“The end is near. I hear a noise at the door, as of some immense slippery body lumbering against it”
Dagon is a short story written in July 1917 by H. P. Lovecraft one of the first stories he wrote as an adult. The story was inspired in part by a dream he had Lovecraft later wrote “I dreamed that whole hideous crawl, and can yet feel the ooze sucking me down!”. In Dagon the unnamed narrator recounts his tale beginning when his cargo ship is captured by a German sea-raider. Escaping on a lifeboat and drifts aimlessly across the sea until eventually finds himself inexplicably stranded on “a slimy expanse of hellish black mire which extended about me in monotonous undulations as far as I could see”. Our narrator recounts the tale of horror that follows bringing it all back to the beginning when he first began in his drug and fear induced state of madness and the reason for the note is revealed.
The eloquence of the vocabulary is what gives this short story all of its punch. It does not feel supernatural but more other worldly and in many ways has a hint of conspiracy to it. Other than the hunted feeling that the story evokes Dagon’s major theme is that of forbidden knowledge. Dagon does not have the same suspense or horror as some other works but it still drives home a hunted and otherworldly feeling into its pages! I as a kid was terrified of a seaweed monster coming to get me when I was staying at my granny’s in Larne and it is this memory that Dagon aroused in me most of all. It is hard to tell you more without giving anything away but it is safe to say that there is a lot more going on under the oceans than we would like to believe according to our narrator that is! I really enjoyed this little tale!