The Necronomicon

Discussion in 'Esoterica' started by Anonymous, Oct 21, 2002.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Hello all,

    A friend a few days ago sparked my intrest in the book, The Necronomicon. And after a brief explanntion of its supposed history and other things ive found it an incredible intresting topic and have decided to do a bit of research into.

    However Ask Jeeves can only go so far, and at present im awaiting my ordered copy of the 'Simon, Necronomicon', which as i undestand is either a fake or a watered down version of some long lost texted.

    And after recently discovering these forums while asking for advice about ghostly goings on in my house, its only just dawned on me that some people here might have some information they might care to share with me.

    From what i can gather this is some what of a touchy subject for some people, and if you dont feel comfotable placing information here feel free to e-mail me at

    Dangerous_daveuk@hotmail.com

    Or im not sure but i thinks theres a PM system on these forums you could also use that :)

    Thanks
    Dave
     
  2. Jerry_B

    Jerry_B Antediluvian

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    The book doesn't exist - it's a literary invention by the gothic horror writer H.P. Lovecraft.
     
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    That is but one view on it, and i have seen various arguments to support it. However after reading afew texts on the subject, there does seem to be an argument for the existance of it.


    Like i say im just finding it an intresting subject and have decided to look into it a bit more. Im well aware of the possiblitly that it is all a piece of fiction created by Lovecraft. :)

    I was just wondering if others had any information on the subject.
     
  4. Ioethe

    Ioethe Devoted Cultist

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    Sorry, only to reiterate - it's a fabrication by Lovecraft, and referenced in several other texts by writers of his aquaintance - this cross pollination was common amonst Lovecraft's circle, to the point that they even "kill each other off" in various texts. (see "The Haunter of the Dark" - the main character is based on a correspondant of HP's)

    Lovecraft himself was often bewildered by people's insistance that the book must be real (see his Collected Letters, published in five volumes by Air Methuen (sp?).

    Simon's Necrominicon is (to my knowledge) a genuine attempt to compose the book on the basis of the texts quoted. It's not bad as an attempt and I'm sure was a very interesting project to do.

    If you want more information I recommend the Encyclopedia Cthuliana, which though a role-playing resource has an exhaustive list of references for the Necronomicon

    Have fun researching it - the works of Lovecraft are fascinating...

    Cheers
     
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

  6. _Lizard23_

    _Lizard23_ Justified & Ancient

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  7. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Old Howard is a favourite of mine and I've looked into this on more than one occasion too.

    It would appear as if it is a fabrication, but that it is based on the medieval Grimoires, primarily from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

    Few of these survive and those do are priceless, but my studies of them as a phenomenon, lead me to believe there is little correlation between them, and each seems to boast a pantheon of its own.

    HPL based his views and the name of the book, on the idea that to know something's true name is to know its essence and therefore to know how to control it. Which is basic cabala, as far as I remember, and sees its ultimate expression in the Tetragrammaton. As far as I remember a direct translation of The Necronomicon, is the Book of the Names of the Dead.

    Does anyone know if the legendary New England university that HPL always cites, the Miskatonic, is for real, of where does the name come from?

    LD
     
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    A pedant writes...

    The Greek actually works out as 'the book of dead names' which fits in with the concept of power residing in the knowledge of names
     
  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    ...and it was apparently written by a mad arab, and some of the descriptions of places in it supposedly match land masses seen at the South Pole...
     
  10. stuneville

    stuneville Amministratore principale Staff Member

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    I think that's the Map of Piri Reis, isn't it? Not really a Lovecraft thing...

    Actually, the Necronomicon has pretty much taken on a life of it's own now: however, it was invented by Lovecraft. Bear in mind there are those that describe the Dark Ages in Britain as Middle Earth and mean it - literature can imprint itself upon the collective subconcious rather easily.
     
  11. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    got that bit from, er, Beneath the Mountain of Terror (apologies, i think that's not the right title) first Lovecraft story i read...
     
  12. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Cant say ive read much Lovecraft myself, however from what im led to believe the Greek Translation does work out as 'Book Of Dead Names', apparently it was the name given to a book of census used by Monks in Rome.

    I relise the copy by Lovecraft, is taken to be a piece of fiction, and it proves a challaging and intresting subject to sort out fact from fiction. And it doesn help when after reading the Necronomicon Anti-FAQ to find a later document by the same writer informing me that it was a spoof. Why bother?

    But like I say its an intresting and perplexing subject, i may be putting myself out on a limb here but there do seem to be books written about similar subjects before Lovecraft decided to invent one.

    Certainlly runs you around in circles trying to find the truth
     
  13. stuneville

    stuneville Amministratore principale Staff Member

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    Sorry! Wires crossed. You're dead right (pardon pun)

    Stu
     
  14. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    i don't believe u will find one single truth, Lovecrafts Necronomicon appears to be an amalgamation of books he'd heard of, again none of these may be real, so you will be running in circles. There are peaople out there who are just so blinkered and strongly believe they know what it is all about, stay clear of that stuff. I suggest you read some more Lovecraft...
     
