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Blind Read Through: H.P. Lovecraft; At The Mountains of Madness pt 1

Welcome back to another blind read.  I’m tearing into “At The Mountains of Madness”, and have come across some interesting pieces that hook into the mythos, but there is one lingering question that I have as I get farther and farther into the cannon.  How strictly are the stories connected to the Dreamlands, and what are in the mythos, and what are just weird tales?  Thus far I have not come across anything that might be considered connected to the Dreamlands, except maybe “The White Ship”.  I have one very obvious story that is coming up with “The Dream-Quest of unknown Kadath”, and one of the mythos with “Call of Cthulhu”.  I am really going to enjoy reading some Derleth, to try and get a better understanding of how these are both connected and separated once I have finished the Blind Reads (as I understand that August Derleth is the one who truly created what is now considered the cannon).

This story surrounds the Miskatonic expedition, as it searches an unknown mountain range in Antarctica.  There are some fun call backs so far with the ship called Arkham and our narrator mentioning that The Necronomicon is in the library of Miskatonic University.

Basically the first two sections of the story revolve around the findings of the mountains, and then within the mountains of some strange fossils.  The fossils seem to come from 600 million years ago, but they are far more advanced than your average trilobite.  They seem to be amphibious (another call back?) with gills, but they also have wings with strange striations.

The crew gets called up to the mountain range, with it’s strange rock striations and strange petroglyphs in areas so deep that they have to be hundreds of millions of years old.

If it weren’t for the tone of the novella, and the consistent call backs to how the fossils look like something described in The Necronomicon, this could just be a scientific journal about the findings of a paleontologist expedition.

There is also an interesting call back when Lake, one of the crew, calls the specimens they find “The Elder Ones”, based upon descriptions in The Necronomicon.  There is great, hit you over the head with a hammer foreshadowing here.

But there is also great writing that brings you back for more.  I’ll leave you with this example:  “No wonder Gedney ran back to the camp shouting, and no wonder everyone else dropped work and rushed headlong through the biting cold to where the tall derrick marked a new-found gateway to secrets of inner earth and vanished aeons.”

What do you think?

I’ll be back next week for the next section of “At The Mountains of Madness”.

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