reply to post by Xoanon
This response is from a literary standpoint only. I'm not debating whether the book is fiction or not. It is. And it's a very good piece of fiction
as well. The problem is, IMO, it's too
Even while he was alive, people would ask Lovecraft where they could get their hands on the original. That's the mark of a good fiction writer;
leaving people wondering. One way fiction writers do that is to pepper their stories with real names, places, dates, etc.....All of these historical
facts though are not presented in an accurate timeline. For instance, he can drop the name of a monk and say that monk did something in 500 AD when in
fact that monk didn't do anything until 1,200 AD. The monk existed, there's proof of it, just not in the time frame that Lovecraft suggested. So if
you don't know your history, it's going to come across as real.
This book is reality based fiction. There were too many real occultists, like Waite, involved with it for it not to be. Besides, all you have to do
is look at the history of certain points in that book to see that certain places and people actually did exist and you'll see that. Maybe that was
Simon's doing. Fiction writers for years have done this. Rice does it, King, Koontz and every other fiction writer worth their salt does it. But the
most important aspect of that
book is fact that Necromancy does exist. It existed back before religion was even thought of. Back then, this
practice wasn't seen as either good or evil. It simply was what it is. Religion is what put those labels on it.
Let me put this in a different perspective. You have a fiction writer like King and then a science fiction writer like Asimov. King will make the
fiction look realistic because everything written is placed on earth and, roughly, in this day and age. Asimov couldn't do that with a book about,
say, populating Saturn. Kings premise was realistic to begin with while Asimov's was not.
Therein lies the uniqueness of The Necronomican. The premise is somewhere between realistic and not. Lovecraft however was somehow able to bridge that
gap and turn that gray area into a very believable work of fiction. Now, let me backtrack a little. Necromancy is real. Has been for a very long time
now and everyone knows it. Who are you, or anyone else for that matter, to say that the sigils and incantations are not real? This is where this book
gets real sticky and I for one don't recommend it for that reason alone.
I'm not saying that the sigils and incantations are real and I'm not saying they're not. I'm not qualified to make that call. But the fact that
this is a reality based piece of fiction makes it to where I'm not about to go taking the directions of the book and finding out for myself. And
that's another thing you have to keep in mind here OP. This book is not your typical piece of fiction. And being a Lovecraft fan, I think you know
it. If anything, it reads like a how-to manual with a history of the ingredients. How many fiction books do you know of that are written in that
format? Of those, how many are questioned as being real or not?
The fact is, I don't think Lovecraft realized just how good that book was going to be when he wrote it. (On top of everything else I mentioned,
people say that book was written in the vein of The Book Of Shadows. Even a literary novice will tell you there is no "one" Book Of Shadows. If you
don't know what it is, look this one up yourself, this post is getting long winded as it is.) He took a style of writing with a subject matter that
is controversial to begin with, and put it in a format to make it look even more realistic. Sometimes I think that "book" was the ultimate inside
joke between him and a buddy The only one's, by the way, who will ever know just how real that book actually is.
Lovecraft went on record as saying the book was a figment of his imagination. ( Maybe what Simon did was take Lovecraft's' collection of writings
and correspondences and put them in a book format?) Fair enough, but what he didn't say was that no book of fiction is ever 100% fake. At least not
the type of fiction we're talking about here. Even Asimov can put in one of his books the density of gravity on Saturn and have it factual. The
question is, which parts of The Necronomican are real and which aren't.
Again, it was the ultimate inside joke I think. On one hand you want to get to the bottom of it all, but on the other hand................you don't.