Read Before Providence #6: Hali’s Booke and Lovecraft’s Necronomicon

Providence 6 cover, left, and Alumni Hall, right. Photo via Wikipedia.
Providence #6 cover, left, and St. Anselm College’s Alumni Hall, right. Cover art by Jacen Burrows. Photo via Wikipedia.

Providence #6 hits stores on November 25!

At the end of Providence #5, Robert Black was still in Manchester, NH, having had some very unsettling dreams in the house of witch Hekeziah Massey. We don’t have any real advance knowledge of what will be featured in issue number 6, though there are a few clues.

Providence #6 may well feature:

  • Dr. Hector North – Black encountered Dr. North at the beginning and end (Pages 3 and 25) of Providence #5, and was last seen in North’s home. North/West appears on the Portrait variant cover for Providence #6. Dr. North is the Providence’s analogue of Dr. Herbert West of Lovecraft’s “Herbert West—Reanimator.” For additional background on West, see our earlier preview post summarizing him and his exploits.
  • Elspeth – Black encountered Elspeth (whose last name has not been revealed yet), on the bridge on P6 of Providence #5. Elspeth is the Providence analogue of Asenath Waite from “The Thing on the Doorstep.” Asenath/Elspeth appears on the Women of HPL variant cover for Providence #6. Asenath Waite is a young Miskatonic University student, who is possessed by the soul of her father. Most of the events of “The Thing on the Doorstep” would likely take place well after Providence‘s 1919, but Asenath/Elspeth and her father could have some ties to the American coven called the Worshipful Order of the Stella Sapiente.
  • St. Anselm College – St. Anselm College is a stand-in for Lovecraft’s fictional Miskatonic University which appears in numerous stories. Providence #6 regular cover features St. Anselm’s Alumni Hall.

What is almost certain is that Black will continue his quest to view St. Anselm’s copy of Hali’s Booke of the Wisdom of the Stars – so this is a good opportunity to highlight the differences between Lovecraft’s conception of the Necronomicon and its Providence equivalent.

In Providence, the dreaded book goes by a few names. Its original Arabic name was Kitab Al-Hikmah Al-Najmiyya. It was later translated to Latin with the title Liber Stella Sapiente, and then into English as Hali’s Booke of the Wisdom of the Stars. Suydam’s pamphlet (P31-40 in Providence #2) contains an extensive, though not entirely trustworthy, history of the Kitab. It might be helpful to refer to our new timeline to follow along.

Hali's Book of the Wisdom of the Stars, from the Providence #4 Portrait variant cover - art by Jacen Burrows
Hali’s Booke of the Wisdom of the Stars, from the Providence #4 Portrait variant cover – art by Jacen Burrows

According to Lovecraft’s “History of the Necronomicon,” the Miskatonic University Library’s copy is a Latin edition from the 17th century, printed in Spain, and is one of three such copies of the Latin edition in the United States; this is generally consistent with most of Lovecraft’s other stories, though a secret copy appears in “The Festival” and another in The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. Other editions hinted at or given in America are a partial English translation by John Dee, in the possession of the Whateley family in “The Dunwich Horror,” and a Greek edition held by the Pickman family, whose descendants include Richard Upton Pickman of “Pickman’s Model.”

However, Moore has already somewhat departed from this basic model. Hali’s Booke is already in English, not Latin, and there is no translation by Dr. Dee – rather, Garland Wheatley was transcribing portions of it directly. Likewise, Moore makes no suggestion of a Greek edition in his publishing history of the Kitab, so if Ronald Underwood Pitman (the Providence analogue of Richard Upton Pickman) has access to a copy, it is probably either the St. Anselm edition or a copy thereof. It will be interesting to see if Black’s continued researches take him down to Boston to visit Pitman… or if his researches bring him into contact with the Providence counterparts to some of Lovecraft’s other characters who encountered the Necronomicon, such as Edward Pickman Derby of “The Thing on the Doorstep” (whose name already suggests a possible connection to the Boston Pickmans), or the librarian Dr. Henry Armitage of “The Thing on the Doorstep” (whose already-named but so far not-seen Providence equivalent is Dr. Wantage).

