Unearthed for H. P. Lovecraft’s Birthday

In honor of H. P. Lovecraft’s birthday, I refer you to an article of mine from a couple of years ago from my old Letters from Heck column over at The Footnote:

Today’s sermon is taken from a passage in the Necronomicon, which translates from the Greek roughly as “The Book of Dead Names” or “An Image of the Laws of the Dead” or somesuch. Originally the text was in an Arabic-language incunabulum titled Al-Azif, which, depending on your idiom of preference and/or your emotional state, translates either as “The Sound of Wailing Djinn in the Darkness” or “The Sound of Crickets and/or Other Nighttime Noises, Probably Just the Wind.” It’s possible that azif and hatif are somehow linguistically related, as hatif means “to cry out” and also “telephone.” Al-Hatif is a telephone company in the Middle East and not much loved.

It’s probably most accurate to say none of the above matters as the book mentioned above is an artifact of fiction that originally appeared in the early twentieth-century short stories of H. P. Lovecraft. But a lot of what passes for modern religion these days has a significant basis in fiction, so I don’t care.

This is the passage:



August 20, 2009 · by vidicon · Posted in Everything Else  


Leave a Reply