Talk:Books in the Cthulhu Mythos

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Books in the Cthulhu Mythos:

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This is a full collection of Cthulhu Mythos's internal fiction, so why delete it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:39, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

Concerning De Vermis Mysteriis[edit]

The title "De Vermis Mysteriis"... it looks Latin, but is it correct Latin? And if so, what is the correct, direct translation? "Of the Mysteries of the Worm"? Or something else? SpectrumDT 16:57, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

  • The following is the backstory on De Vermis Mysteriis and Mysteries of the Worm (I have sources for this—which I can give if pressed—but I'd rather not spend the next hour digging them up). Young Robert Bloch wrote a short story entitled "The Shambler from the Stars" (in which he kills off H.P. Lovecraft!) featuring a grimoire known as Mysteries of the Worm. In Bloch's correspondence with Lovecraft, Lovecraft noted that since Mysteries of the Worm was originally translated from Latin, it should have a Latin title; hence, Lovecraft came up with De Vermis Mysteriis. /R'lyehRising\Ia! 20:51, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Factual disputes[edit]

Unaussprechlichen Kulten in other media[edit]

"Von Unaussprechlichen Kulten" is the title of a song by death metal band Nile from their 2005 album Annihilation of the Wicked. Band member Karl Sanders relates that after using a fictional quote from Unaussprechlichen Kulten on an album for his solo side project, he was contacted by a literary history student. The student claimed to have found a catalog reference to a missing volume of a work, published in Hamburg in 1837, whose author bears the name "Frederick von Juntz".

  • I'm a little sceptical of this. Can we get a cite? Attempting to search Google leads only to the Wikipedia page. --Roland 05:31, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
  • Update. A user provided a reference for the factoid. It now reads:

"Von Unaussprechlichen Kulten" is the title of a song by death metal band Nile from their 2005 album Annihilation of the Wicked. In the liner notes for the boxed set special edition of the album, band member Karl Sanders relates...

(The emphasis is mine.)
-,-~R'lyehRising~-,- 12:46, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Lovecraft's Rare Book Room[edit]

This site , tracking appearances of books from the Cthulhu Mythos in films and TV might be useful. Schizombie 06:12, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Book of Azathoth and Massa Di Requiem Per Shuggay[edit]

I'm not sure if the inclusion of the "book of Azathoth" is necessary. The only reference to it I can find is in "Dreams In The Witch-House," in which the protagonist is told that he must write his name in it in his own blood, as per the usual "deal with the devil" plot trope. Given that the book just appears to be a sort of demonic ledger, and not an actual book of mythos lore, its inclusion seems unnecessary. In regard to the Requiem, I think it should be included, based on the fact that A) it reveals secrets of the mythos, and B) it does exist as a book, in libretto form. If we exclude the Requiem on the basis that it is an opera, we would also have to remove The King In Yellow, since it is actually the text of a play.

  • Book of Azathoth. According to Daniel Harms' Encyclopedia Cthulhiana, The "Book of Azathoth" has a life outside Lovecraft. Harms' entry says that the book "contains material in parody of Scripture, praising the Outer Gods and denigrating Christianity." (p. 29.) There is also an account of a possibly separate (fictional) work called the "Book of Azathoth" — a rambling manifesto found in a New York hotel room that purports to explain the nature of the universe.

    In addition to Lovecraft's "The Dreams in the Witch House" (which first mentioned the tome), Harms cites both a role-playing game supplement (Devil's Children by David Conyers, et al) that utilizes the book and a piece by David Hensler called "The Higher Mythos" (1995, Crypt of Cthulhu #91) that "quotes" from the Book of Azathoth. For this reason, and since Harms' book counts as a secondary source, I think that the Book of Azathoth warrants inclusion (more on this later).

    Massa Di Requiem per Shuggay. This is one I hadn't looked into closely. I simply excluded it because it is a musical piece. However, it is mentioned by Harms, who says that performing the entire opera will summon Azathoth — a characteristic that places it in good company with other works. I suppose it could be included just for completeness (though it should probably be moved from Insect from Shaggai to here).

