Though I now live in the fourth largest city in the United States, I’m originally from rural Missouri. Today’s reading, “The Dunwich Horror,” has for me a recognizable sense of the Other in its decaying backwoods setting — though watching one’s hometown degenerate from a normal stoic Midwestern hamlet to the sort of place where illicit meth labs regularly explode makes Dunwich seem rather quaint in a way.
Today’s reading also includes a great deal of information about our school’s namesake: The Necronomicon.
Though Lovecraft invented The Necronomicon as a sort of recurrent literary prop, it has certainly achieved a separate notoriety outside of his mythos. (I for one would love to see a Venn diagram mapping the overlap between people who believe The Necronomicon is “real,” and those who believe the British Royal family to be shape-shifting reptilian aliens. But perhaps that is rather unkind of me.) It has appeared in many non-Lovecraftian works, and is a consistent object of parody — as in this pitch perfect take on a certain religion’s classic television commercials. The Necronomicon has come to exist in this strange territory on the periphery of pop culture where it is either treated too seriously or in the most flippant manner possible — but either way, I think it is the most recognizable element of Lovecraft’s mythos for those who have never read his stories. Even people who have no idea who Cthulhu is have some idea of The Necronomicon, at least through some half-remembered horror movie where it served as a plot point.
Your assignment today is simply to to discuss some aspect of The Necronomicon, either in Lovecraft’s writing or in one of its other guises — in 200 words or less. You may examine any aspect you like; there is certainly no shortage of related topics.