Episode 55 – The Case of Charles Dexter Ward – Part 2

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“If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.”


Here’s some crap about Eliphas Levi – an architect of occultism.

Thanks Matt Foyer for readin’ it up smoooth…

Kent, we hope this finds you sane.

Post Comment 32 comments on “Episode 55 – The Case of Charles Dexter Ward – Part 2

  • Rea N. Mator on

    Another great podcast! I especially liked the woeful mirror metaphor, and your admission that Lovecraftian English may not be the easiest for Japanese students to master. It was kind of you to resist the urge to recommend him Poe instead!

  • Mike Davey on

    Lovecraft HAS made it to Japan, though.
    There are some really great collections edited by Ken Asamatsu of Mythos stories by Japanese authors (English translations, luckily!).
    There’s also a TV adaptation of “Innsmouth” I believe, but I’ve never tracked down a copy.

  • steve on

    Speaking of Lovecraft in translation; his stories work really well in Spanish-maybe something to do with his arcane, Latin-y style. Almost better than the originals, in fact.

  • Reber Clark on

    A fine show!

    Among other things – did anyone note how decently and matter-of-factly Lovecraft treated the characters of Asa and Hannah? Hardly the work of a racist, I think. He is much harder on and more denigrating to other characters in the story.

    I believe it was Margaret Alice Murray’s “The Witch Cult in Western Europe” referred to in the ‘cast. A book which attempted to synthesize a unified ancient religion through a pastiche of old local reports. Ronald Hutton’s “The Triumph of the Moon” puts this idea in a better historical perspective and is actually the first truly scholarly study of the subject.

  • Rage on

    August Derleth need some credit for publishing the Case of Charles Dexter Ward.
    140 pages of Lovecraft’s longhand all crossed out ,edited and in a mess.On top of that some are in Latin, Greek and his own inveted words
    Well done August for detangeling it all and publishing it!

    Check out Lovecrafts hand writting on line you see what he was up against..

  • JBL on

    Actually it SHOULD be “Metatron” (but, alas, not “Megatron”, which would have been the apotheosis of cool), the archangel in Jewish mysticism that was the most mighty of all created beings. Legend also says that he was originally Enoch, the Old Testament figure who was taken up to be with God… “Almousin” is one of the names of God in the infamous Grand Grimoire. HPL just dragged bits out of Eliphas Levi that sounded really scary and creepy and incorporated them. So he’s got this big spell that’s coming up that’s just full of Jewish Kabbalah names…which means the Kabbalah is subsumed into the Cthulhu Mythos… OY!

  • Bryn LaFollette on

    I, too, was gonna chime in about ‘Metatron’, which JBL has beaten me to. And, yeah, HPL just dropping in Kabbalah names without analysis is a little hokey, but on the other hand, a lot of the ancient mystical Angels (and fallen angels) were actually originally other ancient Mesopotamian and Middle-Eastern deities and such that were incorporated as supernatural creatures in the service of Yahweh into the structure of Biblical Judaism, much in the same way a lot of Mesoamerican deities were rebranded into saints and thus incorporated into Catholicism.

    As for the Japanese editions of Lovecraft, ditto Mike Davey. I had picked some up there at one time, but I’ve since misplaced them. Also ditto Steve on the translations. I have lots of Lovecraft in French, which actually works REALLY well! Haven’t read any in Spanish although I did read The King in Yellow (El Rey de Amarillo). I agree in that flowery, baroque and creepy somehow just work in Romance languages. I also have some in German, but my reading skills aren’t quite up to it.

  • Elderac on

    A little off topic but I was pointed to this YouTube video:


    A Cthulhan rift on the Old Spice commercials.

  • Justin on

    I just have to chime in along with Mike Davey and point out that Chris & Chad are actually way off about Lovecraft in Japan. Lovecraft is HUGE in Japan. The Cthulhu Mythos were popular in the land of the rising sun long before they were over here in the states. The Cthulhu Mythos actually translates REALLY well into Japanese since traditional Japanese horror stories and even modern films (i.e. Ringu, Ju-On, Uzumaki, etc…) tend to be based on “poetic weirdness” rather than blood and guts, which is very much in line with HPL’s own writing philosophy. Also because the Japanese language is phonetic all of Lovecraft’s intentionally unpronounceable words and alien god’s names are automatically rendered easily pronounceable. If you want addition info on the history of Lovecraft’s massive influence on Japanese horror and popular culture I would suggest checking out the io9.com article “The Long Tentacle of H.P. Lovecraft in Manga” (http://io9.com/5439408/the-long-tentacle-of-hp-lovecraft-in-manga-nsfw) or Rue Morgue Magazine #60 for the article “UNLEASHED IN THE EAST: LOVECRAFT IN JAPANESE LITERATURE.” Also as Davey mentioned authors Robert Price and Ken Asamatsu have edited four volumes of original Mythos tales by Japanese authors, translated into English, for Kurodahan Press. So what I’m trying to get at is that Cthulhu is BIG in Japan. I think it’s only a matter of time before we see a Godzilla vs. Cthulhu movie.