  15. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I intend to :), however Amazon is taking its time delivering my books, said on the website 'Usually Dispatched withing 3 days' however in an e-mail it said 3-4 weeks.......so im not sure what to believe.

    But like you say im slowely relising theres little truth in it.....then again it is a book about magik so er well it all depends if you believe in magic really.
     
  16. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Old HP was a scholar of what he refeered to as Supernatural Literature, so he had a lot of sources to draw on. His work as a critic and a journalist, I beleive, also led him into some areas of research that would have exposed him to sources too.

    He also had a massive correspondance during his lifetime, with many other luminaries in the Olde Worlde and among the luminaries of emerging Americana.

    I beleive the South Pole one was "At the Mountains of Madness", an early reference to the work of Velokovsky and and his ilk, with the lithospheric shift theory.

    I have read a good deal of the mythos work, by Derleth, Bradbury, Straub and C.A. Smith himself. It is fascinatiing. I have even had a go at one myself. I dabble in fiction.

    To be honest, HPL and CAS are favourite authors, up there for me with Eco and the likes of Sheridan le Fanu, who HPL held in very high regard.

    The Mythos just seems to have taken on such a life of its own, it is like a darker Tolkien legacy.

    LD
     
  17. Ioethe

    Ioethe Devoted Cultist

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    Billyjoe, can I ask from which texts you'd got the information that the book was real?

    Thanks

    I'm also a big HPL fan, and Ramsey Campbell - can anyone remind me of the name of the story Campbell wrote about the haunted church, where the haunting creature was sneaking up on the protagonist from behind and he can't look at it? Not very clear, I know!
     
  18. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I'll see if i can find them again, however dont get your hopes up as they were probably just taking the piss
     
  19. fayyaad

    fayyaad Devoted Cultist

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    Do I speak to any Call of Cthulhu players here?? If you're a fan of Lovecraftian fiction, and a fan of the whole role-playing genre and enjoy creating stories based upon the entire mythos, it makes for a very entertaining game, and occasionally, some very scary nights!! Hehehe.... I think that Lovecraft himself was a brilliant author, and after I was introduced to his writings, I did some research on the necronomicon (supposedly written by the mad arab Abdul Al-Azrad). Any mention of the book apparently does not occur before Lovecraft's stories, which is kind of proof that it IS Lovecraft's invention. The whole Cthulhoid mythos has taken on a life of its own, and you can find resources out there on just about ANYTHING to do with it. If you enjoy the whole genre of Lovecraftian fiction (and have a few friends who'd enjoy the idea), I suggest you take a look into playing CoC (the sourcebook can be found here http://www.chaosium.com/cthulhu/index.shtml )... and if you have a thorough knowledge of the Cthulhu mythos, then so much the better for the game :)
     
  20. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    <Waves enthusiastically>

    Although I tend to prefer 'Cthulu by Gaslight'. ..
     
  21. ninja_cat

    ninja_cat Abominable Snowman

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    Call of Cthulu was my favorite RPG when I was playing them :) I remeber reading a comparision of the Cthulu Mythos and Aleister Crowleys, Liber Al Legis = Necronomincon, bery interesting. I think the book was Kenneth Grants Magickal Revival but I have no means of checking at the moment.
     
  22. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Yup, well, game readers. anyway. I'm particularly impressed by the Delta Green variant as a campaign setting and information resource, but have really only run one-offs.

    Nothing that I have seen suggests that Lovecraft was referring to a real book when he wrote about the Necronomicon. In fact, and as has already been mentioned, he didn't really seem to intend to create a coherent background. The Cthulhu Mythos arose from his consistent world view, supplemented by the works of others, then formalised by others. To be simplistic about what seems to have been a messy, informal process of writers and editors sharing ideas and changing each others' work!
     
  23. Ioethe

    Ioethe Devoted Cultist

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    Waves, smiles, loses SAN...
     
  24. many_angled_one

    many_angled_one Ephemeral Spectre

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    The name of the original fictional author of the Necronomicon was the name of a character invented by Lovecraft when he was playing the usual kiddy-type games much like Cowboys and Indians etc.

    *shrugs*

    make of that what you will.
     
  25. many_angled_one

    many_angled_one Ephemeral Spectre

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    In most RPGs you actually have a chance to defeat the nasty evil things in combat. Take D&D its not often you hear players going "ARRRGGHHHHH Run for your life" in horror.

    Try to fight things in Cthulhu and you WILL die, hell you will go insane and die anyway sooner or later.
     
  26. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    sounds good to me...
     
