Impariamo l’italiano LXXX: Esca 081

Citazioni di "Call of Cthulhu" di Lovecraft.

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PAGE 81 (Single panel page)

Single panel: A free page for the artist, with the

CAPTION – UU Minister speaking (1): For some, indeed the depths of the ocean are a zone of darkest fear. As the greatest writer of weird fiction once told us:

Translation (1): Per alcuni, infatti, le profondità dell’oceano sono una delle zone che suscitano le paure più oscura. Come ci ha detto il più grande scrittore di strana finzione:

CAPTION – UU Minister quoting (2): “The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. 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. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.”

Comment (2): Again, the minister is quoting, this time the famous opening paragraph from the story “The Call of Cthulhu,” by the American writer of horror and weird fiction H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937). Again, if there is a usable literary translation in your target language you may use it.

Translation (2): ” La cosa più misericordiosa del mondo, penso, è l’incapacità della mente umana di correlare tutti i suoi contenuti. Viviamo in una placida isola di ignoranza in mezzo ai mari neri dell’infinito, e non eravamo destinati a viaggiare lontano. Le scienze, ognuna tesa nella sua stessa direzione, finora non ci hanno danneggiato molto; ma un giorno mettere insieme le conoscenze dissociate aprirà visioni così terrificanti della realtà e della nostra terrificante posizione in essa, che queste rivelazioni ci faranno impazzire o fuggire dalla luce mortale nella pace e nella sicurezza di una nuova era oscura”.

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The Garden of Adompha

A mad king comes across a nude beauty in his insane flesh-garden.  Virgil Finlay's cover illustration for "The Garden of Adompha."

Virgil Finlay was busy on this the April 1938 issue of Weird Tales The cover painting appears to illustrate Clark Ashton Smith’s “The Garden of Adompha,” one I had not previously read and which my attention was drawn by twitter user Perry Ruh:

You can read the story in the Internet Archive’s copy of the issue or, if the yellowed woodpulp is too much of a strain on the eyes, you can also read the transcribed version at Wikisourse.

Finlay was also busy on this this issue with interior illustrations, like this one for Seabury Quinn’s story “The Temple Dancer.”

An exotic oriental dancer created by Virgil Finlay in illustration of Seabury Quinn's story "The Temple Dancer."
“Butea-Jan, sole surviving candidate of the ordeal, must prove her fitness to be married to the god she served.”

It was a heck of an issue, containing not just these stories but others by Robert Bloch, Jack Williamson, Max Brod and Nathaniel Hawthorne (the last two reprints, obviously) and poems by both H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard! It is available to read and download at the Internet Archive.

Frozen Beauty

February 1938 an unusual example of a cover of Weird Tales done by Virgil Finlay, and the result is predictably exquisite, which is why I am posting it here even though (1) I posted it before early in this site’s history and (2) time and the chemistry of cheap paper have been very unkind to the Internet Archive version of this issue, and I have no interior art I think worth recovering.

This issue marked a publication of H.P. Lovecraft’s short story “From Beyond.” It wasn’t the first publication, but that first publication was in a pretty obscure place — a magazine called the Fantasy Fan in 1934, so this publication might have been the first chance for a significant, if not exactly large, audience to read the story. I’ll note also that this story would be made into a rare example of a successful Lovecraft movie by Stuart Gordon. It starred Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton (yum!) and was also a subject of my early blogging efforts. Wheels within wheels.

Terribly yellowed pages and all, this issue of Weird Tales is available for reading and downloading at the Internet Archive.

A bit more on that October issue

We covered the October 1927 issue of Weird Tales a bit yesterday, but it’s a bit of a rich issue for me and so I thought I’d give it a second post. For one thing, one of Hugh Rankin’s interior illustrations, this one to E. Hoffman Price’s story “Saladin’s Throne-Rug,” deserves a place of honor as a very early example of a tube girl:

In the glowing, rosy-amber jar was the shapely form of Djeanne Hanoum!”

This particular issue also marked the first-ever publication of H.P. Lovecraft’s short story “Pickman’s Model,” and Rankin would do his best to bring the product of Lovecraft’s imagination to visual life:

“He had painted a monstrous being on that awful canvas.”

But by God, Eliot, it was a photograph from life!

This issue of Weird Tales is available to read or download from the Internet Archive.