Monster?

July 27th marked the day I finished reading The Secret Glory by Arthur Machen. It is held to be one of his best works, and so far from what I have read, I concur. His characterization is some of the best I have ever come across, and let’s face it: the only reason I ever started to read his works was due to the promise of faeries. And yes, I was duped, but gladly.

Now that the cat’s out of the bag, the story turns down another dark corner; as some of you may have guessed Machen led me down the corridor to Lovecraft. My first taste was The Great God Pan, which took the stance that the world of Faerie will only lead mankind to madness. It was presented as being a world as ugly as it was beautiful.

Similar after its own fashion, the bulk of Lovecraft’s work presents the universe in much the same way, wherein the lifting of the veil has the same outcome: madness.

In both cases madness would lead to death.

Obviously, the cat had something going for it: curiosity kills.

And now that brings me to the question: what is a monster?

(Aren’t you dying to know?)

monster |ˈmänstər|

noun

an imaginary creature that is typically large, ugly, and frightening.

-an inhumanly cruel or wicked person: he was an unfeeling, treacherous monster.

-often humorous a person, typically a child, who is rude or badly behaved: Christopher is only a year old, but already he is a little monster .

-a thing or animal that is excessively or dauntingly large: this is a monster of a book, almost 2,000 pages | [ as modifier ] : a monster 120-mm gun.

-a congenitally malformed or mutant animal or plant.

Therefore monsters can be anything.

(My, my, the cat just developed teratophobia.)

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