Friday, October 18, 2013
BOOK REVIEW: Nightmares From a Lovecraftian Mind by Jordan Krall
From Jordan Krall, the author of TENTACLE DEATH TRIP and FISTFUL OF FEET comes this collection of Lovecraftian tales of horror both cosmic and personal. This is a collection of cryptic weird fiction... dreamlike and ominous in its style and subject matter. Krall goes beyond the tropes of Mythos literature and has presented the reader with an original approach to Lovecraftian fiction.
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To suggest that literary horror has been severely lacking in new voices and talent is an understatement. With a flooded market of cheap Kindle porn and video-game zombies, underground literature is a growing genre meant for readers who enjoy art and the beauty of the imagination. This collection of nightmares is brought to you by a brain dipped in paint and smeared upon a canvas of nude Hemingway caricatures. When we think of body-painting, we should also think of brain-painting as a legitimate medium of expression that doesn't require or adhere to literary rules or conventions that serve as fodder for the social media, reality-TV junkie masses (me included).
Many of the stories in this collection have been published elsewhere; I mention this because when it comes to any type of collection or anthology, the book's composition is just as important, if not more so, than any individual story. Although many of these pieces would be interesting on their own and wouldn't suffer for it, I felt like the dynamic between the selections served as something of a psychic connection... a psychosis of artistry and spherical infinity.
Repetition is a hallmark of many a good poem or rendition of madness, and here we have images and ideas manifested through different mediums. Each piece is different than the other, yet there is a semblance of consciousness which indicates these are, indeed, nightmares from one imagination, the mental expulsion of lingering confessions or ruminations on literature that might be revealed on Freud's couch.
One has to wonder if sleep is an inspiring medium, a dream-state in which the mind can be tapped and explored, a vast ocean of stars as inescapable or oblivious to definition as outer space. There may or may not be a message or theme, a coherent plot or purpose, but rather there is the journey through breaking hallways or hallways that are seemingly repairing themselves. The prose seems an organic construction that lives and breathes, as if it were never typed but rather mentioned in a confessional in which nobody is there to hear the words.
Obviously, I feel like this work is beautiful and relevant. The afterword illustrates the progression of a Lovecraftian art-philosophy that doesn't follow the conventions of a monster mythos, but rather the idea of darkness and shadow joining forces to rape goodness and light to spawn a brain-shaped creature that is gray in color and composition. "Nightmares of a Lovecraftian Mind" is a collection that lives and breathes, an inspiration to writers everywhere who have no wish to join forces with the current ruination of vomit-lit that plagues our culture. Here is something both contemporary and ancient, something unearthed and worth burying again in a time capsule in a temple dedicated to the resurrection of the sun. Highly recommended.