Post Comment 8 comments on “Episode 34 – The Festival

  • hppodcraft on

    Reprint of the past comments:
    Stacey wrote:
    Fast fun fact: Ole Worm (the real guy with the made-up sounding name) comes up in Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder, a book I’m currently reading. I, too, had to double check to make sure he was a real guy!

    3/11/2010 10:19 AM
    Devon Cole wrote:
    To be honest, I don’t think that exactly “what” happens in some Lovecraft story is any more important than “who.” Plot and character are completely secondary to the feeling cultivated.

    In terms of cultivating unease and dread “The Festival” is one of his very best shorter pieces.

    In terms of the quality of writing it is the very best. The language is evocative without being florid, measured without being dry—pure poetry.

    3/11/2010 10:59 AM
    Genus Unknown wrote:
    Guys, I can’t believe you missed the “sausage Festival” joke.

    3/11/2010 11:08 AM
    chrislackey wrote:
    Neither can I! What’s wrong with us?!

    3/11/2010 12:50 PM
    deep sea dweller wrote:
    Such a pity that Hulu can’t be seen in Europe…

    3/11/2010 11:55 PM
    Mike Davey wrote:
    Frustrating isn’t it?

    3/12/2010 1:11 AM
    Danial Carroll wrote:
    I don’t think it can be seen at all outside of the U.S.

    3/15/2010 5:37 AM
    Mike Davey wrote:
    Wait a just clicked.
    Not far off one of HPL’s preferred pronunciations, that….

    3/11/2010 12:57 PM
    heather o. wrote:
    this gave me chills. hit way too close to home. my aunt katherine is that old spinner.

    3/11/2010 1:07 PM
    scott macdonell wrote:
    If I had known that you were going to use my talents as a front to push your ninja elves agenda, I would have never agreed to do this. Please recut with some new pawn.

    3/11/2010 9:04 PM
    Elderac wrote:
    I have made a filk based on some of the stories this podcast has covered so far.

    White Flabby Flesh Thing
    (Sung to the tune of White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane)

    Knowledge brings you madness,
    As you watch the chaos crawl,
    And the things your mother taught you
    Don’t mean anything at all.
    Go ask Carter about Warren’s call!

    And if you go chasing ghost rats,
    Crawling through the wall
    Down to the twilit grotto,
    You’ll hear madness call.
    Ask Carter on the graveyard wall.

    When the scaly fish men
    Come scratching at your door.
    And the abyss spreads out before you,
    And Sarnath is no more!

    Go ask Carter, I think he’ll know.
    When blind pipers pipe to drumbeats
    Monotonous and slow.
    And the prior’s speaking Cymric
    As he holds Norrys’ head.
    What Herbert West said,
    “Need fresh dead!”
    “Need fresh dead!”

    Writer’s caveat: I used some artistic license here. I know Carter was sitting on a tomb and not the wall. I know Carter didn’t witness all these things, but his name conveniently has the same number of syllables as Alice. Since he is the poster boy for Lovecraft, I made liberal use of him.
    Also, I know that Delepore was not actually the prior, but prior has fewer syllables.

    The stories presented here are only from the ones covered so far in the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast.
    Anyone having a better grasp of tempo and meter than I do, feel free to modify as you feel appropriate.

    If anyone has a notion and talent to record this, I’d love to hear it.


    3/11/2010 11:45 PM
    CarlosMcRey wrote:
    Awesome! I think the world needs Lovecraftian filks of old psychedelic songs. Great Cthulhu Dreaming would seem to write itself, but I can never seem to get past “All the stars are right.” “And the sea is grey” would seem to be the easy choice but doesn’t seem quite right.

    3/12/2010 12:20 AM
    Genus Unknown wrote:
    I’m just gonna state the obvious here:


    3/12/2010 1:01 AM
    Chad Fifer wrote:
    I don’t want to sound too intellectual, but this is rad.

    3/14/2010 3:39 AM
    JulieH wrote:
    You asked for it.

    Be afraid

    3/18/2010 4:09 AM
    Mike Davey wrote:

    3/20/2010 12:41 PM
    Phil wrote:
    Applause to Elderac and Julie – you folks really cracked me up.

    3/21/2010 1:34 PM
    Julie H wrote:
    Yeah, wait til you see my encore:

    The LOVEcraft is a little old place where we can get togeth-e-e-er

    Lovecraft bay-beee!

    Hop in my ship, it’s equipped to hunt whales and we’re about to set sail!

    We spot an atoll, it looks a bit hinky
    cthulhu wakes up and we’re as big as his pinky!

    The whole boat shimmies when cthulhu is a-moving around and around and around and around!

    [vaguely to the tune of “Love Shack”]

    3/14/2010 5:51 AM
    Elderac wrote:
    JulieH of nineteennocture has recorded this and posted it for your listening enjoyment. While she posted the link in the forum, I will post it here for the benefit of those who don’t go to the forums.


    3/11/2010 11:40 PM
    CarlosMcRey wrote:
    Cool show guys.

