Log in

The Anagnostic Readers' Journal [entries|friends|calendar]
The Anagnostic Readers

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ calendar | livejournal calendar ]

Foggy Christmas [26 Dec 2001|03:05pm]
My apologizes Mr. Emory and others for my absence. I have discoursed on the reasons elsewhere and will not further trouble you the matter here.

Unfortunately, like with all else, my reading has fallen behind during this busy season. I did manage to lay hands on "A Christmas Carol" which I read to amuse myself on Christmas Eve. I was struck somehow by the similarities of Scrooge's Christmas Eve to my own. A thick fog impeded my trip home from work that evening. My own apartment was cold and stark and empty. My meal was simple and had the potential to cause a bit of heartburn.

Fortunately (or perhaps some would say, unfortunately) the similarities ended there. There were no ghosts of past, present or future to show me the joys of my life and the errors of my ways. There was no miraculous transformation upon the next morning. I admit to sleeping fitfully, but I attribute that to the echoes late-roaming revellers and an over-worked and under-performing furnace.

But as I said, I have no intention to trouble you with my life. I would, however, be interested in additional suggested reading. Perhaps we can make a fresh start with the coming of the new year?

[12 Dec 2001|01:55pm]
After long silence...

My apologies to my comrades in this project, and to anyone who may be reading it outside our little coterie. Real life became intensely complicated and demanding for a while, and I was forced to completely set aside my nascent crypographic research. I shall catch up soon, I trust. In the meantime, comments from others would certainly be in order.

My Apologies... [30 Nov 2001|09:28am]
[ mood | embarrassed ]

My apologies for the double post. Mr. Emory, if it is within your power, as it is not within mine, you have my permission to delete both the duplicate message, as well as, this apology.

"The Lovecraft Code" [30 Nov 2001|09:24am]
[ mood | contemplative ]

What an interesting thought, Mr. Emory and Mr. Corner, patterns (or not) to be found in any book.

That's the argument thrown out so often, isn't it? "If you twist and poke at a book long enough, you can get it to tell you anything you want." But it's still a fascinating idea.

I've seen programs that let you play with 'The Bible Code' on the discount racks. I wonder if I could hack one to put whatever text I wanted into them?

I'll have to think about that.

"The Lovecraft Code" [30 Nov 2001|09:19am]
[ mood | contemplative ]

What an interesting thought, Mr. Emory and Mr. Corner, patterns (or not) to be found in any book.

That's the argument thrown out so often, isn't it? "If you twist and poke at a book long enough, you can get it to tell you anything you want." But it's still a fascinating idea.

I've seen programs that let you play with 'The Bible Code' on the discount racks. I wonder if I could hack one to put whatever text I wanted into them?

I'll have to think about that.

Literary Conspiracy Theories [29 Nov 2001|06:20pm]

[ mood | amused ]

Mr. Emory: Have you considered a career as a tabloid journalist yourself? That's quite an interesting idea you have there about hidden meaning encoded in Lovecraft's stories. I might have to stea--ahem, borrow it for an article. As I've said, it does beat hauling out the hoary old Nostradamus or Edgar Cayce or Jeanne Dixon or Bible or Joan of Arc prophecies again.

That aside, I must confess that I find it a bit of a dubious proposition. People like to write along similar themes in their bodies of work, but that does not necessarily mean they are trying to convey a Sekrit Message. People have tried to cast almost every great work of literature since the world began into steganographic interpretations; witness the recent Biblical schlock movies based on that idea. I do think it makes a wonderful idea for a story, perhaps even a series of stories if well-written. But just as I cheerfully make up tales of alien abductions and weeping paintings and Elvis sightings and people cloning Hitler's body parts without believing a word of it, I really doubt there is any truth to this idea either.

Still, it will be interesting to see what you come up with. There is always the possibility that I may have to eat my words--though I rather doubt it.

(And I am still waiting on your responses to my previous posts, by the way.)

The Whisperer in Darkness [28 Nov 2001|11:49am]
Two for two. I'm really starting to think I need to look more carefully at the science fiction being written by HPL's contemporaries.

I am further convinced that Lovecraft was unjustly categorized as horror. This story reads more like a Twilight Zone or Outer Limits tale than horror, in my opinion. Perhaps he was ahead of his time and 'they' were therefore unable to properly place him in the right box. I hesitate to provide too much detail for fear of detracting from the joy of the first read for any Anagosts who have yet to read this tale. (Am I the only one?)

