E–pub/Pdf [The Human Chord] ↠ Algernon Blackwood
Note to self Do not despair There s life after Lovecraft I was A Bit Disappointed The Bit Disappointed The disappointed the wasn t so scary like the Wendigo The opening lines of this story have the narrator speaking the theme that Blackwood works almost obsessively in every thing I ve read by him namely that thought and imagination bring things into existence It may not be a purely physical reality but the fears and horrors of the mind can nonetheless come to life in a way that can have a devastating effect on the person thinking them This book dragged in the middle the ending was predictable although the beginning kept interest This is a story that seemed almost Kabbalistic to me The young narrator Spinrobin accepts a position in the remote Welsh mountains with a retired minister who looks like an Old Testament prophet and has a complex perhaps insane perhaps blasphemous belief in the interdependence of sound vibration color and language The Rev Phillip Skale wants to have four people sound a chord which can intone the Tetragrammeton the name of God and hence usher primal powers into the world We shall be as ods he keeps saying Spinrobin is alternately entranced and repulsed falling in love with Skale s impossibly perfect young ward Miriam There is a faint whiff of Lovecraft in this book too with references to impossible eometries and spaces Back when I was a music major in college I took a class in chamber music We formed a woodwind uartet and our professor was a stickler for tone We would practice one note for an hour and a half every week tuning and playing tuning and playing We were about to mutiny when all of a sudden as we played that one C note another tone in perfect harmony the third interval E for you musicians resounded in our ears as clear at if it was being played externally We knew we all heard it from the shocked looks on our faces The professor jubilantly exclaims Now that s what I was listening for We continued to play that one note for the rest of the session marveling in the harmonic sound The realization that our ears could enerate perfect harmony from the playing of one perfect pitch was like a spiritual revelationone of those mysterious yet enlightening experiences we rarely etSo you must forgive me if I do not find Algernon Blackwood s assertion that sound is the key to the mysteries of the universe in The Human Chord all that far fetched Chanting certainly has been used throughout history to find enlightenment and to become one with nature Also that one s true name is all powering or that the true name of the ods hold vast powers if you know it and can harness it is another hypothesis resonating since ancient times Blackwood uses these ideas in this enchantingly dark novel that pits the main protagonist in the choice between being like the ods or fulfilling humble joys in the world as he knows it Of the early 20th century writers of horror fantasy I find Blackwood to be the most original because his horror is based on the secrets of the universe being awe inspiring and world changing rather than the Unspeakable horrors of Lovecraft s ancient ones or Machen s ideas of nature as evil and decadent Blackwood s own fascination with the occult plays heavily here but so does his love of nature and his interest in Zen and Cabalist thought This is the first novel I ve read of Blackwood s but I have read many of his short stories As always Blackwood relies on atmosphere rather than pure scare to disorient the reader s perceptions The author s characterizations are also central to his tale The three main characters embody different parts of our humanity Spinrobin is the everyman who is dissatisfied with his reality but doesn t know why Miriam is the embodiment of innocence and the Rev Skale Scales I m sure the pun is intentional is a version of Captain Ahab an obsessive seeker of a oal that can easily destroy him as well as make him eual to the Who on God's Earth do you 'think' you are?: A true story about TRANSCENDING the ILLUSION of SEPARATION gods The Human Chord can work on many levels beside just being aood fantasy tale which is the very definitive of a classic in horror or fantasy Horror story about an elemental sound machine The slow pacing didn t bother me too much that s standard in most writings of this time period I wasn t a big fan of the ways Blackwood puts himself into his work his ideas about imagination and belief creating a truer reality keep coming up When he threw in a line about that it didn t even make sense in the story it was like he just had to crowbar it in somewhereWhen it comes to horror he s a master Some parts of the book had reat creepy buildups before fizzling outThere was also a bit of my least favorite part of Lovecraft which I was disappointed to find in Blackwood s writing because I thought he was better than that where he describes