So far, Providence readers have not encountered any of the companion texts in Lovecraft’s shared universe, fictional tomes like the Book of Eibon, Pnakotic Fragments, Cultes des GoulesDe Vermis Mysteriis, and Unaussprechlichen Kulten. So far, Hali’s Booke appears to be almost uniquely efficacious in terms of occult techniques or knowledge – or, at least, if any other grimoires possess working magic, they haven’t so far been named or showcased. In part, this might be Moore’s individual style, keeping the supernatural elements subdued rather than flashy, or a desire not to overwhelm the readers with too much confusing mythology at once, but it would seem likely that if the Worshipful Order of the Stella Sapiente have donated Hali’s Booke to St. Anselm’s, the bequest might include many of the other works mentioned in the Starry Wisdom library in “The Haunter of the Dark“, or at least their Providence equivalents:

Here for the first time he received a positive shock of objective horror, for the titles of those books told him much. They were the black, forbidden things which most sane people have never even heard of, or have heard of only in furtive, timorous whispers; the banned and dreaded repositories of equivocal secrets and immemorial formulae which have trickled down the stream of time from the days of man’s youth, and the dim, fabulous days before man was. He had himself read many of them—a Latin version of the abhorred Necronomicon, the sinister Liber Ivonis,the infamous Cultes des Goules of Comte d’Erlette, the Unaussprechlichen Kulten of von Junzt, and old Ludvig Prinn’s hellish De Vermis Mysteriis. But there were others he had known merely by reputation or not at all—the Pnakotic Manuscripts, the Book of Dzyan, and a crumbling volume in wholly unidentifiable characters yet with certain symbols and diagrams shudderingly recognisable to the occult student.

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64 thoughts on “Read Before Providence #6: Hali’s Booke and Lovecraft’s Necronomicon

  1. Great content as usual!

    In case some might not be aware of it, it seems like Providence #6 will not be coming until December (this is the month of release stated by a number of websites including avatarpress.com). I just learned this and it surprised me a bit since I thought the art for the series was basically already done so there would be no need for delays. Anyway, I guess that leaves another month to prepare for #6.

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    • According to Avatar shipping announcements, PROVIDENCE #7 is not shipping in January ’16. Looks like the earliest we’ll see it is early February. Comic book shipping schedules have gotten insane. Just because a book may be “in the can” doesn’t mean it will ship on a regular basis especially for a small publisher like Avatar. I’m pretty sure PROVIDENCE #5 unexpectedly shipped a few weeks early in late September was to not get lost in the deluge of new #1s from Marvel in October.

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  2. december… boooo!

    anyway this is probably a better place for my comment about the (false) latin used in the series. “book of the wisdom of the stars” in latin would be *liber stellarum sapientiae*. i’m not sure there is anything much to be inferred from AM’s version – unless tomas medina is correct and “stella sapiente” is intended to be read as an anagram for a type of fungus (which really seems like more of a delightful coincidence than anything deliberate); i think he just made a mistake… he doesn’t do that very often, but it does happen..!

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  3. I think Moore’s Necronomicon stand-in may be looking to the real magical book Picatrix for some of its inspiration, a work which deals extensively with astrological magic (wisdom of the stars?). It was originally an Arabic work, the Ghayat al-Hakim (The goal of the wise); no-one knows for sure when it was written, I’ve seen dates given between the 8th and 11th centuries. At least some of the material comes from the ‘Sabians’ of Harran, whose cult revered the stars (they famously are meant to have had temples to each of the 7 classical planets); the text contains some of their invocations. Harran is in the same part of the Middle East as the Yezidi, who are referenced by the seller of peacock feathers in #2. Anyway, it seems most likely that the Ghayat al-Hakim was composed later (10th or 11th century) but it certainly incorporates earlier material. The author is a matter of debate. The text was translated into Latin in the 13th century in Spain on the orders of Alphonso of Castille, during the 1250s; I think this is mentioned in Moore’s history of his text, which is what made me think of it. This is when it got the name Picatrix, the derivation of which is also a matter of debate. I don’t know if Aldus Manutius produced an edition, the Aldine Press generally concerned itself with classical Greek and Latin texts rather than books on magic. There was no English translation until the 20th or maybe even 21st century to my knowledge. Robert Turner was real and did produce English versions of magical texts in the 1600s, but not the Picatrix I believe; in recent years there have been two editions produced that I know, one being a translation of the Latin and another of the original – and longer – Arabic text. Of course, that doesn’t mean there haven’t been private translations made down the centuries, or ones of limited circulation.

