Sunday, December 31, 2017

Creepy Repeaters

Looking at the use of language in horror.

This text was created by feeding in the entire script of the Silence of the Lambs film, removing every line that didn't include the word "Clarice", and rearranging them in order of length.

It makes a nice little treatise--or christmas tree--on how much Lecter loves to say her name (perhaps because you have to bear your teeth and bite the air just to say it)--and the uses he puts it to.

Hey, Clarice.
Brave Clarice.
Well, Clarice?
Goodbye, Clarice.
Clarice M Starling.
Hot damn, Clarice.
Not "just", Clarice.
Thank you, Clarice.
Good evening, Clarice.
Clarice M. Good morning.
You're very frank, Clarice.
Yes, he did. Clarice Starling.
I'll help you catch him, Clarice.
Clarice, phone. It's the guru.
Where were you going, Clarice?
What became of your lamb, Clarice?
First principles, Clarice. Simplicity.
No. It is your turn to tell me, Clarice.
I'm Clarice Starling. I'm with the FBl.
I have no plans to call on you, Clarice.
And how do we begin to covet, Clarice?
Our Billy wasn't born a criminal, Clarice.
That was an especially nice touch, Clarice.
How did you feel when you saw him, Clarice?
Look deep within yourself, Clarice Starling.
What did you see, Clarice? What did you see?
Clarice. They're waiting for you. Watch your step.
Don't you feel eyes moving over your body, Clarice?
I've been in this room for eight years now, Clarice.
Yes or no, Clarice? Poor little Catherine is waiting.
If I help you, Clarice, it will be "turns" with us too.
Why, Clarice? Did the rancher make you perform fellatio?
Good morning. Dr Lecter, my name is Clarice Starling.
Oh, Clarice, your problem is you need to get more fun out of life.
I don't imagine the answer is on those second-rate shoes, Clarice.
I've waited, Clarice, but how long can you and old Jackie Boy wait?
Nice to meet you, Clarice. You can hang your coat up there if you like.
Clarice Starling and that awful Jack Crawford have wasted far too much time.
Clarice, doesn't this random scattering of sites seem desperately random, like the elaborations of a bad liar?

Below is a very condensed but surprisingly coherent remix of Lovecraft's original Call of Cthulhu story created by removing every sentence that doesn't have the word "Cthulhu" in it. The overall effect is to get rid of almost everything ordinary or dull in the story and reveal a very effective imagism at the core of the writing. Lovecraft seemed to not want to waste his invented word on any merely scene-shifty sentence.

Once before, it appears, Professor Angell had seen the hellish outlines of the nameless monstrosity, puzzled over the unknown hieroglyphics, and heard the ominous syllables which can be rendered only as “Cthulhu”; and all this in so stirring and horrible a connexion that it is small wonder he pursued young Wilcox with queries and demands for data.

This was that cult, and the prisoners said it had always existed and always would exist, hidden in distant wastes and dark places all over the world until the time when the great priest Cthulhu, from his dark house in the mighty city of R’lyeh under the waters, should rise and bring the earth again beneath his sway.

 He talked of his dreams in a strangely poetic fashion; making me see with terrible vividness the damp Cyclopean city of slimy green stone—whose geometry, he oddly said, was all wrong—and hear with frightened expectancy the ceaseless, half-mental calling from underground: “Cthulhu fhtagn”, “Cthulhu fhtagn”.

Hieroglyphics had covered the walls and pillars, and from some undetermined point below had come a voice that was not a voice; a chaotic sensation which only fancy could transmute into sound, but which he attempted to render by the almost unpronounceable jumble of letters, “Cthulhu fhtagn”.

From Dunedin the Alert and her noisome crew had darted eagerly forth as if imperiously summoned, and on the other side of the earth poets and artists had begun to dream of a strange, dank Cyclopean city whilst a young sculptor had moulded in his sleep the form of the dreaded Cthulhu.

There lay great Cthulhu and his hordes, hidden in green slimy vaults and sending out at last, after cycles incalculable, the thoughts that spread fear to the dreams of the sensitive and called imperiously to the faithful to come on a pilgrimage of liberation and restoration.

I had largely given over my inquiries into what Professor Angell called the “Cthulhu Cult”, and was visiting a learned friend in Paterson, New Jersey; the curator of a local museum and a mineralogist of note.

They all lay in stone houses in Their great city of R’lyeh, preserved by the spells of mighty Cthulhu for a glorious resurrection when the stars and the earth might once more be ready for Them.

That cult would never die till the stars came right again, and the secret priests would take great Cthulhu from His tomb to revive His subjects and resume His rule of earth.

These words had formed part of that dread ritual which told of dead Cthulhu’s dream-vigil in his stone vault at R’lyeh, and I felt deeply moved despite my rational beliefs.

What seemed to be the main document was headed “CTHULHU CULT” in characters painstakingly printed to avoid the erroneous reading of a word so unheard-of.

Then, bolder than the storied Cyclops, great Cthulhu slid greasily into the water and began to pursue with vast wave-raising strokes of cosmic potency.

I suppose that only a single mountain-top, the hideous monolith-crowned citadel whereon great Cthulhu was buried, actually emerged from the waters.

Here were new treasuries of data on the Cthulhu Cult, and evidence that it had strange interests at sea as well as on land.

Cthulhu still lives, too, I suppose, again in that chasm of stone which has shielded him since the sun was young.

The carven idol was great Cthulhu, but none might say whether or not the others were precisely like him.

The two sounds most frequently repeated are those rendered by the letters “Cthulhu” and “R’lyeh”.

After vigintillions of years great Cthulhu was loose again, and ravening for delight.

The chant meant only this: “In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”
“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”
“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”
“In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”

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