“Medusa’s Coil”

The Lovecraft series continues with another primary revision.

Raw Feed (2005): “Medusa’s Coil”, Zealia Bishop [and H. P. Lovecraft], 1930.hm

This is, in general plot, that old ghost style formula of visiting the odd house at night, seeing horrifying things, leaving the house in the morning only to be told by a local that that house and its owner (seemingly alive last night) burned years ago.

Of course, the narrator, as they always do in these stories, finds material proof (the hair of the home’s owner) that what he saw was reality.

However, in this general framework is an interesting take off on the Medusa story with the mysterious Marceline being the descendent of a long line of priestesses serving in a cult older than Atlantis — specifically Cthulhu deities.

The final sentence, in which it is revealed she is part Negro, is less racist (though parts of the story certainly play into old stereotypes of blacks) than a linkage of her with the horrible cult out of Zimbabwe.

Her hair really does turn out to be a hideously alive. (Therefore, all three Bishop-Lovecraft collaborations have snake motifs.)

I liked the horrible portrait painted of her, and the brief asides and explanations of the Decadent philosophy spoken of approvingly and personified here by Marsh.

More reviews of Lovecraft related titles are indexed on the Lovecraft page.

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