    Alan Moore is a famous occultist as well as graphic novelist, and I’m sure he is familiar with the history of Picatrix and may have used it for his re-working of Lovecraft’s Necronomicon, padding out the history with references to real publishers of ancient and magical texts like Aldus Manutius and Robert Turner to further ground his book in reality.

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    • I would agree, and I think Moore was likely basing that at least in part on The Necronomicon Files, which in part looks at possible real-world inspirations for the Necronomicon.

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      • I’ve not read the Necronomicon Files, but I have heard of it. Moore is well into occultism and is widely read, so I don’t think he would necessarily have relied on Necronomicon Files…having said that, if I recall correctly the introduction to the translation of Picatrix from the Latin mentions the history of Picatrix as a possible inspiration to Lovecraft, and that may well be referencing Necronomicon Files.

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  4. It’s quite possible this book will slow down as it goes on and there could be larger gaps between the final issues. But if you look carefully at Providence there is now way this thing could be drawn quickly or just “knocked out” like many comics. The detail we see here takes time and that’s all there is to it. But in the long run I think it will be worth it when the story is compete and the wait is forgotten. By the way I am told issue 6 should be in stores the last week of November.

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  5. A few early notes:

    The text reflected in Black’s glasses reads:
    and so shall every hour be reckoned as a man’s pace
    in that desert which is time, a mighty wasteland
    [h]idden that its victims know it not, nor feel its
    [bla]sting winds that render them to bone and d[ust]

    Black’s Aklo transcription seems to be quite accurate, except for its *name*, which he renders “Aolo”.

    “Mathilde” must be Mathilde Roulet, so the soul which (mostly) resides in Elspeth Wade was originally that of Etienne Roulet!

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    • We also learn what “fhtagn” actually means in Aklo: “That which dreams itself.” The famous phrase “Cthulhu fhtagn” therefore means that Cthulhu dreams itself into existence; further notes from Black’s transcription support this, indicating that Cthulhu will retroactively create its own history (and probably the new history of the universe).

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  6. I figured that the “make an impression” bit was actually very literal. They want Black to write about them – he’s the Herald and it’s very much like meeting one of the members of a band you love.

    They want to be remembered.

    Then it’s compounded that they might know that all of this eventually becomes stories that Lovecraft will write – which is an actual impression.

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  7. A small adition to #6 annotation on panel 1: another piece on the Thoth-Hermes connection between Robert Black and the “messenger” in Hali’s Booke is the depiction of Hermes in the cover of his Commonplace Book, seen back on issue #1.

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  8. We’ve had multiple mentions of the “hooked cross” being a tool of restraint. Combined with the holocaust foreshadowing, I am wondering if, somehow, the Reich is actually an attempt to derail the redeemer prophecy.
    And while I get the idea of Black becoming the source of the mythos, he has been almost insufferably oblivious to what he has been experiencing. If he tried to convey what he has seen to HPL now, even with his notes in the common book, the result would not be the stories we know.
    Unless somehow HPL and Black manage to switch memories, and HPL sees the truth of what is happening.