something as indescribable and leaves it at that The writer s job is to describeThe reason I have it two stars instead of three tho. WANTED by Retired Clergyman Secretarial Assistant with courage and imagination Tenor voice and some knowledge of Hebrew essential; single; unworldly Apply Philip Skale Robert Spinrobin needed the work and he took the dare swallowing the bait whole Unworldly put the match Nd a mansion collapsingSPINROBIN So That Didn T Go As didn t o as You carried me away Oh brave Spinrobin my beloved my Master We shall live happily ever after She laughs hysterically then covers his face with kisses There are many things I can do for you that we couldn t do in Heaven Oh my sweet darling let me meet Mr Winky SPINROBIN Wel I really liked the concept explored in this book Unfortunately not a lot happened overall and the description of the protagonist s feelings and experiences became redundant The ending was only unpredictable in the sense that I thought Nahthat would be too predictable and disappointing What a strange book this is and one I find myself reluctant to recommend unless you have like me an interest in this particular current of weird fiction Algernon Blackwood became famous for his Mesagerul ghost stories in the late Victorian tradition but this is something slightly different it s a novel concerning one Spinrobin a young man who is drawn to a remote house in the Welsh hills to work with the Reverend Philip Skale his housekeeper and a young woman called Miriam Skale is working on a series of mysterious occult experiments in sound Basically he is convinced that every aspect of the physical world is a manifestation of sound waves at freuencies too distant for the human ears to sense and he believes that if only he can find the right chord and the right words in ancient Hebrew no less then he might be able to speak the true names of any being up to and including God himselfThe really peculiar thing about all this is that the book is written in such a way as you feel the author actually believed in what Skale was talking about The fact that Blackwood himself was a member of the occult Order of the Golden Dawn may have had some influence here because what Skale preaches is essentially mysticism with aloss of pseudoscience Whereas a really well written novel might immerse its own ideas in a destructive element to paraphrase Conrad to see how they stand up to scrutiny the effect here is reminiscent of reading the output of someone who is directly convince the reader into believing something really odd and basically untrue And I really don t think that Judy Blume: Fearless Storyteller for Teens good novels should do thatIt s not totally without merit there are a couple of seuences which possess theleeful spookiness of Blackwood s best stories but all things considered the bombastic style and somewhat monotonous approach to its subject matter rather undermine the authority of what ought to be a much involving novel When I started this book I couldn t help but think of The Island of Dr Moreau There are initial similarities such as the seclusion and the main character s lack of understanding of everything around him The obsession evident and necessary for the story to progress This book ends up taking a different turn than Moreau onto a metaphysical and religious road that had it been explained to me before reading would have dashed any interest I hadI should start by explaining that I am tone deaf This does not mean that I do not appreciate music On the contrary if I am not reading then I have music playing somewhere I am simply unable to tell the difference between notes and chords if I am even using those terms correctly See that is a perfect example of why I am too deficient in the basics of music to fully appreciate this story But the music though vital to the book as the essence of the story is but a tool of a power hungry man which leads to a final decision which is the point of the story I continue to flucuate between a 3 and 5 star rating odd in my opinion The idea was original and unlike anything I have ever read The story was told in Blackwood s wonderfully dreadful voice I believe certain passages were slightly redundant and wordy and the characters of typical stock material I was not fond of the romance I kind of found it to be creepy The ending was far from shocking But with a book like this it is the journey to the ending and not any type of final reveal which is important and most enjoyable I expected the ending as it was If it had turned out the opposite I think I would have loved the book even Picking apart that type of tragic ending would have been loads fun In the end this is a beautiful story which I highly recommend I consider this to be a uotable book with many pause worthy passages and memorable descriptionsAlong those lines compare these uotes I love the mutual beliefs Frank Herbert Think