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Cyclopean Heights...

Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
6
Hi everyone! Just joined the forum today. I'm a big fan of HPL. I was wondering...how high are Lovecraft's cyclopean columns, structures, buildings, etc...he never mentions heights, other than At The Mountains of Madness (30,000 feet!) and even much higher in the forbidden zone...that just boggles the mind! But I guess that's the whole point...so how high do you think Lovecraft's buildings are? (say for example in The Shadow out of Time or the colossal buildings mentioned in Beyond The Wall of Sleep?). Scribe your eldritch ponderings on this thread! C'thulu Ftagn!!

At The Mountains of Madness.jpg
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
14,334
And the whole alien geometry concept.

Welcome to Chrons Nate. :)
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
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"Indescribably and unnameably vast" would be the most accurate measurement, I think.
I personally like vigintillions as in "After vigintillions of years great Cthulhu was loose again, and ravening for delight". I believe that is the number 20 followed by 63 zeroes...that's a LOT of zeroes!! (source: H.P.Lovecraft Literary Podcast)

Call of Cthulhu.jpg
 

StilLearning

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Mar 20, 2012
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Edinburgh Uk
Nice to make your acquaintance Nate :) The Antarctic mountains that are the titular 'mountains of madness' are described as having a major artificial component, or heavy modification. It could be that they are much higher than any purely natural mountain's because of this - I think I recall that, with modern building materials, structure in excess of 15km high are theoretically possible if money's no object. The old ones were highly adapted to space travel, and even described as venturing back into space to defend their colony here in the deep past - so I wondered, although daydreams might be a more apt term, if one purpose of some of those extremely high 'mountains' might have been mass launch platforms, to get them above most of the atmosphere before launching with whatever system they used. Schemes for huge, inflatable, launch towers reaching up to 20km have been put forwards. And, as tectonic drift once had Antarctica near the equator, the mountains might have formed the base of a skyhook, although that idea post dates the story by a long while - but mountainous space launching cannons, a-la Jules Verne, do not, and HPL seems to have had an interest in such things. But 'Mountains' is the only example I can think of where the specifics of height were important enough to be mentioned. In most other HPL works the atmosphere is more dreamlike - 'Mountains', 'Call of Cthulhu' and a few others seem to be part of a subgroup with a leaning that, in a modern author, I'd call a well buried but true hard science fiction streak!
 
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StilLearning

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Joined
Mar 20, 2012
Messages
352
Location
Edinburgh Uk
Yeah! I think HPL called it "non-euclidean geometry" in Call of Cthulhu...whatever that means, it sounds so weird and so awesome!
I'm working on a reverse-perspective, M. Escher effect laden, acrylic piece in which I hope to give some sense of that. In the real world the closest effect to what HPL describes is highly curved space due to an intense gravity field. If you jump on Google scholar there is an astrophysics paper, written partly as a Halloween stunt but scientifically correct in what it describes, that describes R'leyh in these terms. You can get some of the effects HPL describes, like triangles with internal angles greater or less than 180 degrees, in the distorted space near defects in space time, like cosmic strings. Lovecraft would have found modern physics a goldmine of weird ideas I suspect!
 
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Alex The G and T

Thar! That Blows.
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Jan 25, 2012
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I never heard about non=Euclidian geometry in the Euclidian geometry classes I took in high school and always assumed the Lovecraft was just sitting around making schtuff up.
Until I looked it up.
Non-Euclidean geometry | mathematics

Similarly, the only "Cyclops" I ever heard of, tried to eat Odysseus. I always assumed that the term "Cyclopean had something to do with having one eye.

Upon further research, at a much later date, we find that the Greek "Cyclops" means "Big round eye;" but the Cyclops were also Giants. When they built something it was "cyclopian" in size. "Cyclops" refers to the eye; but "Cyclopean architecture " just means that it's humongous.
 
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