I am struck, however, by the passiveness of the protagonists (in the two works I've read so far). Unlike so many stories, they don't really do anything. Maybe a little travel, a little poking about, but all in all, they make Miss Marple (by Agatha Christie) look like a spry young action heroine. Is this representative of HPL's work? It seems very different from the CoC RPG sessions I have been party to.

Without getting into further detail about the stories themselves, I think that summarizes my thoughts for now. It is comic book day, so I doubt I will get to another tale for a day or so....

Call of Cthullu - Classic Science Fiction [27 Nov 2001|11:04am]
[ mood | excited ]

Rather than subjecting myself to further network schlock last evening, I settled down to a read of Call of Cthullu. I started fresh and read the tale from beginning to end.

I can't believe I haven't read HPL's works sooner! It is classic science fiction unjustly shelved next to Steven King in the horror section. Telepathic Aliens bent on world domination! A truly enjoyable take on this chestnut. I particularly enjoyed the level to which HPL was able to depict the truly alien nature of the antagonists. Even their transport, I mean city, was beyond the ken of men. How appropriate.

I look forward with some eagerness to the next tale you have so graciously provided a link to, Mr. Emory.


Mr. Emory: Thank you for your kind comments. If I can locate a copy of the Dickens work in question, I think I am going to take up my mother's tradition. Perhaps in my search for the book, I will look for further connections between HPL and Dickens....

A related note. One of the passages that lodged in my skull as I recalled my mother's December readings was an early one, where the author described the thick fog which engulfed London on Scrooge's fateful night. This morning, I found my commute plagued by a fog nearly as thick. I do so love coincidence.

[27 Nov 2001|01:31am]
Mr. Black: An interesting comparison there between HPL and Dickens. Dickens, of course, was something of a liberal and reformer in his outlook, and his works were intended to stir the populace to take legislative as well as personal action. But times move on, and today's liberal is tomorrow's conservative. I gather from his correspondence, which I have been perusing somewhat haphazardly, that there's little of Dickens' agenda that would have been unpalatable to HPL. Does anyone know whether HPL left recorded comment on Dickens, and if so what it was?

Mr. Corner: As usual, thought-provoking remarks, to which I shall assay a longer response at a better hour.

[27 Nov 2001|12:55am]
I believe I may have a productive insight into the structure of HPL's work.

In many of his stories, there's the recurring refrain about what must only be hinted at rather than declared, that there is a meaning not made explicit. Now, there is of course nothing in the real world like the Cthulhu Mythos, as HPL himself always made clear; that's the superstitious folly of the ignorant and perversely devout. This does not mean, however, that there is in fact nothing encoded in the manuscripts. The very repetitiveness and awkwardness of HPL's cadences suggests to me that there is a repeated underlying structure waiting for the attentive reader to decode. What sort of message he may have chosen to embed, I haven't the slightest idea.

A search of the bibliographic literature available to me shows, very much to my surprise, no investigation of this cryptographic possibility. I was expecting to find the sort of crank literature that surrounds the Bible and other famous works of literature, and perhaps a serious analysis or two. But no. The serious scholarship seems largely a body of pedantry, tracking down overt allusions, and secondarily a collection of psychodrama, attempting to unravel HPL's state of mind. But there is no real awareness that the text itself may be an important message signifying something other than its exoteric meaning.

Therefore I must proceed without significant precedent. If in fact I find anything, this will make the accomplishment doubly pleasing to me.

[26 Nov 2001|03:22pm]
[ mood | melancholy ]

I am... Michael Black. Or I always wanted to be a Michael. If you don't mind terribly, I will stick to my pseudonym for now.

My thanks to emory for allowing me to join this experiment in literary criticism. It appears I am a bit behind, and I must admit sheepishly, that I neglected to read CoC as I intended too last evening. I've started it, but.... Well, no excuses, either you understand or you don't, and my intention was primarily introduction anyway.

Perhaps a little more. I am reminded, somehow, of my mother's tradition of reading "A Christmas Carol" during the month of December when I was a youth and she was still among us. For those of you who haven't done so, this is the way to understand the work. The movie renditions are fine, and a straight read-through better, but none do true justice to the work. Like Lovecraft, Dickens' work was published not originally in book form, but in 'the pulps' and often in parts.