    I hadn’t read this story in ages, but now I’m thinking I’ll have to reread it. I never realized just how much of an influence it was on Thomas Ligotti’s “The Last Feast of Harlequin.”

    Elven Ninja Worms, cool band name, or the coolest?

    3/12/2010 1:16 AM
    Danial Carroll wrote:
    When I originally read this, I just assumed that the people had just risen from the grave, but the whole worm-people thing makes sense now that I re-read it… and is so much cooler!!

    3/12/2010 11:44 AM
    Genus Unknown wrote:
    “Things have learned to walk which ought to crawl…” God, if that’s not the creepiest line in all of Lovecraft, I don’t know what is.

    3/18/2010 5:45 AM
    Mikc wrote:
    Yep, it’s right up there, for sure!
    I have a question regarding the quote: it turned up as the chorus in a song which a friend put on a compilation tape for me back in the early nineties; does anyone know it and which band performed it?
    It was poppy indie guitar stuff, presumably an American band, pretty cool.
    Thanks in advance

    Oh, great episode btw, you seem to be getting better and better!

    3/18/2010 10:40 PM
    Kenneth Hite wrote:
    It might be the song “Things Have Learned to Walk That Ought to Crawl” by the Liverpool band The Room, or it might be from “Better Not Born” by the punk band Rudimentary Peni.

    Lots of Lovecraftian rock out there.

    3/23/2010 4:20 PM
    Mikc wrote:
    Well, thanks, Ken, it was indeed The Room. (Tell me, do you know EVERYTHING about Lovecraftiana?!?)

    3/12/2010 6:02 AM
    Jimmy wrote:
    Hey there, guys. Great podcast as usual. Also as usual I have a few corrections. These hit a little closer to home, as I am Danish, like the venerable Herr Ole Worm (the real world version).

    Ole is not related to the English “old.” Ole is a Danish name derived from Olaf. Worm is pronounced “warm,” but is related to the word “worm.” It does not mean a soft, legless invertebrae, but rather a serpent or dragon.

    Furthermore, Olaus Wormius was not a philologist, but the king’s physician. He had a profound interest in the Futhark runes and was very well educated, though, and did numerous translations of runic inscriptions from Denmark.

    All this is assuming, of course, that we are speaking of the real world Olaus Wormius. The Lovecraftian one from the 13th century can have any background. However, as you mentioned the real Olaus Wormius’ birthdate on the show, I assumed that you meant the real one, which wasn’t a philologist and wasn’t called “Elderly Worm.”


    3/12/2010 7:54 AM
    Keith McCaffety wrote:
    Not a big fan of this story. For the same reasons I didn’t like ‘Rats in the Walls.’ Started out okay, then went too far. It got just plain silly, in my opinion.

    I’m more interested in talking about Night Gallery! My memories of NG are hazy but VIVID! I remember some seriously BAD photography, looking like students made it. Lots of scenes that were just solid black, and not on purpose.

    I do remember the “Last Lecture” you mentioned, but my strongest memories are of a GIANT GHOST ROCKING HORSE and a BACKWARDS MERMAID! Images that haunted my childhood! They’re… coming back to me… AAAAAAARGHHHH!

    3/14/2010 2:07 AM
    JulieH wrote:
    The mermaid is from “Lindemann’s Catch”

    3/15/2010 1:53 PM
    Keith McCaffety wrote:
    Yikes! Don’t remind me!!

    3/13/2010 11:02 PM
    Herrmarkt wrote:
    Guys, your podcasts are great! I first read HPL as an impressionable teenager and believed that he was using real archeological findings for his stories. I tore through libraries trying to find references to learn more about Cthulhu. By the way, I once read that the C is supposed to be silent and the creature should be called something like Thuluh. Ever hear of that?

    3/14/2010 9:28 AM
    J.B. Lee wrote:
    Lovecraft _wrote_ that it was pronounced, essentially, Cluh-Luh. However, his friends remembered versions like Tulu, Thulu, Clulu, Koot-u-lew, and even the dread, sanity blasting K-Lütl-Lütl. So I suspect that, when asked, he just announced whatever entered his mind at the time.

    3/15/2010 1:55 PM
    Keith McCaffety wrote:
    K-Lütl-Lütl?? That’ll be the name of the Twitter app.

    3/18/2010 10:41 AM
    Stacey wrote:
    I’ve always assumed that Lovecraft, being educated in Greek and Latin, based the name on the word on “chthonic” and so have always pronounced it in my head using a sort of anglicized pronunciation of ancient Greek (i.e. k’THOO’loo).

    3/18/2010 2:42 PM
    J.B. Lee wrote:
    My take on the sinister word is definitely NOT Lovecraftian, but I’ve used it since I first read the story at the age of 12 or 13, and it’s not changing now:


    3/14/2010 2:45 AM
    Aram wrote:
    Something I’d been meaning to comment on for a few episodes now, but was reminded anew with this one: what great music cues and sound editing you have! It’s Chad who is responsible for that, am I right?

    3/14/2010 9:23 AM
    J.B.Lee wrote:
    Absolutely a work of art. Incroyable! Magnifique! And a bunch of other really impressive Gallic words that I don’t know, but would use if I did.

