Any Special Mentions of Dholes?

lynnfredricks

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#1
I may be mis-remembering but I seem to recall that dholes and bholes are the same thing, but they appear in two different Randolph Carter stories, "Through the Gates of the Silver Key" and "Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath".

For those of you who have read HPLs various letters (and the other tales), where there any other appearances and, did he give any additional information?

They aren't presented with any particular intelligence but, they do eventually overrun the planet Yaddith, regardless of the efforts of the Yaddithans.
 

Ningauble

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#2
I may be mis-remembering but I seem to recall that dholes and bholes are the same thing, but they appear in two different Randolph Carter stories, "Through the Gates of the Silver Key" and "Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath".

For those of you who have read HPLs various letters (and the other tales), where there any other appearances and, did he give any additional information?

They aren't presented with any particular intelligence but, they do eventually overrun the planet Yaddith, regardless of the efforts of the Yaddithans.
Nope, they aren't mentioned anywhere else. "Dhole" is a misreading for "bhole", but I seem to recall that STJ may have come to another conclusion while preparing The Variorum Lovecraft. I have to check.

There is also mention of "the Dhol Chants" in "The Horror in the Museum", but since there is no "e" at the end I assume that this is something different.
 

lynnfredricks

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#4
Nope, they aren't mentioned anywhere else. "Dhole" is a misreading for "bhole", but I seem to recall that STJ may have come to another conclusion while preparing The Variorum Lovecraft. I have to check.
Yes, I think so. I just finished Volume 3, myself.

I think its interesting that they appear both in the (Earth) Dreamlands and Yaddith (in "Through the Gates of the Silver Key"). I would imagine that if they were tough enough to eventually overrun the Yaddithan civilization that there has to be more to them than just a sort of Dune style sandworm.
 

lynnfredricks

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#6
This might be relevant in some way to the current discussion. Cthulhu mythos? Dream-worlds cycle?
Can you be more specific? I get the Lovecraft mythos vs Cthulhu mythos, and STJ positing the odd retconning of Ancient Earth stories into the Dream stories. Do you think the Dholes were merely a 'list of names' inclusion in Dream Quest?
 

Extollager

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#7
Lynnfredricks, I don't know. I like to think that Lovecraft didn't continue to bind himself to "facts" established in earlier stories, but would have felt free to strike out in new directions had he lived. His was not a "Tolkienian" imagination. It was more like Lord Dunsany's, I suspect. I don't think anyone tries very hard to work up a "body of lore" drawn from Dunsany's stories. Tolkien would, it seems, wait upon his imagination to establish various elements of Middle-earth, and those things, once established, could become the starting places for further "discoveries." This really worked well for Tolkien. It was as if the established things freed his imagination to explore further. He gets straight that Trotter is Strider and isn't a hobbit but rather a descendant of Numenorean kings. That opens up a lot! I don't see much of that happening in Lovecraft. His late story "The Haunter of the Dark" is fun to read, but its "Cthulhu Mythos" trappings feel to me pretty much like use of "stock on hand." The fact that Lovecraft encouraged other writers to "play" with "Yog-Sothothery" is not Tolkienian. Tolkien was very concerned about inner consistency between The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, Akallabeth, Quenta Silmarillion, etc. Again, that was how his imagination worked, and the results are wonderful. I think the "Cthulhu Mythos" was, like Dunsany's stories, largely a plaything for the author, and perhaps one he could set aside. Tolkien is now dead, and those who are acquainted with his work can see directions that he could have gone if his energies had remained strong, etc. into late old age. But really what worthwhile directions were left for Lovecraft with "Yog-Sothothery"? It seems rather that he left some tropes that writers with inferior imaginations (Derleth, Bloch, Lumley) could reuse, and add to but not in any really very significant ways. You can accumulate further entities, monstrous races, hideous subterranean realms, undiscovered planets, and, notoriously, forbidden books.... but why would a serious author bother? I think one's enjoyment of such works is that of walking a familiar path, as I might enjoy the later Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. That's probably the main justification: write them for amusement. Lovecraft himself sometimes just wanted to amuse the reader ("Haunter"), of course. He clearly knew that the "Mythos" could do that. Likewise that others might enjoy writing "Lovecraft-style" stories. He himself had enjoyed writing in the Dunsany manner.
 

lynnfredricks

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#8
Tolkien would, it seems, wait upon his imagination to establish various elements of Middle-earth, and those things, once established, could become the starting places for further "discoveries." This really worked well for Tolkien. It was as if the established things freed his imagination to explore further. He gets straight that Trotter is Strider and isn't a hobbit but rather a descendant of Numenorean kings.
I think that fits. He was creating a new 'saga' - but "Trotter" I don't believe was intended for publication by Tolkien. He worked through numerous iterations before publishing. The facts or definitions in the various stories were critical to the construction of Middle Earth.

In HPL's stories, for the most part, the lack of true definition is critical. Honestly, I thought the actual confrontation with Cthulhu in The Call of Cthulhu was the least interesting part of the story - I kept imagining the boat hitting him and him popping like a soap bubble with a funny noise.
 

Extollager

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#9
I kept imagining the boat hitting him and him popping like a soap bubble with a funny noise.
Yes -- that's something one tends to forget till one reads the story again. From a "Cthulhu Mythos" angle it's a regrettable lapse. On the other hand, I could imagine Dunsany doing something like that -- intentionally.
 

Ningauble

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#10
Yes, I think so. I just finished Volume 3, myself.

I think its interesting that they appear both in the (Earth) Dreamlands and Yaddith (in "Through the Gates of the Silver Key"). I would imagine that if they were tough enough to eventually overrun the Yaddithan civilization that there has to be more to them than just a sort of Dune style sandworm.
I just got around to checking the Variorum edition. S. T.'s new opinion is that the creatures in "Through the Gates of the Silver Key" are a different species, so it is "Dholes" there and "bholes" in TDQoUK.
 

lynnfredricks

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#11
I just got around to checking the Variorum edition. S. T.'s new opinion is that the creatures in "Through the Gates of the Silver Key" are a different species, so it is "Dholes" there and "bholes" in TDQoUK.
Aha, I missed that! How disappointing though - he says that with no explanation as to why.

The only thing that makes me think they could be different is size. "Dream-Quest" refers to feeling them slither by - but considering their size in "Gates" I would think if they slithered by you'd either be knocked over by the accompanying quake or squashed. But the "Dream-Quest" version makes them sound much more like a folktale monster.
 

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