So that's how my mother read it on those dark December nights, in parts. She let the descriptions hover over us as we went to sleep. The descriptions of the fog shrouded streets of London. The descriptions of Scrooge's visitors. Modern literature has little like it. I would not be surprised to find that the man was paid by the word, for he used a goodly number of them. Still, they were well crafted and well combined words.

A pity he felt the need to try to re-create his masterpiece. As much as I recommend the nightly reading from "A Christmas Carol", I equally recommend that you avoid his later 'Christmas' tales. They... pale... in comparison. If I believed in such things, I would almost have to say he experienced such things as described in the former tale himself.....

As Scrooge would say, "Bah Humbug."

Operator-Assisted Call of C'thulhu [22 Nov 2001|08:56am]

[ mood | contemplative ]

Lovecraft's prose unjustly maligned? Indeed. Why, I understand that there are those who have even gone so far as to call it "wretched," with "ghastly consequences" to "impressionable minds." If Lovecraft's prose might be considered turgid by some, it is only because the reading standard has fallen over the decades. People are in the habit of taking shortcuts.

As for the narrative framework, I have to confess that it is the one part of these stories I find to be exceedingly believable. Have you never yourself experienced something that affected you so profoundly that you had a need to obtain catharsis by writing it all down? While I have never been face to tentacle with C'thulhu, or had a Mi-Go amigo, I have had the occasional bad day that I have only been able to put behind me after setting down in words. Accepting, for the moment, that the Lovecraftian protagonists were driven half-crazy by what they experienced, perhaps writing it all down was the only way they could regain some peace of mind. I know that I have written things in my offline journal, my "snailjournal" as it were, that I would never show to other people, but feel better simply for having gotten out of my system.

At least these protagonists, having managed to escape from whatever situation they were in, were in a believable position to be writing it all down afterward. I have no patience for "train of thought" narratives, whose endings give their protagonists no opportunity to record what happened to them. For example, consider the ending of this story, though I almost hesitate to inflict it on so august a person as yourself. Such an ending may have been an amusing rhetorical device the first half-dozen times it was used, but it has clearly lost whatever shock value that might once have justified it. If there is one thing I respect in the Lovecraftien milieu, it is his adherence to keeping his stories and anecdotes believable--at least in the sense that someone could have written them down.

As for your feelings about "dedicated hoaxters" such as myself...come, come, Mr. Emory. Have you never actually looked at these magazines, perhaps as you buy groceries yourself? Any rational man would recognize them as pure fantasy. Save for the occasional clipping from a "news of the strange" service, all the stories are clearly and obviously fictitious. I am constantly amused by seeing what my colleagues have come up with each week as I pass through the lines. Some of the stories are so hilarious that I cannot help but have my day brightened simply by reading the headlines. Some of the gaffes are amusing, as well; someone pointed out to me the alleged "morgue photos" of one of the monsters of our age that graced the cover of one of the magazines--weeks before his perpetually-delayed execution at last took place. How can any sane person look at this and continue to give the paper any shred of credibility?

Since, as I have said, any rational man would recognize them as pure fantasy, it should thus follow that the only people who actually believe them are those feeble-minded folk who want to believe them. (Though I have no doubt that many people, such as myself, are occasionally tickled enough by such headlines as "I was Bigfoot's love slave!" to buy the issue simply for amusement value.) And, thus, those who deserve to believe them. I consider myself to be providing the world with a valuable service, letting them avoid facing reality. They would probably make the world even more of a mess than it is now if they took an active interest in it.

This is turning into quite an interesting discussion. Until the next time, then!

[21 Nov 2001|10:58pm]
I have several initial thoughts about "The Call of Cthulhu", having decided to start with the eponymous work of HPL's mythos.

1. I believe that Lovecraft's prose is unjustly maligned. It is true that he succumbs to some repeated rhetorical tricks, and that the use of his favorite adjectives takes some narrative edge off the impact of what were clearly intended to be climactic scenes. On the whole, however, he seems to me to write with the informed, intelligent style that suits his narrative persona. This is not far removed from my own accustomed manner of speech, and vastly preferable to both the bland obscenity-laden mediocrities of popular discourse and the ingrown jargon characteristic of academia. It would be a better world if more people expressed themselves in this sort of detailed and evocative prose.