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  9. I am starting to wonder whether the title of this series refers not just to (or not even primarily to) the city in Rhode Island, but the concept of “providence” itself, which is usually defined as something like “divine guidance or care.” After all, the geographical Providence so far has played little, if any, role in the story. By contrast, SOMETHING is certainly guiding Black, and given the nature of what he’s dealing with, he’s been far more protected and cared for to this point than any other Lovecraftian protagonist. The black humor of the title, of course, is that it’s certainly not the God of Jews or Christians from whom this providence flows.

    Cthulhu? Nyarlathotep? There’s no telling yet, but we should remember the famous phrase on Lovecraft’s tombstone: “I AM PROVIDENCE.”

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  10. A correction for Page 18, Panel 1:

    >”The objects on the radio appear to be a pack of Chesterfield brand cigarettes and a hip flask”

    That is a cigarette lighter, not a hip flask. I have seen many of a similar design. Look at the size – too small for a flask. Also, the mechanism at top is how it is lit, simultaneously exposing the wick and striking the flint.

    Note how Elspeth makes use of it on Page 23, Panel 2.

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  11. If, like me, you were initially confused about why you can’t seem to spell “Cthulhu” in the Aklo letters, look to the way that the reverse of “Y’Golonac” is spelled. The “C” at the end, which normally we would pronounce as a hard “C,” is represented by a “CH” in Aklo, which is its own letter.

    So it looks to me that “Cthulhu” in Aklo would be represented by the letters “CH”,”TH”, “U”, “L”, “H”, and “U”. I have not tried writing that out in the actual Aklo script, since (a) I prefer my sanity unblasted, and (b) I suck at drawing and cursive.

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    • Thanks for the updated translation. The level of wrongness just keeps rising for this issue. Moore certainly has outdone himself on this one. Anyone remember the scandalous release of MiracleMan #6 and it being pulled from the shelves by shops in Texas? or the little hub-bub about Courtyard being pulled from libraries? In addition to his brilliance, Moore is fearless in what topics he’ll address. Very different than HPL in that sense.

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      • Very different than HPL in that sense.

        Eh. Very different sensibilities. Lovecraft wasn’t inclined to write bedroom scenes, but that doesn’t mean he was afraid to write them – it was a matter of taste more than anything. HPL did write about (often hinting, but still there) bestiality, necrophilia, miscegenation (cosmic and otherwise), polyandry, incest, eugenics, and cannibalism among other subjects – and he did that while struggling with issues of censorship in the pulps, whereas Moore has relatively free hand. So, different men, different environments. I appreciate that Moore wants to bring to the page the stuff that Lovecraft – by personal taste and editorial necessity – left off, but it would be a mistake to consider that the result of fear on HPL’s part.

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  12. I was holding out hope that Lovecraft himself (appearing as an actual character) would not actually be central to the climax of Providence. Having the author of the canon that all this is based on/inspired by actually appear in the story itself gets into metafictional territory that I personally find pretty dicey and hard to pull off (e.g. stephen king inserting himself into the dark tower series). For my money, Providence is already so well researched and full of references to Lovecraft’s real life (both coded and obvious) that it never needs to come to the surface like that. I’m more about the whole theme of exploring the mythos as representations of the repressed collective unconsciousness of the time, than I am interested in somehow “explaining” why Lovecraft ended up writing his stories. But based on the abundance of clues buried in this recent issue (and obviously Moore’s stated initial inspiration for the story) I feel I’ll have to just trust Moore not to be too ham-fisted about it all because it seems pretty clear that Lovecraft is “The Redeemer”, and is showing up.

    I just wanted to mention my suspicion that the “Buren” alluded to in #3 by Boggs may very well be the Providence analog for Whipple Van Buren Phillips, Lovecraft’s grandfather who helped raise him. I was on the fence, but I’m pretty sure that’s ol’ Whipple in the middle of that Pittman Stell Sap photo in #6. With the new excerpts of Hali’s Booke describing in greater detail The Redeemer’s CV first heard from Willard Wheatley, they do seem to confirm Whipple’s involvement. So my suspicion is that the Stella Sapiente photo features (l to r) Garland, Leticia, Whipple Phillips, Colwyn (or whatever Moore’s calling Charles Dexter Ward), possibly Winfield, and Edgar Ward. Side note, this is what wikipedia has to say about Whipple Phillips’ death: “On Sunday evening, March 27, 1904, while he was visiting the home of a crony, Alderman Gray, he was seized by a “paralytic shock”, likely a stroke. He died the following day, near midnight at his home at 454 Angell Street.” – Sounds an awful lot like an attack by the Haunter in the Dark to me… not entirely surprising considering the series seems to be building towards tackling that story (along with CDW and The Shunned House).

