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The Book of Power: Evaluating the Necronomicon

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.necronomicon,alt.horror.cthulhu
Subject: Re: The Book of Power: Evaluating the Necronomicon (was ...)
Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000 01:36:15 GMT

In article <89qg6r$>, wrote:

> (Daniel Harms):

> >I'm not entirely sure that it
> >can - a look at the Price articles mentioned elsewhere on this
> >thread shows that Lovecraft himself did not necessarily had
> >a fixed view of the Necronomicon, and that it was sometimes a
> >collection of hints about magical artifacts, a grimoire, or
> >a history of pre-human contacts on our planet.

> that's ok. Lovecraft obtained his information about the text
> in DREAMS, so the details are likely to be hazy. we should
> identify which details are consistent and certain, which are
> inconsistent and certain, which are uncertain, and which
> are single-mentions that do not fit in with the rest. out
> of this batch of data we can arrive at a criteria for
> rational assessment without regard to physical origins,
> extending out from Lovecraft's knowledge-base.

I'm not sure how well this will work - the differences seem
too great to me, with all of the variations across time and
space - but there's no harm in trying.  Well, maybe.

> in part my interest is selfish: I am consistently seeing asinine
> arguments between magicians and academic hoax-warriors in the
> newsgroups to which this is crossposted. my aim in part is to
> carve out a neutral ground with a reference document (a FAQ on
> par with Kendrick Kerwin Chua's but more succinct) that may go
> some distance in ending the noise while challenging magicians
> to put their arcanum where their mouth is, so to speak, while
> it may simultaneously push the point that you and your hoax-
> warrior friends so valiantly make clear to us all: that there
> are no pre-Lovecraft Necronomicons.

That would indeed be a worthy project.  If we can prevent these
threads beforehand, so much the better.

> if you can explain how far "the Sumerian link" extends and what,
> if any, Sumerian associations might be logical (or if none why
> they have crept in), I'd be grateful.

They apparently crept in because THE EXORCIST came out a few years
before the Simon Necronomicon.  I'm not joking - that's about the
limit.  I've looked specifically for Sumer references in both
HPL's fiction and the letters, and the only time a few pop up
(Ur and Kish are about the limit), it's used in a simile to let
us know that a place or object is pretty damn old.  If anyone
doesn't believe me, they're welcome to check as well.

> >-- Beg or borrow (but don't steal) a copy of my Necronomicon
> >Files.  Too bad it's OOP right now - there's a lot of stuff on
> >the origins and development of the Nec. myth right there.

> I'll start with the Chaosium reference and work my way up.
> do you have a review of the Chaosium text "The Necronomicon"?

No review, per se, but its contents include a number of fictional
stories, the texts of the Sussex Manuscript (the first fan
Necronomicon) and the Carter version (the one which Mr. Prinn
keeps bringing up), plus Price's "Critical Commentary on the
Necronomicon".  The latter alone is worth the price of admission
for such a task as you have outlined.


Daniel Harms

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