    Idea. Perhaps the more obscure works could be put in a table, rather than giving them their own sections. Or (better), the article could adopt a list format, similar to Cthulhu Mythos biographies (and similar articles) — it's practically a list already. This would allow minor works to be included and would also allow for external section linking.
    ,-~R'lyehRising~-, 22:59, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm leery of using the Encyclopedia Cthulhiana as an authority, even if it is technically a secondary source. I don't discount secondary uses of an invented work; however, I think we must be careful to distinguish between the way a fictional work is referenced by the author who invented it and the way it's used by other authors who borrowed it, although I think they should both be used. As for roleplaying supplements, however, I consider that beyond the pale. First of all, as someone who enjoys both the original literature and Call of Cthulhu, I've seen the ways in which Chaosium authors expand on ideas (i.e. just make stuff up) as they see fit in order to make the game more interesting for players, and I don't think that such works should be counted as official in any way. Considering the sheer volume of Cthulhu mythos roleplaying supplements available, especially since there are so many third-party publications out now, we'd be opening a pretty big can of worms and have a huge amount of information to try to track down, include, and reconcile in cases of disagreement. I also don't like the idea of the precedent it would set-are we going to edit other mythos articles using CoC rulebooks as a guideline to tell us exactly how big a dhole is, what Ghatanothoa really looks like, and so forth?

In regard to the Massa di Requiem per Shuggay, I'm not sure what the original source is for the claim that performing it summons Azathoth. My copy of the roleplaying game says that this is so, but it also omits any reference to the insects! (I admit that I have only read excerpts of "The Insects From Shaggai.") However, the text of the opera is supposed to detail the invasion of the insects in the final act, so it constitutes a fragment of mythos lore one way or the other. --Halloween jack 01:44, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

  • Massa di Requiem per Shuggay seems to be wholly a role-playing game creation — it is not mentioned at all in Ramsey Campbell's "The Insects from Shaggai". With regard to the Encyclopedia Cthulhiana, I've been using the second addition which references RPGs (the first edition supposedly left out RPGs altogether). As a result, I give greater weight to the RPGs that Harms cites, because Harms' book is a published source and meets the standard for verifiability. Nonetheless, it is true that other sources should be used, primarily the mythos stories themselves (which are, of course, primary sources).

    RPGs are still a problem, however. I tend to take them with a grain of salt. This is because role-playing games are not really stories, since they are not fully fleshed out — they're more like the framework for a story, the bare skeleton (sort of like shoggoth-leftovers¹ ;). However, it would be difficult to exclude them entirely. Elements of the Cthulhu Mythos, for example, seems to draw quite a bit from RPGs. At least I would assume so — since contributors (mostly unregistered users) do not cite any sources whatsoever, I have no idea where the various fauna and flora are coming from (consequently, I moved most of these enigmatic entries to the talk page pending citation of sources²). I think that if role-playing game material is to be included in an article it should at least be footnoted. Otherwise, lesser known RPG supplements could be moved elsewhere, perhaps to Cthulhu Mythos in popular culture.
¹ Though decapitation seems to be more the shoggoth's modus operandi.
² I've long suspected that some material is being made up on the fly, perhaps during the course of an RPG session. However, I can't prove it and it would be inappropriate for me to start tossing around unfounded accusations. (Well, actually I think most of it comes from RPG supplements, but how are we to know if no sources are cited?)
,-~R'lyehRising~-, 13:21, 15 April 2006 (UTC)


Many of the descriptions start real world then jump to in-universe, which makes them confusing. I think the in-universes bits need to be rewritten to make it clear that they are describing the ficitious histories of the text. Mentioning the primary sources may help (Instead of "Only one copy of ... exists", "In '...' it is stated that only one copy exists.) (talk) 04:10, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

I am restructuring the article and will see what I can do. Warden (talk) 18:30, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

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