bears some resemblance to that of Lovecraft's Elder Things, and Katharine Metcalf Roof's "A Million Years After", a story about dinosaurs hatching from eggs millions of years old that appeared in the November edition Weird Tales. Lovecraft Encyclopedia suggest that the long scope of history recounted in the story may have been inspired by Oswald Spengler 's The Decline of the West.
Some details of the story may also have been taken from M. Shiel's Arctic exploration novel, The Purple Cloud , which was republished in The title is derived from a line in Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany 's short story "The Hashish Man": "And we came at last to those ivory hills that are named the Mountains of Madness Lovecraft's own " The Nameless City " , which also deals with the exploration of an ancient underground city apparently abandoned by its nonhuman builders, sets a precedent for At the Mountains of Madness.
In both stories, the explorers use the nonhumans' artwork to deduce the history of their species. Lovecraft submitted the story to Weird Tales , but it was rejected by the editor Farnsworth Wright in July Orlin Tremaine , the editor of Astounding Stories. Theodore Sturgeon described the novella as "perfect Lovecraft" and "a good deal more lucid than much of the master's work," as well as "first-water, true-blue science fiction. The story popularized ancient astronaut theories, as well as Antarctica's place in the "ancient astronaut mythology".
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Related Ice Cores: essays on Lovecrafts novella At the Mountains of Madness
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