    I’ve still got some questions: if (Moore’s fictional) Lovecraft was involved with the Stella Sapiente from birth (it’s been alluded to that his birth was a Stella Sapiente plan), why would he need “The Messenger” Robert Black to tell him anything? Surely Whipple would have schooled him before his death. and if “The Redeemer” is going to do nothing more supernatural than write a bunch of mildly popular weird fiction, that seems a little anticlimactic. Lovecraft’s work didn’t expose the repressive unconsciousness, it reveled in it, as Moore is making quite plain. how Lovecraft “sets the world right” I’m not sure (that seems a little more like Cthulhu’s MO if you ask me)

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    • I felt that it’s central because it has to tie back to Neonomicon. Lovecraft’s fiction maintain the popularity of the myhos and fuels the misguided and malicious wannabe Dagon Cultists of that story who lead to the conception of Cthulhu.
      Of course Whipple probably taught Lovecraft, but only through the guise of “Weird Fiction” no doubt.

      Harley/Black gives Carter/Lovecraft the ammunition necessary to shine that dark light into the future.

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    • >why would he need “The Messenger” Robert Black to tell him anything?

      I conjecture that in the Providence universe HPL was to be told/initiated into the Stell Saps on reaching his adulthood, but there was no one to do this as his father and grandfather were both dead well before that time. Mother, too, as I recall. The Messenger serves the same purpose as Johnny Carcosa did in Neonomicon, to reveal the Annunciation.

      The Redeemer in his lifetime may have done little, but he would have planted the seed that would grow quite large. He’s been dead 75 years, and in the interim his Mythos and other works have been ingrained into the collective unconscious via movies, TV shows, homages by other authors, even a godsdamn series of plush dolls. Much like Tolkien and his Hobbits, there are plenty of people out there who have never read a word of HPL’s purple prose yet can on sight identify the dread Koo-Too-Loo.

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  13. >”“Aqlo” is apparently a phonetic early spelling of “Aklo,” the language of “The Dunwich Horror,” mentioned in The Courtyard, Neonomicon, and Providence.”

    This appears a nod to HPL’s own fetish for archaic spellings, such as Esquimaux for Eskimo.

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  14. One thing I liked is that early on Moore described Providence as sort of a sequel. That is once again brought to the forefront in the last passage of the Kitab that Black copies down.
    Basically that Cthulhu would end up dreaming a new past that would lead to his arrival.

    We see his conception in Neonomicon, and Providence is the new past he is dreaming in the womb.

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  15. Yeah, I must say I’m a bigger fan of Providence than I was/am of Neonomicon. Neonomicon always felt very slapdash and all over the place in its plots and themes, and it’s quite a bit less rich in my opinion (despite all the HPL in-jokes). It’s fun but not redefining or anything. Black may be oblivious but he’s already a much better character than Brears. Always felt like I could sense Moore’s urgent need for cash in that one. Whereas Providence is layered, is working on so many levels for me (like From Hell and his other top tier stuff). Which is why I’m sort of torn about it all leading up to Neonomicon, sort of like writing a lame climax to a story then going back and writing an INCREDIBLE first three acts. (as an example, I will be annoyed if johnny carcosa shows up when Nyarlothotep time eventually comes in Providence, because I think most of the characters Moore’s concocted for Providence are already better-drawn than Carcosa ever was, and the Nyarlothotep of Providence should be 100x more frightening in my opinion)