2. On the other hand, I find the narrative framework offputting. The narrator says that he does not wish to inflict this story on the world, and yet here he is writing it down. It clearly is intended to function as a manuscript of some sort, and yet for it to exist in this form would imply that the narrator is exceptionally foolish or incapable of judging his self-interest. Possibly it would have worked better or at least less hypocritically if couched as his thoughts, or an explanation to a friend, or something of the sort.

3. The documentary detail is surprisingly pleasing. The accumulation of invented details gives it, at least for me, an air of verisimilitude. It was tempting at times to open up a Web browser to go search for the names and dates, though of course that would have exposed the fiction. The sense of public truth holding private truth worked very well for me.

I shall have more to say about the R'lyeh portion of the story later.

Mr. Corner: I agree about the motif of innately evil knowledge in Lovecraft, and I find it disappointing. I am willing to accept, as indeed any sane person much, that there are unpleasant things in the universe, but it seems to me a council of despair to say that these things cannot be safely known. I would be more impressed by a protagonist who comes to some sort of terms with the terrible knowledge he faces.

I also agree about the touching faith in the reliability of tangible evidence. I shall not rant here about the pernicious doctrines promulgated by postmodernism, about how there is no truth except in the context of belief systems, and instead note that it is difficult even for such a well-anchored modernist as myself to take artifacts at face value in this age of technological wizardry. I find the difficulty of establishing trust and authenticity far more horrific, in some ways, than any conceivable fact about the world itself. A dedicated hoaxster could insert into popular conviction, or remove from it, some fact which could guide the beliefs and actions of millions despite being totally unreal....as in fact you and your colleagues do. Surely this is a greater peril than remote entities and distant ages.

Alexis: You certainly have my sympathy when it comes to dealing with dim souls who fail to appreciate the value of contemplation and independent creativity. Here too I find myself unexpectedly sympathetic to HPL, who seems to have a solid grasp on the value to humanity of those of us who undertake such pursuits.

Here I am, Andrew, This is I, Andrew [21 Nov 2001|09:03pm]
[ mood | amused ]

Well, Andrew, good evening. I'm here.

Yes, I've agreed to take part in your little experiment. I have to say I find your own attitude about it rather abrasive. Certainly, Lovecraft's stories presented some rather extreme feelings, especially alienation and technophobia, but, really, isn't that exactly what's happening in the real world?

Most people don't want to know how technology works. They don't bother with the details of it like we do. There's just too much of it for them to care. All they really want is for it to work and to do what they want it to do. And, of course, because they don't bother to learn, they get frustrated and angry when it doesn't. And they provide work for people like me.

Alienation... we are the ones who end up alienated. Because we do care to learn, to pry, to want to know what the big shiny red history-eraser button does. And when we swoop in out of the blue and fix their problems, people see us as miracle workers. Other times, it's "Oh, that's just Alex, playing with her toys. Doesn't she do anything fun?" Well, yes, I do do a lot of fun things. I enjoy them. They don't. And so we drift further apart. Lack of common interest produces lack of socialization proceeds to alienation, fear, and mistrust. Lovecraft's mad scientists in their dark, hidden laboratories are today's hackers, gadgeteers, and fiddlers-with-things. We face not the mindless horror of Azathoth, but the mindless horror of Windows XP - certainly more prosaic, but to the average citizen no less frightening.

So, yes, Andrew, I'll be here. I'll watch while you dig yourself into your "pile of crap". And once you're good and buried in it, maybe I'll be waiting with a shovel.

Or maybe not.

That, after all, is the essence of Lovecraft's work: to peer into the unknown, accepting its dangers, embracing its infinite possibilities.

So, that's how it works [21 Nov 2001|09:00pm]
[ mood | frustrated ]

Well now. Alright, Andrew, alright, I've worked out how to post to the forum instead of my own page. No need to send me more emails about it, or about 'embracing the crap'. In a moment I'll be reposting my introduction here, in the meantime, I've still got that shovel.

Is this thing on? [21 Nov 2001|06:32pm]

[ mood | accomplished ]

Hello, fellow anagnostics. I stumbled into this group last night, and after a bit of deliberation, decided to join it after all. I figure that introducing myself is the decent thing to do, so I'll start with my name and a bit of background.

My name is Jared Corner. I'm currently in my last few semesters at a mostly forgettable college, working on a degree which will probably be useless in this new economy once I finally do get it. How do I keep body and soul from flying apart? I write. Under a variety of pseudonyms, for quite a few publications, of varying quality but tending toward the lowish side. Not that I mind; it's easy money for someone with a vivid imagination. The most frequent one...well, they might get upset if I mentioned them by name, but let's just say that if you go grocery shopping, you've probably seen it, and they're not exactly known for being staid.

