What are the dreamlands cycle stories?

  1. lynnfredricks

    lynnfredricks Well-Known Member

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    I know this is covered in "World in Transition" (ordered!), but can someone tell me what STJ considers dreamlands cycle stories? I noted in another essay that Sarnath is not considered one.
     
    Dec 27, 2015
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  2. w h pugmire esq

    w h pugmire esq Well-Known Member

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    I linger within ye shadows of Sesqua Valley, dream
    I cannot say for certain what are the stories that S. T. considers belonging to a "dream cycle". I wou'd say that MOST of the stories contain'd in Del Rey's DREAMS OF TERROR AND DEATH are certainly not dream stories, but--as S. T. has pointed out--stories set in alternative realities or ye dim past of this planet. But Lovecraft corrupts, brilliantly, the very idea of "dream" and "reality" in so much of his story-telling. We can say, absolutely, the "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath" is indeed a tale of ye dream-cycle--but why then does Richard Upton Pickman appear in ye tale in his ghoul-form? "Pickman's Model" is a tale distinctly set in modern reality--the very essence of the story's meaning is that "it was a photograph from life". So how did the artist, in any physical form, slip into the dreamworld? Is the narrator of "The Music of Erich Zann" recalling an incident experienced or remember'd dream? Why, when the narrator in "The Festival" looks backward to where he and his clan have trod in the snow, can he detect no footprints in that blanket of smooth white stuff? I see all of this as one of Lovecraft's wonderful and unique qualities as a weird writer.
     
    Dec 27, 2015
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  3. lynnfredricks

    lynnfredricks Well-Known Member

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    That follows, and also conforms with the notion that 'real people' should appear as realistic as possible in stories, and the photograph in Pickman's Model is exactly that.

    I see what you mean, that the appearance of Ghouly-Pickman in Dream-Quest doesn't mean Pickman's Model is somehow transformed into a dream cycle story.

    I wasn't confused by inclusion in that edition of stories (I don't have it), but in the case of Sarnath, I had just finished Quest of Iranon, which is fantastical, and makes a lot of references to dream lands place names:

    "I have seen Stethelos that is below the great cataract, and have gazed on the marsh where Sarnath once stood. I have been to Thraa, Ilarnek, and Kadatheron on the winding river Ai, and have dwelt long in Olathoƫ in the land of Lomar."

    Given the fantastical references in Doom that Came to Sarnath, and really no hyper real presentation of real people (like in Pickman's Model) anchoring our perception, I could imagine Sarnath could comfortably rest in the past of the dream world. Or if these two stories are paired together because of the references, is Quest of Iranon then a 'distant past' story?
     
    Dec 27, 2015
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  4. BAYLOR

    BAYLOR There Are Always new Things to Learn.

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    What about Hypnos?
     
    Dec 27, 2015
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  5. lynnfredricks

    lynnfredricks Well-Known Member

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    Now looking back at Iranon, these are also place names mentioned in Polaris - so also Ancient Earth.
     
    Dec 28, 2015
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  6. lynnfredricks

    lynnfredricks Well-Known Member

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    Despite it being so suggestive of dreams and sleep - I don't see it. I haven't given Hypnos more than a quick re-read just now. It has some interesting elements that make me think of Polaris (the directional effect of the fiery star light) and Beyond the Wall of Sleep, to suggest there's something more going on that it being completely a hallucination of the narrator. But it is also believable as an insane artist lost in his own creative fun house. I don't think there are any references to ancient Earth or dream lands places, forbidden texts or the like.
     
    Dec 28, 2015
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