    I mean, Moore has Cthulhu being born out of nothing more complicated/intricate than a male Deep One impregnating a human woman, whereas there seems to be an endless amount of qualifications and circumstances and a 300+ year quest by multiple evil sorcerers to bring about “The Redeemer”, whose purpose is more or less that of a Prophet for this entity. When Boggs makes reference to the problems with M/F Deep One/Human couplings (something about continuing to grow) I couldn’t help think of Brears…

    And since this is a prequel to Neonomicon, he won’t be named “Carter”, he’ll have to be named Lovecraft won’t he? Seeing as they do refer to Lovecraft by name and all…

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    • Oh and admittedly we don’t know WHAT the 1919 Stell Sap situation is yet, but if the order is still active at all it seems strange that Lovecraft would be left out, considering he’s their christ-figure. And Ettiene Roulet/Edgar/Elspeth seemingly prefers to study undergrad at Anslems to overseeing the Redeemer he helped create? Hell, even ol’ Massey’s around (someplace…). If Whipple was dropped by the Haunter, maybe they’re all just banking on The Messenger showing up…

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      • Hahah, what I meant is that like Garland Wheatley was the Wizard Whately analogue, and Wantage for Armitage, and so on and on – I merely mean that Lovecraft is the Randolph Carter analogue. It’s the most one-to-one comparison, and the annunciation that the Herald/Black/Warren is meant to give to Lovecraft could very well be the events described in “The Statement” short story.

        Which is, of course, very dire news for Robert Black indeed.

        I think that the Starry Wisdom Cult/Stell Sap is really drawn along the lines of the schism. Wheately seemed to really be disappointed in the Redeemer as he was and so saw fit to try and create his own. It’s partly why he was cast out.
        Meanwhile, the rest probably trust in the Necronomicon/Hali’s Booke – if it says he needs to be educated by Whipple, so be it. If it says the Herald will come, then so be it. I figure they don’t put much guess work other than waiting.

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      • Also, I would love to see Johnny Carcosa – but with Providence layers. In terms of Neonomicon, he was the only thing worth remembering.
        And I see it more as Neonomicon leads up to Providence than the other way around.

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  16. Ah, I see what you were getting at of course. Analogs for Lovecraft’s characters, an analog for Lovecraft, hell why not an analog for a Lovecraft character based on Lovecraft. Wouldn’t be confounding at all!

    I was surprised Black escaped Manchester without running into Erich Zann! Loving the geography of it all though. I can’t seem to recall any other stories set in Boston beyond “Pickman’s”, though it seems safe to bet we’ll be running into Hector North again there. I figured while we were up in NH we’d pop over to VT and run into the Akeleys, but it seems not (though I still suspect the brain-cylinders are connected to the 4 methods!)

    Where else do you guys suspect we’ll be headed before the giant-sized Providence, RI final chapters? I don’t think Moore can ignore Marblehead/Kingsport, and I’m excited to see how/if he tackles The Festival.

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    • Exactly, although not to that extent. Black and Harley’s inspiration do share some, if a bit superficial, similarities…and it’s been a usual practice to equate Carter and Lovecraft similarly haha. What better way to end the series than with Lovecraft finding himself in that situation?
      What better motivation?

      With 6 issues left, I think it’s easy to think we’ll get these at the very least aside from Pickman’s Model. The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, The Picture in the House, The Terrible Old Man, and maybe at least ONE dreamscape story.

      Plus – does anyone else want to see Sweet Ermengarde make it into Providence?

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  17. Maybe it’s Wantage and Race and whoever who destroy Willard’s brother on Sentinel Hill- not because they are the “good guys” as in the Dunwich Horror but because they are they Wheatley’s “competition” in this world.

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  18. Comments on the first draft of the annotations for this issue:

    P3.p1:
    “Letting things rest” can be read in yet another way. This issue is full of Shakespearean euphemisms, such as “thing” = “genitalia”.

    “probably the one I’m planning to write.” Given teh connection this issue to The Shadow Out of Time, perhaps Black IS the author of the Kitab?

    P4.p3:
    Typo: “Aesnath”.

