U okviru priprema za Treće, Ultimativno Non-Plus-Ultra Izdanje NEKRONOMIKONA, koje će objaviti Orfelin 2017. godine (na 80. godišnjicu Lavkraftove smrti!), podsećam vas na to kako je izgledalo PRVO a kako DRUGO, dopunjeno izdanje, kao i na to na šta je ličio NEKRONOMIKON u svom najslavnijem filmskom izdanju, u EVIL DEAD II.
Za one koji žele da dublje prodru u misterije ove knjige, a budući da su internet forumi i slična mesta zatrpani nagađanjima i lupetanjima i projekcijama i fantazijama i halucinacijama kojekakvih o tome da li je NEKRONOMIKON stvarno postojao, da li sada postoji, kakva okultna znanja se skrivaju u prastarim knjigama itsl.
– evo vam podužeg odlomka iz jednog dugačkog Lavkraftovog pisma koji je toliko pametan i prosvetljujuć da ja nemam šta da mu dodam – osim ilustracija u vidu fotki nekih od brojnih verzija NEKRONOMIKONA...
Evo šta veli i jezgrovito OBJAŠNJAVA naš veliki skeptik i veliki adept: The Great Old One, HPL on Necronomicons...
Now about the "terrible & forbidden books" —I am forced to say that most of them are purely imaginary. There never was any Abdul Alhazred or Necronomicon, for I invented the names myself. Robert Bloch devised the idea of Ludvig Prinn & his De Vermis Mysteriis, while the Book of Eibon is an invention of Clark Ashton Smith's. The late Robert E. Howard is responsible for Friedrich von Junzt & his Unaussprechlichen Kulten.
So far as Albertus Magnus goes—there was such a person, but he never wrote any such thing as Egyptian Secrets. The latter must have been merely one of the cheap occult compilations (like the 7th Book of Moses &c.) which borrow impressive-sounding names to delude the public & attract attention.
The real Albertus Magnus (Albrecht von Bollstädt or de Groot) was an ecclesiastic and philosopher of the 13th century, whose subtle speculations & knowledge of physical science caused ignorant people to regard him as a magician or devil-worshipper, & to associate his name with all sorts of things he never did & all sorts of books he never wrote.
He was born in Swabia—at Laningen on the Danube—in 1193, & was educated at Padua in Italy. He joined the Dominican Friars in 1222, & was made Provincial of the order in 1254. He taught at Cologne, & had the famous ecclesiastical philosopher Thomas Aquinas as a pupil. He was made Bishop of Regensburg in 1259, but resigned three years later.
Only 4 years ago—in 1932—the Catholic Church made him a saint. His works were first printed in Lyons & Leyden in 1651, by the Dominican friar Pierre Jammy. They amount to 21 large volumes, but some of these are probably spurious. The genuine ones relate wholly to philosophy & physical science, in which he was a follower of Aristotle. He founded a distinct school of Philosophy, called the "Albertists".
What gave Albertus his reputation for magic & alchemy was probably —aside from his philosophical speculations —his unusual scientific experiments. The Middle Ages —as the case of Roger Bacon shows— feared & distrusted experimental science, & tended to regard experimenters as wizards or diabolists.
Enemies accused him of black magic, & circulated all manner of legends concerning him. In his old age he fell into a sort of dotage, & may have made eccentric utterances & demonstrations which bore out the popular legendry.
The most famous story about Albertus is that of his dinner to King William of Holland in 1240, in the garden of his monastery. It was midwinter, & the King was astonished at being asked to dine outdoors.
But when the party adjourned to the garden, they found it full of flowers & greenery, & gay with singing birds. This naturally sounded like magic to the Middle Ages, but the truth is that the garden was probably a greenhouse, roofed over with some transparent substance & powerfully heated.
However, the anecdote (if true) shows that Albertus liked to astonish people. The habit of calling Albertus an alchemist probably arose from a passage in his De Rebus Metallicus et Mineralibus, where he speaks of testing the gold which an alchemist claimed to have made, & of finding it very infusible.