Now that I've completely spoiled my reputation in the eyes of the forum's host, I'll proceed on to what I thought of the stories. As a caveat, I have to say that, in general, Lovecraft is not my normal cup of tea. I've never been terribly excited by reading a story with better than even odds of ending with its protagonist dead, insane, or worse. Still...it's been a while since I last looked at them. As is the case with Mr. emory, I do seem to have some time on my hands, and thought I might as well immerse myself once more in the macabre. Macabre, hmm, that's a thought. Perhaps I should try to find Stephen King's Danse Macabre and refresh my memory of what he had to say about Lovecraft.

Like or no, I was delighted to find out about the Internet archive of freely-available Lovecraft stories. My prior access to the man's work had been through a few ragged paperback books, obtained through interlibrary loan. As far as I can tell, almost his entire body of writings are on this site, and in plain HTML, too! That'll be nice for putting on the PDA for a little reading when there's not much else to do.

Reading through the three aforementioned picks, the first thing that struck me overall was their thematic similarity. Each of them starts with the first-person protagonist encountering some odd circumstance that he chalks up to a mundane explanation (the old Scooby-Doo saw of "everything has to have a rational explanation") but is somehow compelled to investigate further. Upon this investigation, strange things happen, far too strange to be mere coincidence, until he is finally convinced of the reality of the horror he has encountered--and is driven at least partly mad by the experience. (Well, save for the last story, at the end of which the fellow is still trying to convince himself it wasn't true, though of course we know better.)

I've read somewhere that the theme Lovecraft follows in his books is that it wasn't simply seeing weird things that drives people insane. It's not even evil dark magic, like the kind in Sauron's rings in that upcoming fantasy film franchise. It's knowing things. The wrong things, things that mankind was not meant to know. It's kind of interesting, there seems to be a bit of a parallel between this and the work of another author of about the same era. To quote from G.K. Chesterton's The Man Who Knew Too Much, another story from about the same era:

"I know too much," he said. "That's what's the matter with me. That's what's the matter with all of us, and the whole show; we know too much. Too much about one another; too much about ourselves."
There's a common theme here--that there are some things people are better off not knowing, that ignorance is preferable to knowledge. Perhaps Douglas Adams was parodying this when he talked about the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, which is so stupid that it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you. Or, for that matter, the Total Perspective Vortex, which puts a map of the entire universe in your head, with a perfectly scaled dot representing you.

It's an interesting point of view, but not a very realistic one. Not in this day and age, at least. Perhaps back in the twenties and thirties, the bloom was still on the rose--people were still so optimistic that a hint of supernatural horror could send them into fits of insanity. But how would a Lovecraftian protagonist react to some of the things that happened after that? Over the last eighty years we've seen some pretty horrible things that people have done to other people. Who needs Lovecraftian monsters; we have our own. We were reminded anew of that just two months ago, God help us.

We're a lot more cynical now, as a people. It takes a lot more to shock us. Just look at the sorry state of horror movies these days. Say what you will about Lovecraft, he didn't have to sling buckets of blood around "on-camera" in order to get a shock. We've become so desensitized to violence and strangeness via television, movies, first-person shooters, science-fiction...I mean, look at the UFOphiles, as typified by Independence Day--the crowds of people who flocked to tall buildings with welcome signs. If the Mi-Go were to show up today, they would be deluged with more flying saucer nuts than they could truck back to Yuggoth by the cart-load.

And then there's the state of science. I am guessing that, much like Michael Crichton today, Lovecraft was something of a techno/scientophobe. It fits with his idea of corruption of knowledge, doesn't it? And yet he still kept up with it enough to give his stories a veneer of authenticity, which holds up pretty well still even today. Hmm...thinking about it, you might say that he was afraid of a Vingian singularity event, though nobody knew what that was yet. He might even have thought it was going to happen soon; as far as he knew--in his fiction, at least--Pluto might have been Yuggoth, and the Mi-Go had some sinister plan they were about to put into effect. R'yleh had just resurfaced. The ancient city had been unearthed. And so on.

Of course, today we know that's not true. There are no canals or fungus on Pluto; the word is now that it might not even qualify to be called a planet. And we've made immense strides in science and technology since then--and nobody's gone insane just yet.

