Sunday, November 1, 2009

"The Music of Erich Zahn" By H.P. Lovecraft

Lovecraft Week Continues?!?

Happy All Saints Day everyone (okay, not as exciting as Halloween by a longshot, but it IS All Saints Day nonetheless). As I said in the original post for Lovecraft Week, I'm also reading a Lovecraft story today, mostly because I like the idea of an entire week instead of six days, and I didn't come up with the idea until Monday, so I was a little late for ending directly on Halloween. So consider this the after show.

And for the after show, we have the musical styling of Erich Zahn on the Viol. What really interested me about this short story was Lovecraft's use of music as a sort of conduit to magic or the unknown. In the story, Zahn's music has a sort of transformative and transportive power, revealing things not previously experienced by the listener. However, in true Lovecraft fashion, these revelations prove dangerous and destructive. Zahn's music is dangerous and destructive, both to Zahn himself and to the narrator. Luckily, the narrator seems to escape with his mind intact (something which seems to be a rarity in Lovecraft's fiction), but, once again, knowledge and revelation is seen as potentially destructive in Lovecraft's story. The music itself has a power to reveal, but, in revealing, is also has the power to destroy.

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