Lovecraft: Disturbing the Universe

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Lovecraft: Disturbing the Universe by Donald R Burleson.

Donald Burleson writes a very distinctive sort of Lovecraft criticism. He takes a post-structuralist approach (with nods to Derrida and de Man), and reads all of the stories as allegories about the indeterminacy of language and the subversion of conceptual categories. In Lovecraft: Disturbing the Universe he studies a representative assortment of thirteen stories, arranging them chronologically. On the whole, I found this a very satisfying exercise.

Some of my favorite analyses were those for “The Statement of Randolph Carter,” “The Music of Erich Zann,” and “The Color Out of Space,” the last two of which ranked among HPL’s favorites of his own stories. “The Cats of Ulthar” got a full treatment from Burleson, but I was left with the feeling that he had still only scratched the surface, even despite his droll final remark regarding feline lawlessness (48).

I would have liked it better if the attention to Indo-European roots made up a slightly lower proportion of the total text. I don’t think that Burleson’s method on this count is worthless, but after a few chapters, it starts to seem almost mechanical, in the way that he analyzes the story titles and key place and character names for their Indo-European roots and then takes the polyvalence of those roots as traces of textual strain and self-contradiction. Fortunately, there are many other facets to these studies.

The jacket copy proposes that the book is concerned with “establishing Lovecraft as an important figure in American literature,” but Burleson’s preface immediately acknowledges prior serious literary criticism regarding Lovecraft’s work, and the focus throughout this study is on the texts, not the author. When Burleson discusses “The Outsider,” he does not compare the protagonist to the author, but to the reader. He deprecates his own chronological arrangement of the analyzed stories as an arbitrary convenience (15-6), and never suggests a progression or development among them.

Burleson’s work here is an excellent antidote to reductionist readings of Lovecraft, whether psychological, philosophical, ideological, or genealogical. Neither Lovecraft’s unusual personal character, his atheism and “cosmicism,” his racism, nor his inspirations from other writers can be credited with the quality that Burleson ultimately codes as unreadability, a self-deepening mystery that rewards those willing to explore the stories and their shadows, a transgressive concealment that is rooted in the very nature of language. [via]

For the Convening of a Sexual Congress


For the Convening of a Sexual Congress

Ambient adornment for solitary or group rituals celebrating a birthday, half moon, or changing of the seasons. This track can be incorporated into numerous ceremonial circumstances involving the passage from one state into another.

Magick Music and Ritual 13 Sun Duel 1

Magick Music and Ritual 13 Sun Duel 2

Magick Music and Ritual 13 Sun Duel 3

Sun Duel is an open-ended esoteric musical project of the Universal Love Upload, creating inspirational sounds for use by its members as well as the general public.

Over-arching thematic concerns include an existential examination of Self in its processes, such as the nature of Time as biological function and social construct, “Otherness” in gender and sexuality, and the co-opting of public spaces as sites of trance and transgression. We emerge in works of instability and hybridity. Through storytelling and the performative application of ceremonial and archetypal signifiers, we confront and inhabit Mystery, Cruelty, Joy, and the Uncanny.

This structuring of duration on site is achieved through theatricality, prayer/ focused intention, and the internalization of collage processes so that the resulting sounds, images and actions come to function somewhat as marks on a map, and the primacy of individual works is subsumed into conceptual clusters to be read in whole or in part- a system in continual growth and collapse.

Follow Sun Duel via
Anthology profile


Madame Pele


Madame Pele

Madame Pele is a simple offering spell to the magnificent goddess Pele to ask for pure creation to come from her wise and purposeful destruction, the ending of this song mimics the eruption of her glory.

Hermetic Library Anthology Artist Skunky Beaumont

My name is Skunky Beaumont, I am a sound wizard currently residing in Los Angeles. I’ve been active under this moniker for about 5 years and have released 8 records. In this time I’ve played all over Los Angeles and Socal including Whiskey A-Go-Go on Sunset Blvd and East Jesus in Slab City.

Follow Skunky Beaumont via
Anthology profile


Young wizards are always surprised to discover that magic doesn’t solve most of their problems.

Bill Kieffer, The Goat




SONICK is the first sigil in the Sonick Templars first album “Orders of Service: Birth of a FOOL.” Orders of Service is a eight part ritual used to give birth to and initiate a spirit into the Great Work.

Sonick Templars, lead by Vovin Lonshin, are Knightz ov Khaos dedicated to the work of creating Sonick Sigils.

The system of making Sonick Sigils was created by Vovin and Dr. Louie Martinié as way to create drum beats for New Orleans loa and other western spirits.

The Sonick Templars first album “Orders of Service: Birth of a FOOL” is a eight part ritual giving birth to the spirit of The Fool. The Orders of Service was performed as part of a workshop at Babalon Rising and one of the Sigil (songs) was used for two rituals lead by Bill Duvendack.

Follow Sonick Templars via
Anthology profile