There were some interesting predictions in the works. Things like atomic energy, cybernetics and brain transplantation, space travel...you could even say solar sails, if you wanted to stretch plausibility a little. All the same, though, I couldn't help but get a kick out of this passage from "The Whisperer in Darkness".
Glancing at these pictures as I took them from the envelope, I felt a curious sense of fright and nearness to forbidden things; for in spite of the vagueness of most of them, they had a damnably suggestive power which was intensified by the fact of their being genuine photographs - actual optical links with what they portrayed, and the product of an impersonal transmitting process without prejudice, fallibility, or mendacity.
I'm sure the photo lab boys in Florida would just love that.

I think that's a bit more nattering on than you expected or wanted, so I think I'll close off and wait for the next guy to chime in. But as a parting thought...I had forgotten just how meaty these stories actually were. You know, I really should lift something from here for an article--a new C'thulhu cult down in Louisiana, or perhaps something about strange crustaceans being spotted in the New England hills. I would bet that the aforementioned boys in Florida could do a bang-up job with a mock-up. It would certainly beat the hoary old Nostradamus and Edgar Cayce predictions the rags drag out with annoying regularity.

Remember, C'thulhu saves--in case he's hungry later!

[21 Nov 2001|12:11pm]
We're making progress! The Anagnosts community has acquired its first new members, with more to follow. I look forward to fruitful discussions.

Initial Reading [20 Nov 2001|09:38am]
"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.", according to H.P.L. Clearly many of his admirers have been the recipients of great mercy ever since. Let us see if we can shed some more sensible light on things.

Fortunately, a rather large body of H.P.L.'s work is now freely available on the Web. I propose to start with the following stories:

I have selected these three stories because each of them deals with a menace that is neither local or resolved at the end of the story. I felt that reexamination of them might therefore prove a fruitful starting place for this journey into the sources of superstitious paranoia among allegedly educated classes.

The Experiment Begins [20 Nov 2001|01:05am]
Reposting from my personal page:

All my adult life I've had the misfortune of being a reasonable soul in the midst of highly unreasonable crowds. It is regrettable, sometimes downright bewildering, how many profoundly irrational individuals gravitate toward interests I share, so that any serious effort at discussing (say) principles of roleplaying game design or science fiction or the psychology of popular fads bogs down in superstition of the most venal and ignorant kind. I have, I believe, earned much of my reputation as a curmudgeon for those times when I fail to maintain self-discipline and respond with honest anger to some particularly stupid "insight".

Over the years I've been accused repeatedly of failing to understand or appreciate the sources of these alleged inspirations. Indeed, it's true that I customarily have little patience for wading through mounds of cretinous raving merely because someone else mistook it for precious ideological ore. In my scholarly work I have tried to focus primarily on work that actually contains some literary or other merit to offset its conceptual folly; little of what passes for enlightenment among my peers and co-hobbyists has any such merit discernible to the naked eye.

I am not precisely at Dante's "middle passage of life", but I do have some time free for self-gratifying study at the moment. I've finished the revisions on my current manuscript, and my next grant doesn't begin until the spring. Apart from the occasional article or one-shot venture, I have little to occupy my attention. I have therefore decided that it is time to...

...drum roll please...

...read the crap.

Over the next few months, I will, in the company of a few friends and interested associates, undertake to evaluate the sources of "wisdom" that I've found most often cited by the most annoying of our peers. I will not set aside my native skepticism, but I will provide here an honest account of my readings and thoughts; where I find merit, I will credit it, and where I find fault, I will delineate it as clearly as possible.

I will begin with the work of Howard Phillips Lovecraft. I am not altogether unacquainted with H.P.L., having read some of his work in my adolescent years. I am disheartened at how many people I encounter who seem to find his juvenile nihilism profound, and who endorse his technophobia as insightful. Nor need I mention here the ghastly consequences of his wretched prose on impressionable minds. One measures a circle beginning anywhere. I shall measure horror and the fantastic beginning with this puerile Grand Old Man.

May the best critic win.

The name "anagnosts" came to me in a felicitious moment. In traditional monastic arrangements, the anagnost would read from Scripture at mealtimes and public gatherings, acting against forgetting. So with this venture. Together we shall remember both what is good and what isn't about what we read, and this site shall preserve a record of the experience.

[ viewing | most recent entries ]