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20905Re: [mythsoc] Gene Wolfe's _An Evil Guest_

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  • John Rateliff
    Oct 29, 2009
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      Unfortunately, I was unable to get more than a chapter or two into AN
      EVIL GUEST before giving up, so I never got so far as the living
      mountain. There's the example of Caradhras, of course, but I can't
      think of an example from Lovecraft. This is not to say there isn't
      one: while I've read all his fiction I don't have an encyclopedic
      knowledge of it. There are several significant mountains (e.g., in THE
      DREAM-QUEST OF UNKNOWN KADATH and AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS) but
      none sentient or living I remember. The closest approach comes in his
      friend Clark Ashton Smith's story "Genius Loci" [1933], about a
      sentient (& evil) lake. Frankly, though, it sounds more like a Fritz
      Leiber motif to me: see the Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser story "The Seven
      Black Priests" [1953], found in the collection SWORDS AGAINST DEATH,
      which ends with the observation that "Although still spouting fire
      and dribbling red streams, [the green hill] seemed otherwise very
      solid and still, as if all its potentialities for life were vanished
      for a time, or forever", prompting the Mouser to say "the green hill
      [is] bleeding to death, I'm happy to say."

      --JDR


      On Oct 28, 2009, at 9:41 AM, Joe R. Christopher wrote:
      > I've got a question about Gene Wolfe's _An Evil Guest_. (I assume,
      > since it was nominated for a Mythopoeic Award last year, that it's
      > been read by the committee as well as a number of other members.)
      > Does anyone know the source of the Canadian living mountain to which
      > Cassie Casey is taken to be elevated in her personality and skills?
      > Since most (not all) of the references in the book are to
      > Lovescraft, the mountain may be also. I have read only a little of
      > Lovescraft and I don't catch it, if it is. Or I wondered if it
      > could be to a story by Algernon Blackwood, since some of them (I
      > understand) are laid in Canada? Or maybe an AmerIndian myth? I'm
      > reading a paper on the novel by Wolfe, and I'd like to have--but
      > don't actually need--the information for a subsequent revision for
      > possible publication.
      >
      > Thanks.
      > --Joe
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