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On _The Necronomicon_

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.horror.cthulhu,alt.necronomicon,alt.pagan.magick,alt.evil
From: Dan Clore 
Subject: Re: On _The Necronomicon_ (LONG)
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 1998 20:06:54 GMT

ny'rl'thot'p wrote:
> This article has been reprinted without permission from:
> "Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, 2nd Ed."
>         Necronomicon, The

Well, let's see:

>         A fabled grimoire or textbook of black magic for evoking demons,
> supposedly compiled by the "mad Arab Abdul Alhazred"-in fact, an
> invention of H.P. Lovecraft, writer of supernatural and fantasy fiction.
> The name "Abdul Alhazred" was adopted playfully by Lovecraft around the
> age of five, after reading an edition of The Arabian Nigths, and was used
> in later life in Lovecraft's fiction.  It may also contain a reference to
> the name "Hazard," an old Rhode Island family.

HPL was related to some Hazards (maternal uncle?).

>         In 1936,

Actually, in 1926.

> Lovecraft wrote a pseudo-scholarly essay titled A
> History of the Necronomicon, which claimed that its original title was Al
> Azif, deriving from the word used by Arabs to designate nocturnal sound
> of insects resembling the howling of demons.

A bit of misinformation deriving from the notes to Beckford's Vathek.

> There followed an account
> of various editions of the Necronomicon from A.D. 730 onwards.  Lovecraft
> had claimed that there was a copy of the work in the library of
> Miskatonic University, in Arkham (a city invented by him in his fiction).
> Lovecraft's essay was published in leaflet form by Wilson H. Shephard,
> Alabama, 1938, and has since been reprinted.  The Necronomicon was cited
> in various stories by Lovecraft, and gradually acquired a spurious life
> of its own.  Someone inserted an index card for the book in the files of
> Yale Library.  A New York bookseller could not resist inserting an entry
> for a Latin edition in one of his sale catalogs.
>         Eventually a group of writers and researchers headed by occult
> scholar Colin Wilson solemnly presented The Necronomicon : The Book of
> Dead Names as a newly discovered lost masterpiece of occult literature.
> In an introduction to this publication, Wilson suggested that Lovecraft's
> invention may have had some substance in fact, perhaps revealed through
> Lovecraft's subconsious mind.   Wilson told a story as fabulous as that
> of the origin of Golden Dawn cipher manuscript, concerning a Dr.
> Stanislaus Hinterstoisser, president of the  Salzburg Institute for the
> Study of Magic and Occult Phenomena, who claimed that Lovecraft's father
> was an Egyptian Freemason,

Fictional, but his grandfather had founded a Masonic lodge -- Yes, it
was kind old benevolent Whipple Phillips who introduced little Howard to
the Book of Hell!

> that he had seen a copy of The Necronomicon in
> Boston, U.S. (where Lovecraft senior had worked), which was a section of
> a book by Alkindi (died A.D. 850) known as The Book of the Essence of the
> Soul.
>         Science-fiction writer L. Sprague de Camp (who published an
> excellent biography of Lovecraft in 1975)

Now superseded by Joshi's biography.

> is said to have acquired an
> Arabic manuscript from Baghdad titled Al Azif.

This was just a bit of fun, as DeCamp himself admitted.

> The British occultist
> Robert Turner, after researching in the British Museum Library, claimed
> that the Alkindi work was known to the famous magician John Dee
> (1527-1608) who had a copy in cipher manuscript.  This book, known as
> Liber Logaeth, was recently examined by computer analysis, and so The
> Necronomicon : The Book of Dead Names has now been published, edited by
> George Hay, introduced by Colin Wilson, researched by Robert Turner and
> David Langford (Neville Spearman, U.K., 1978; Corgi paperback, 1980).
>         No doubt other recensions of The Necronomicon will be discovered
> in the course of time.  Meanwhile, librarians need no longer be
> embarressed by requests for this elusive work.

Not too bad, all in all.

Dan Clore

The Website of Lord We˙rdgliffe:
Welcome to the Waughters....

The Dan Clore Necronomicon Page:
Because the true mysteries cannot be profaned....

"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!"

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