Nobody can doubt the importance of an author as H. P. Lovecraft for the horror literary scene. He created a world made of incommensurable horrors, the most terrifying coming from the deep and outer space.
Beyond the divinities trapped in our dimension (and their monstrous priest Cthulhu), which are stuck in the abysses of the Earth waiting for the moment of their awakening, there are the Outer Gods. These are even more “powerful” than their dreadful worshippers and, most important, they’re dimension is the endless Space.
Now, I’m just an enthusiastic reader of all Lovecraft’s opera and I only have personal opinion about it, but I was really impressed by the knowledge of this author about ancient Mythology and Astronomy, the last one, in particular, inherited by his grandmother.
This time I want to talk about the Outer God that impressed me more: Azathoth.
“The monstrous nuclear chaos”
“The boundless daemon sultan”
As Lovecraft wrote into his fiction The Dream – Quest of Unknown Kadath:
“Outside the ordered universe (is) that amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasphemes and bubbles at the center of all infinity – the boundless daemon sultan Azathoth, whose name no lips dare to speak aloud, and who gnaws hungrily inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond time and space amidst the muffled, maddening beating of vile drums and the thin monotonous whine of accursed flutes”
I know that there are many explanations which derive from Mythology and Metaphysic, especially because this being is defined the creator of the cosmos itself, with its order and organization. But I have my own vision, maybe less fascinating than others.
When I read about it, I can’t help thinking about the infinite space and its mysteries: I’m aware that it’s just an idea, but Azathoth makes me think about a great Black Hole.
Physics started to theorize the existence of Black Holes already in the XVIII sec., so in the library of H.P. Lovecraft there must have been at least one Astronomy books speaking of this phenomenon. And I’m quite sure he read about it!
A Black Hole is a singularity and its laws are unknown, probably different from everything we can imagine. When Lovecraft was alive, they were called Dark Stars and, even if in a less mature form, they were what we, today, call Black Holes. It wouldn’t have been strange for a vivid imaginative man like him to think about how frightening can be to face such an incommensurable thing.
The “nuclear chaos” of an amorphous nature made me think about a titanic and obscure mass that’s much greater than the others celestial body, as a “boundless sultan”.
And it’s sleeping in the deepest darkness, where the laws of time and space are not applicable. A stasis that emits blasphemes and bubbles and gnaws everything. Actually, in XIX sec. they already knew that a Dark Star could emit radiations and bend the light, due to the high gravity generated by the mass (according to the Newtonian mechanics) … so, the bubbling and the blasphemes of this “entity”.
In my readings, I also imagined every other Outer God that dance around him constantly, generating a deafening cacophonical sound; someone say that this dance is needed to prevent the awakening of Azathoth. In my personal vision, the dance is a sort of constant effort to maintain a decaying balance (the universe as we know) while everything is inevitably falling into the jaws of Azathoth, the Dark Star.
Sometimes, I found me reflecting on how could it be to be right in front of a Black Hole. I have no doubt that it’s a place where someone can hear and see all the terrible things that Lovecraft showed us.
Considering all this, it may be interesting to look to Azathoh as a combination of Mythology and Astronomy, just the way it was in the Ancient Classic times…
But, that’s just my vision.
The only thing I’m absolutely sure is that Azathoth will wake up (as late as possible) with a terrible headache!
by Alice Colombo