  27. FraterLibre

    FraterLibre Justified & Ancient

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    odinz9
    Facts

    The Necronomicon was made up by H.P. Lovecraft as a MacGuffin for his Cthulhu Mythos stories in the pulp era.

    Necro = dead, nom = name, icon = image. Book of Dead Names? Book of Dead Name Images?

    Now what book do we know that is made up of symbols dealing with dead names?

    He was playing with a reference to the Egyptian Book of the Dead, just as his Great Old Ones were based on the Titans of Greek myth, each being attached to one of the four ancient elementals, Earth, (Cthulhu, named for Cthonic, a word meaning of the deep earth), Air, (Hastur), Fire and Water.

    Specific examples of lesser entities and their derivations include Shub-Niggurath, the Black Goat in the Woods with a Thousand Young, was but the wolf bitch who suckled Romulus and Remus; Azathoth, the Crawlling Chaos, is a combination of the Egyptian god Thoth, patron of writing, and an Arabic-like prefix, to echo Shazzam and so on; and Clar-Kash Ton, a "god" Lovecraft cobbled out of the name of one of his correspondent frieds, fellow writer of the weird Clark Ashton Smith.

    That's how HPL worked. He certainly took none of this seriously. In fact, he held things occult in contempt, and those who delve into them were time-wasting fools in his eyes. The big lie that HPL was secretly an adept is pulp thinking of the worst kind. He was a dedicated and very informed science oriented atheist his enitre life.

    Myth and ethnology explain the Lovecraft canon and reveal it to be a very humorous and witty concoction. Lovecraft was an atheist, by the way, and would be contemptuous of this undying rumor that, "...it's REAL..." No, it's not.

    And sure, there are grimoires and books of shadow from way back, any one of which might strike one as a candidate for the original Necronomicon, but there is no evidence Lovecraft intended this, and all manner of evidence that he made it up in a moment of caprice.

    As for the book they sell by the name Necronomicon, it was cobbled up by a few science fiction and horror writers, as a joke and as a means to exploit the gullible. I know some of the guys who contributed, among whom is George H. Scithers, editor emeritus of WEIRD TALES.

    Anyway, these are the facts, and you can confirm them if you wish. If you prefer to believe in vague rumors, have fun.
     
  28. fayyaad

    fayyaad Devoted Cultist

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    And the problem is??? *evil cthulhoid grin*
     
  29. many_angled_one

    many_angled_one Ephemeral Spectre

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    FraterLibre - the idea that mythos entities were elemental is a later addition, HP NEVER associated most of the great old ones with any particular element in an elemental way, they simply were normal creatures with extraordinary abilities and powers. Some of his entities such as Nodens, Dagon etc were pulled straight from actual myths & legends of the real world while others were cobbled together from ideas & other real myths and stories.

    Fayyaad - the point is that it's more "real". Try to fight a dragon or an Iron Golem in real life and you would end up squashed to a red paste within a minute. Call of Cthulhu has the right feel for a horror game, although the d20 system has messed that up somewhat with levelling up so you can beat up shoggoths with your bare hands etc (like D&D) poo.
    (but can you grin in a Cthuloid way?)
     
  30. FraterLibre

    FraterLibre Justified & Ancient

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    Religions, Baseball Fields, Your Choice

    Many-Angled One - You wrote: "the idea that mythos entities were elemental is a later addition, HP NEVER associated most of the great old ones with any particular element in an elemental way, they simply were normal creatures with extraordinary abilities and powers. Some of his entities such as Nodens, Dagon etc were pulled straight from actual myths & legends of the real world while others were cobbled together from ideas & other real myths and stories."

    Please note that your second sentence contradicts your first, and supports exactly what I said. lol

    Also, read L. Sprague de Camp's excellent biography of Lovecraft for some more insights, such as his stomach cancer, which kept him awake and let him remember so many of his nightmares and dreams. The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath is my favorite of his works, incidentally.

    Ghost-dog - True, Hastur was referenced in Chambers first, and of course later became a major character for Marion Zimmer Bradley -- cross-pollination was common back then, among the corresponding writers. (The literallly wrote letters to each other all the time.)

    Yog-Sothoth again contains a reference to Thoth, with the Yog from a gypsy tale about a witch in the woods, I believe.

    Yes, Cthulhu was not really a god, but instead an extraterrestrial being kep imprisoned in death in his tomb in sunken R'lyeah -- an earth "god" or power kept at bay by water, you see. That's why he was under the ocean, not because he was a water diety.

    Yes, I believe there is a whole string of tongue-in-cheek conspiracy in Wilson & Shea's Illuminatus! trilogy, along with more blowjobs than in any other literary work ever. LOL Or so they brag. Do you think this is the source for modern nonsense about Lovecraft having been an adept and his work encoded occult secrets? There are entire cults of Lovecraftian Magic these days, of all things.

    If you build it, they will come, is the lesson. lol
     

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