Saturday, May 11, 2013

"Island of Dagon" Annotations & Behind my research!

In writing this short story, I didn't just pull things out of thin air (well, some I did) and I did quite a bit of research regarding the time period, military operations, customs, etc in order to ensure an amount of realism within the format. I did throw in quite a few nods to other media and a lot of silly references just for my own amusement. What follows are the numerical annotations for the story , "The Island of Dagon".

(1)-Keeping the tone of many of Lovecraft's stories, I kept it in the narrative form. Further, I began to vaguely reference many Lovecraft's inventions, The Old Ones, The Necronomicon, Book of Eibon, etc. The nameless narrator, also like many HPL characters predict their own demise by mysterious forces.

(1A)- Referring to Miskatonic University in Arkham, Massachusetts, a fictional town created by Lovecraft first being mentioned in the story, "The Picture in the House".

(2)- Lemuria, often associated with the lost continent of Atlantis, but not the same. Historical evidence suggests it existed between 900,000 BC and 25,000 BC.

(3)- A tip of the hat to Prof. Raymond Knowby of the "Evil Dead" series of motion pictures by Sam Raimi.

(4)- "unsavory lot", making direct reference to Americans distaste towards the Japanese during WW2. Internment camps of Japanese-Americans were widely used on the West Coast out of fear and bigotry.

(5)- USAT Etolin was a real ship and did make these runs from those locations during the time period of this story.

(6)- Ujelang is an isolated island atoll of the Marshall Islands.

(7)- This makes the Etolin leaving San Fran on 7-14-43.

That makes the arrival time at Ujelang would be 7-24-43- based upon her top speed being 17 knots and the Marshall Islands being about 4025 nautical miles from San Fran= 10 days.

(8)- These names, of course, all being mixes of various Lovecraft characters.

(9)- A reference to the 1940's radio series "The Shadow". Cranston was secretly the superhero "The Shadow".

The opening tag: "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows."

(10)- "Thule Gesellschaft" - a real German occult book of the Thule Society.

(11)- This ties our story into the Cthulhu Mythos and also separates it by establishing that this expedition and university is not Miskatonic University in Arkham, Massachusetts.

(12)- "it's construction", referring to some descriptions of the Necronomicon being bound in human
(or other?) skin and possibly inked in blood. The narrator thought it was kept in certain conditions
for preservation reasons and not because the book is actually a threat to mankind.

(12A)- Hunters Point Shipyard was an actual WW2 yard in San Fran, where the USAT Etolin sometimes docked.

(13)- A reference to 'Dracula', who had to be transported in earth from Transylvania by ship. Here, the unknown thing in the crate is hinted at having to live in sea water or other fluid.

(13A)- "...from Innsmouth", a reference to Lovecraft's "The Shadow over Innsmouth".

(14)- A Lovecraft staple, roughly meaning "Cthulhu sleeps" or "Cthulhu Lives" depending on the source.

Pronounced 'ee-ya', 'ee-ya', 'kut-thool-hoo fot-hog-gen' or close to it!

(15)- Another accurate historical event near Ujelang Island.

(16)- The only building on Ujelang, to this very day, is an 1880's German capros building. (Not a temple!) It was a corporate building for 'capros', or coconut juices and meats!

(16A)- "unperceivable multiplicity"- The dark mans voice was almost several voices, similar to Christ's question to the possessed man in the Holy Bible, to which the man responded, 'We are Legion."

(17)- "Esoteric Order of Dagon": the religious cult worshipping the "Old One" Dagon, a Biblical fish-man-god.

Sometimes, the others of Dagons ilk may have been called "The Deep Ones", "The Ancient Ones",
"The Dark Ones"- it seemed that HPL himself was not consistent. I prefer the "Old Ones". Though,
perhaps in this story, I should have used "The Deep Ones"- as it mostly focuses on Dagon.

(18)- The carven images were to represent the Old Ones influence and interaction with mankind during the ages.

(19)- Phillips is a spawn of selective breeding between Dagon and humans in Innsmouth.

(20)- This, of course, was the Lovecraft story, "The Call of Cthulhu".

(21)- This furthers the idea that the denizens of Innsmouth are still interacting with Dagon, bearing offspring.

(22)-" ever existed"...suggesting that the Old Ones arrived on a primal, young and unformed Earth.

This re-enforces my idea in this story that they are aliens possessing powers that are simply beyond our current comprehension and not gods.

(23)- "foul seed...etc". Mankinds DNA influenced by sexual interaction with the Old Ones.(Shadow over Innsmouth) Also, "sensitive few"- referencing that the dream calls of the Old Ones were most
likely received by those humans that were of highly developed artistic interests- sculptors, painters,
writers, etc. (Call of Cthulhu)

(23A)- I suggest that there are persons unknown at Miskatonic to be involved in the occult.

(24)- Lovecraft often referred to WWI as 'The Great War'. I continue it's usage here. All of Lovecrafts fiction were written before his death in 1937- so there would be no other Great War to compare to.

(25)- Lovecraft's blobish, shapeshifters were called "shoggoths", an idea planted here by description alone.

(26)- "non bipedal locomotion", furthering the idea that it was a shoggoth in the crate.(At the Mountains of Madness)

(27)- A tip of the hat to another great Lovecraft story about inter-dimensional living things "From Beyond".

(27A)- A reference to Stuart Gordons movie "Castle Freak", loosely based on Lovecraft's 'The Outsider'.

(28)- A reference to Stuart Gordons movie "Dagon", where the high priest uses golden knives for human sacrifices.

(28A)- I'm hinting that the bigger room was used for skinning of the victims and the alter room was the final destination of whatever devilish ritual was being performed.

(29)-A nod to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Spock uses this phrase referring to luring Khan into the Mutara Nebula.

(30)- A reference to Sam Raimi's "Army of Darkness" deleted windmill scene.

(31)-A reference to Lovecrafts legendary, "..then again the stars shall be right..."

(32)-Spartans, of course, were legendary fighters- known for ruthlessness and ferocity during battles.

(32A)- Several Lovecraft characters find a fate where thier bodies are melted, decimated beyond recognition, etc.

(32B)- A lot of Lovecrafts characters seem to die of fright, so I felt we needed one here!

(32C)- Yet another Lovecraftian characteristic: the human ability to see something so incomprehensible that it can defy reason and, quite often, an articulate description.

(33)- Another Lovecraftian staple of the narrator having to lie because the truth would not be accepted by authorities

(33A)- "Architech"- a Masonic reference to God. "...the spaces between them..." Another nod to the deleted alternate opening of "Army of Darkness".

(34)-A reference to the Masonic Catechisms, as both the Narrator and his friend Edward are Freemasons.

(35)- In several Lovecraft tales, it's said the Old Ones brought their images with them and they were not made of any materials found on the Earth.

(36)- The Phoenix being a mythical bird that cannot be destroyed, always rising from the ashes, reborn.

(37)- This opens the storyline to continue as Edward and the Narrator go on the offensive against the children of Dagon and Cthulhu Cultists- as well as trying to destroy the Necronomicon in Arkham. Also, a rough date can be determined as August 10th, 1943 as the date that the Narrator torches the library.


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