This alchemical reputation grew to such an extent that Michael Maier (alchemist & author of Musaeum Chemicum) declared that he had actually found the "Philosopher's Stone" & had given the secret to his pupil Thomas Aquinas. All of which shows that Al was quite a boy —though he never wrote some of the miscellaneous fantastic junk attributed to him— either the book you mention, or the better-known De Secretis Mulierum.
As for seriously-written books on dark, occult, & supernatural themes —in all truth, they don't amount to much. That is why it's more fun to invent mythical works like the Necronomicon & Book of Eibon.
The magical lore which superstitious people really believed, & which trickled down to the Middle Ages from antiquity, was really nothing more than a lot of childish invocations & formulae for raising daemons &c., plus systems of speculation as dry as the orthodox philosophies. It was merely a lot of ill-assorted odds & ends—memories of Graeco-Roman mystery-cults, Pythagorean speculation (embodying ideas from India), Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, & Jewish magic, & the Neoplatonism & Manichaeism of the late Roman Empire.
The Alexandrian Jews were probably most active in keeping it alive —hence the preponderance of Jewish Kabbalism in the puerile mixture. The Byzantines & Arabs also clung to such stuff —to which was added the scraps of popular European superstition (Latin, Teutonic, Celtic), & the dark lore of the furtive Dianic cults (responsible for witches' Sabbats &c.) which perpetuated the revolting remnants of a lost pre-Aryan nature-worship.
All this lore was disconnected & fragmentary, & there was never any especial book holding a large amount of it. The so-called "Hermetic Volumes" of "Hermes Trismegistus" are simply a set of metaphysical scraps from 3d century Neoplatonism & Philonic Judaisim. It is not until modern times that we see any attempt to collect & codify these scraps.
What the mediaeval & renaissance philosophers & "magicians" wrote is mostly namby-pamby stuff of their own devising —plus the popular folklore of their day (cf. Paracelsus, &c). The first serious collection of ancient magical scraps was Francis Barrett's The Magus —published in 1805 or so & reprinted in 1896.
The first really scholarly material of this sort was the work of the eccentric Frenchman Alphonse-Louis Constant (middle of 19th century), who wrote under the pseudonym "Eliphas Levi". More compilation of the same kind has been done by Arthur Edward Waite (still living, I believe)—who has also translated "Eliphas Levi's" books into English.
If you want to see what the actual "magical" rites & incantations of antiquity & the Middle Ages were like, get the works of Waite —especially his "Black Magic" & "History of Magic". Sorry I don't own these —if I did I'd be glad to lend them. Other stuff can be found in Waite's translations of "Eliphas Levi".
There is a more popular history of sorcery by "Sax Rhomer" (Arthur Sarsfield Ward), whose title I forget. But you will undoubtedly find all this stuff very disappointing. It is flat, childish, pompous, & unconvincing —merely a record of human childishness & gullibiity in past ages.
Any good fiction-writer can think up "records of primal horror" which surpass in imaginative force any occult production which has sprung from genuine credulousness. The crap of the theosophists —which falls into the class of conscious fakery —is interesting in spots. It combines some genuine Hindoo & other Oriental myths with a subtle charlatanism obviously drawn from 19th century scientific concepts.
Scott-Elliot's "Atlantis & the Lost Lemuria" & Sinnett's "Esoteric Buddhism" are rather fascinating. Clark Ashton Smith knows a lot of this stuff, & E. Hoffmann Price read up on it rather extensively some years ago.
Pseudo-scientific or semi-charlatanic stuff forms a class by itself. Among this material (all of which is good fictional source-reading) is the "Atlantis" lore promulgated by Le Plongeon, Donnelly, & Lewis SPence, the "Mu" books of the late Col. Churchward, the miscellaneous editions of Charles Fort, &c., &c. Some of these authors are plain fakers, while others are self-deluded "nuts". But even this kind of thing can't equal a really well-written story.
- H. P. Lovecraft to Willis Conover, 29 July 1936,
Letters to Robert Bloch and Others
* PS: Većinu gornjih fotki kao i tekst ovog HPL pisma preuzeo sam od Bobija Dija (Bobby Dee), velikog izučavaoca HPL-a i autora odlične knjige koju najtoplije preporučujem: SEX AND THE CTHULHU MYTHOS!