    3/16/2010 6:28 PM
    J.B. Lee wrote:
    This “incroyable” etc was in reference to Elderac’s filk. Somehow I managed to get it in the wrong column. I guess.

    3/14/2010 9:34 AM
    J.B. Lee wrote:
    Great, goofy podcast this week. What with the sausages (nice, after all the worm-thing discussion), and the byakhee (I always equated these things with the Shantaks of DREAM QUEST) and the Festivus/Festival tale of woe (Sheesh! And I thought my Kim Possible/Cthulhu Mythos idea was the essence of an incompatible combo. Or, I guess, an inKimpatible Cthombo.) And the resurrection of good ol’Grade-Z “Night Gallery’s” Prof. Peabody and his last lecture. But you forgot to mention that Bloch, Derleth, and Lovecraft have roles in that silly skit!

    And, oh yeah, the story’s a good’un, too. HPL lays it on thick, but only where the structure can bear it.

    3/16/2010 6:55 PM
    Elderac wrote:
    About the Bayake. There is what I suppose could be called a Lovecraft themed filk album called Shoggoth on the Roof. The entire album are filksongs based on the classic musical Fiddler on the Roof. The song Matchmaker became an ode to the Bayake.

    As the description of the things was being read, I recognized it because it was almost word for word in the song.

    On a side note, the song “To Life” is based on the story of Herbert West. They must have watched the movie rather than read the story because the professor had a daughter who was West’s love interest.

    For those interested, the album still seems to be available:

    3/17/2010 10:13 PM
    Genus Unknown wrote:
    Didja know the whole “Shoggoth on the Roof” thing is a production of Andrew Leman’s own H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society? It’s true.

    With that pedigree, I’m all but certain they read the story. For one thing, the professor’s daughter wasn’t West’s love interest, but the other guy’s.

    3/18/2010 7:14 PM
    Elderac wrote:
    I knew it was associated with the HPLHS, but was not aware of Leman’s connection, although I did see his name in the credits as well.

    Thanks for the correction on the love interest. It has been awhile since I’ve listened to it. I remember the woman in the song, and Stuart Gordan talking about adding a female to the story, but didn’t remember who she was associated with.


    3/16/2010 6:59 PM
    Elderac wrote:
    A little addendum to my last post. I was reading through the cast of Shoggoth on the Roof and noticed two very familiar names among them.


    3/21/2010 7:33 PM
    Bill Sorensen wrote:
    Nice episode! It reminded me of Coleridge’s Kubla Khan: “Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea.” That was published in 1816, so it might have been an influence.

    It also made me think of the flatworm experiments, but that was in 1953. Maybe the experimenter got the idea from HPL.

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  • Yunshui on

    I love your podcasts. I would like to point out (in the spirit of Robert M. Price, though he may not agree with me) that this story can be read as a parody/perversion/inversion of the Christmas story. Lovecraft even has a star “balanced” on the steeple of the church, and a sickly “evergreen” column of light. Instead of angels in the heavens, there are byakhee (sp?) underground, and so on.

  • Raúl Moreno on

    I like Yunshui’s idea.

  • Raúl Moreno on

    About Christmas, it may have had its origins in the Scandinavian Yultid, December, dedicated to their gods Thor and Frey, in which they celebrated the coming of the Sun after the longest night (the Mother Night). It was absorbed by Christians and turned into Christmas, coinciding with the supposed birth date of Jesus (

  • Raúl Moreno on

    About this Necronomicon, it may not be really the same as the one he will talk about in the later Cthulhu Mythos, as I think S.T. Joshi and/or Robert Price point out. It’s contents and use seem different, but who knows. Just mind he was developing all of this.

  • BreeLandwalker on

    Immediately upon hearing the description of the flying creatures, all I could think of was the parody of “Matchmaker” from A Shoggoth On The Roof…

    As a practicing witch, I have a deep and abiding dislike for Murray’s “Witchcult” book. So much misinformation has come from that book, and people are STILL citing her work as fact today, despite the fact that it’s been disproven since the 1990s and modern British folklorists cringe at the very mention of the book. The idea that all ancient religions are connected is a highly interesting one, but unfortunately, the connections Murray draws are specious and highly subjective, i.e. turning Joan of Arc into a pagan martyr and Pan into the Christian image of Satan. Her work has heavily influenced a number of modern pagan authors such as Silver RavenWolf and D.J. Conway (among others). I have recommended my blog followers to avoid these texts except as a very good example of why fact-checking and proper scholarly research are so very, VERY important, no matter how sure you are of your sources.

    Despite her flawed theory, Murray’s work did pave the way for people like Gerald Gardner and Doreen Valiente, and did help lead to the modern pagan revivals and reconstructions, so in that respect, I suppose we owe her some thanks.

  • DerSpeigel on

    Never thought about them being worm people but damn….Yeah that does seem to be what’s going on.
    And Bree sorry…
    But your whole religion comes from that book..
    Thanks 1960’s

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