  • Hagen on

    I was thinking that Susan P. on the list of folks known to commune with the Black Man in the woods near Hutchinson’s house might be the ancestor that Richard Upton Pickman ranted about in ‘Pickman’s Model’

  • Fred Kiesche on

    One of my favorite tales by Eich-Pee-El. A combination of detective tale (A.C. Doyle and E.A. Poe, maybe influencing) and straight horror. Have very fond memories of when I first read this–I was just coming to the awful revelation when a younger sister snuck up behind me and poked me. I jumped far into the air…

  • Chad Fifer on

    Awesome! Well, that’s one thing I’m glad to be wrong about! If Godzilla fought Cthulhu I think my heart would explode with joy.

  • Aram on

    @JBL: I believe you mean Kabbalah had to schlep into the Cthulhu Mythos.

  • Elderac on

    Has Dagonbytes.com gone down? I cant’ seem to connect to it today.

  • Reber Clark on

    Same here – no dagonbytes.com today so far.

  • Chris Lackey on

    Not to slam Dagonbytes.com, but I’ve noticed quite a few typos and such there. I usually get all my stuff on lovecraft from

    It’s a pretty stellar site.

  • Reber Clark on

    Yup. S’good.

  • Ryleigh Marie on

    Hey, just listened to the podcast. Did anyone else think Chris sounded a little congested? Do you have a cold Chris? I hope not, but if you do, You know what always helps me when I have a cold is to sprinkle a little mummy dust into my morning tea. Hope that helps! Love the shows!

  • Curwen, Joseph on

    I suspect this is what Awesome looks like in its undiluted form:


    (Made even better by the fact that it apparently drawn by Robert M. Price)

  • Matt Sheridan on

    Yeah, I’ve gotta chime in to say that there actually is a surprising amound of Lovecraft fandom in Japan, and Call of Cthulhu RPG players as well. I swear to God I’ve seen jokes about SAN rolls in Japanese, not to mention way too many cutesy Japanese reimaginings of Great Old Ones.

  • Chris Lackey on

    I WAS sick! I was getting over a nasty cold! Way to listen and care Ryleigh Marie!

    And yes… we now know that HPL is big in Japan. In fact, that song “Big in Japan” is actually about him. It’s true.

  • Chrizzie Frizzie on

    I really recommend this page:

    It analyzes the story to find out just how much Lovecraft knew about the stuff he was writing about and how much he made up on the spot. Turns out Lovecraft had a pretty broad knowledge of witchcraft, even if he didn’t quite care enough for a deep understanding. For instance, the refernce to jewish deities etc. was a common part of dark rituals, which would name-drop gods and angels, maybe to defile them?

    Anyways, its a webpage that’s been up for ages, ive stumbled upon it many times but always thought it was trying to make the case Lovecraft was ACTUALLY into this stuff, but turns out its just a very interesting comparison of Lovecrafts text with various popular evil tomes of yore.

  • attila on

    Actually O-Hayo is not hello but good morning.

    A big difference because you cant say it past 12.00pm as a gretting.

    Also you mention Japan as a great island nation.

    Japan is made up of 5 islands.

    As you can clearly see, my geek-fu is strong and resistence is futile.

  • WiseWolf on

    I agree with Steve, Lovecraft reads just as well in spanish. I hadas read several stories in both and I haven’t feel like missing out from the English version.

  • philip smith on

    in the case of charles dexter ward, did anyone else notice the name tillinghast pop up…. like crawford tillinghast.

  • Sam Inabinet on

    ia Hagen! Thank you for calling up Susan P. She is slated to receive mention in my upcoming Pickman Portfolio book…
    My thought, fwiw, on Cthulhu vs. Godzilla: Cthulhu would lose (i.e., discorporate and retire to Its necropolitan lair) because It usually does, and Godzilla would win, because he always does. But somehow the big lug would just never be the same again…

  • Tuskus on

    Actually, Lovecraft is about as popular in Japan as it is in America. For example, there’s Demonbane, an anime based on a video game about Lovecraft mythos and giant robots.

  • […] “If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.” Job XIV. XIV. Here’s some crap about Eliphas Levi – an architect of occultism. Thanks Matt Foyer for readin’ it up smoooth… Kent, we hope this finds you sane. HPPodcraft.com – The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast […]

  • Derek on

    Again, I’ll have to add another bit about Lovecraft in Japan. An incredible series of diorama/clay(?)mation adaptations of Lovecraft’s works (including The Dunwich Horror–and yes, I pronounce it “Dunnitch”–easily my favorite after Charles Dexter Ward). They’re very well done, and capture the spirit of the stories quite well.

    Joseph Curwen was up to no good?
    Started causing trouble in my neighborhood.
    I raised one little corpse and my mom got scared and said yer movin with yer auntie and uncle in Bel Air.

  • Reber Clark on

    Take a look at the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society’s Dark Adventure Radio Theatre production of The Case of Charles Dexter Ward!


  • Nadia V on

    Lovecraft is big in Japan, as they say. I own a collection of Lovecraftian stories by Japanese writers. Good stuff, they love him there. Many animes have references to his work.
    Just commenting on the fake fireplace:
    I believe this might have been a big thing back then. We modern people can laugh a little about these new inventions of yester years.
    It reminds what my mum told me about plastic in the ’50s. When plastic bags came out young people wanted to carry this new hot thing, plastic grocery bags. They scoffed at old things like leather bags. Plastic was the new age!

  • Ray Jones on

    A minor point on the fake fireplace – I don’t think the fireplace was there first, I think it was added at the same time as the painting as part of the “installation” since the painting had been an “overmantle” at the original location.

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