I know, this is one of those topics that is difficult to get at. The various efforts to give concrete form to the Necronomicon have created a discursive Scylla and Charybdis. On the one side, you find those who accept that the appearance of the text in Lovecraft’s fiction serves a prophetic role, calling out to the occultists who would give it concrete form. On the other side, you have those invested in its fundamentally literary character dismissing such efforts as, at best, a really weird and potentially schizophrenic sort of fan service.
That dilemma is actually useful for me, though. It repeats in miniature the tension I have been gesturing at between aesthetic and occult modernity. In the last post on this topic, I put forward the notion that what the artist often does is provide the occultist with a sensibility, a manner of seeing and understanding, that provides the occultist with a window into a previously less visible (or perhaps previously inaccessible) spiritual network. Here I want to suggest that the Necronomicon defines a key element of that.
To do this, I will need to position the Necronomicon in its fictional context, as a literary element that serves as a locus of occult associations. It does more than just conjoin disparate elements, but links them into a potent talismanic image. It is as a subtle talismanic force rather than a text that I want to seek out the nature of the Necronomicon.
With this in mind, let’s turn to the Necronomicon as it H. P. Lovecraft uses it within his work. I will break this discussion into three or four posts. The first two posts are just notebook posts that lay out the various appearances of the Necronomicon in Lovecraft’s work. The first post gathers together mentions of the text while the second post gathers together the quotations from the text that Lovecraft composed.
From there, the post(s) will proceed to analyze that material and examine it against its occult horizon.