    P5.p1:
    Again, “things” and “coming” are not just referring to scandals, but directly to sex.

    P8.p3:
    Actually, the main character of TSOoT is “Nathaniel Wingate Peaslee”; “Wingate Peaslee” is his son.

    I note that the word “Paisley” refers to a particularly garish kind of fabric, one commonly associated with homosexuals. I begin to note a pattern of Moore using names which have fairly blatant symbolism. But then, this is only reasonable when reflecting a reality that features a man named “Lovecraft”, and his Jewish, homosexual friend “Loveman”!

    P10.p1:
    Edgar Wade lacking the beard may be at least partially to emphasize the striking physical similarity between him and Etienne Roulet (as seen in Suydam’s pamphlet).

    P10.2:
    “Passed on when when was barely eight years old.” Missing pronouns here. Also, mispelling of “Aesnath” again.

    P13.p2:
    “‘ch,’ ‘tz’, ‘sh’, and ‘th’” are not “syllables”, but simply non-english letters. See for example http://mentalfloss.com/article/31904/12-letters-didnt-make-alphabet

    P14.p4:
    Error: you mean P16.p3

    P15.p4:
    Error: you mean P16.p2.

    P18.p2:
    There’s an extraneous line break after “Underwood”.

    P20.p1:
    “…and we all wish to make an impression.” Or more figuratively, “We wish to *impress* you, that is, press you into a certain shape (psychologically / mystically).”

    P21.p3:
    Something is wrong with your quotations; you’re missing lots of white space that would make this more clear.

    Withdrawing before ejaculation is, on one level, avoiding the inconvenience of impregnating the Elspeth body. On another level, it almost certainly has magical significance. I am reminded of Aleister Crowley’s “sacrifice of a perfect child”…

    P31:
    “…aren’t even any of those words with an S that looks like an F.” In my own reading of old books, I have almost never seen the “long” or “medial” s in english prior to the late 1600s. Black (but almost certainly not Moore) is missing the point that Hali’s Booke (1651) is too *early* to contain them!

    “black letter typography” One must of course observe the pun in a man named Black writing (in letters) about Blackletter.

    “but its shadow” This also calls to mind Plato’s allegory of the cave (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_Cave).

    P32:
    Again, your quotation seems to be missing some white space.

    P34
    “country matters,” is, of course, another Shakespearean euphemism.

    P37
    “Cloaking reversals”: Aklo is apparently spelled right-to-left. So it bears more than just an aesthetic similarity to Hebrew. Given that Black’s covert Jewishness is an important theme, these correspondences seem significant.

    “The second if of warmth or cold” Typo: “if”. Question: What method (in Providence or HPL’s work) uses *warmth*?

    P39:
    “…a cross with hooks…” The use of the word “hooks” resonates with the fact that this symbol has (some) power against fish-people.

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    • Thanks- updated nearly all of these – and just realized we somehow had comments turned off on the Providence 6 page! It should accept comments over there now! Sorry we made it more difficult than it should be.

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    • I’ve never heard of paisley as being a gay thing. And “Hakenkreuz” is another word for “Swastika”. Meaning, in German, “hooked cross”.

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      • Re: Paisley: (…goes and does research…) Huh. I was able to find a few links, but only fairly weak ones. I wonder where I got that notion?

        Added a note on hakenkreuz; thanks!

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  19. about similarities to Hebrew : the order of the letters is exactly like Hebrew except for the 2 last ones, as Hebrew Alphabet have 22 letters. some of the letters are actual Hebrew: D, V, Z, L, O, R, SH. some are not even remotely close to Hebrew letters.

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  20. With reference to page 16 of Providence 6, the name Finney has already been used in Providence. Mr Malachi Finney is mentioned in the Church of St. Jude pamphlet in Black’s commonplace book at the end of Providsence 3. He is a resident of Salem and a member of the Friends of Oannes. This may be a nod towards Asenath Waite’s (and therefore Elspeth Wade’s) Innsmouth/Salem connections.

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