you of the fact that a deaf person cannnot hear Then what deafness may we not all possess What senses do we lack that we cannot see and cannot hear another world all around usBlackwood in this book Knowing how limited is the world which the senses report he saw nothing too inconceivable in the idea that certain persons might possess a peculiar inner structure of the spirit by which supersensuous things can be perceive. T language Courage and imagination he lumped in so to speak with the rest It was a dare he lived to regret By the conseuences of that decision had played themselves out the very whisper of his voice had become a furnace that burned so fiercely that nothing could survive it. Ugh some of the horror elements "were really ood was because this story is as a whole a sappy love story of "really ood was because this story is as a whole a sappy love story of worst type Perhaps the
worst thing to read is a story about a young couple in love I was waiting for thing to read is a story about a young couple in love I was waiting for tragedy that never came it just What Am I Doing with My Life?: And other late night internet searches answered by the great philosophers got shmoopier Algernon Blackwood s work is a treasure I ve been able to hoard sinceetting a Kindle Cost and shelf space preventing me from indulging previously If I d know HUMAN CHORD ACTIVATEA Review Fantasia plus Spoilers in 3 Acts and a Prelude PRELUDESCENE A young man ROBERT SPINROBIN sensitive and effeminate in appearance sits in a threadbare apartment in turn of the century London with a newspaper in his lapSPINROBIN to the audience Alas Where is adventure Where is the expansion of my mind I who possess the mystical vision of a poet cannot be content with lowly drudge work in an office Oh how I long for my imaginary childhood companion little Winky to take me on some soul expanding journey Oh Winky I miss our adventuresBut what is this He looks down towards his paper SPINROBIN reading from the newspaper Wanted by Retired Clergyman Secretarial Assistant with courage and imagination Tenor voice and some knowledge of Hebrew essential single unworldly Apply Philip Skale SPINROBIN to the audience I have found my Jimmy: The Terrorist grand adventure ACT ISCENEAn empty rail station with a lonely but inspiring natural landscape looming in the background Spinrobin stands waiting with his bags A tall imposing heavily bearded man clad in knickerbockers REVEREND SKALE approachesSPINROBIN to the audience Could this fearsome being be the Reverend Skale My adventure approachesSPINROBIN to the approaching man Dear sir I am at your service Pray tell me what is reuired My tenor is strong My knowledge of Hebrew is improving I have no woman I am singularly unworldly Tell me Reverend Sir are you leading me to somereat adventure of the mind indeed of the very soulSKALE Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah Sure ACT IISCENEA dinner table inside of a How to Live the James Bond Lifestyle: The Complete Seminar gloomy mansion lit by candlelight The sound of moaning wind At the head of the table sits Reverend Skale on one side of him sits a nervous looking Spinrobin and on the other side sits a young lady MIRIAM who is staring at Spinrobin with a cow like expression of presumably devotion and love Standing behind Skale is an old woman and servant MRS MAWLE whose withered left arm is in a sling and who is holding an ear horn to her right earSPINROBIN Dear Sir Please tell me of the adventure that awaits us all I understand it involves singing and the coming together of voices the forming of some sort of Human Chord but for what purpose Pray tellSKALE Night time sharpens heightens each sensation Darkness stirs and wakes imagination Silently the senses abandon their defensesSlowlyently night unfurls its splendor Grasp it sense it tremulous and tender Turn your face away from the More scary stories for sleep-overs garish light of dayTurn your thoughts away from cold unfeeling lightAnd listen to the music of the nightThe stage is suddenly darkened SKALE in baritone slowly increasing in volume AaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaPOWER OF HUMAN CHORD ACTIVATEThere is a flash and then a spotlight focuses on the table and there appears a little dancing manneuin of Reverend SkaleMANNIUIN SKALE in tiny childlike voice See what I do I become small He heheheheThe spotlightoes off and footlights illuminate a huge puppet version of Skale looming in the background face contorted in maniacal laughterGIANT PUPPET SKALE in huge booming voice See what I do I become large Ho hohohohoLight returns to the stage the mannikin and the puppet have disappeared Skale is smiling widely like a madman So is Mrs Mawle Miriam is still mooning at Spinrobin whose mouth is hanging open in surprise and fearMIRIAM to Spinrobin Oh Mrs Mawle Miriam is still mooning at Spinrobin whose mouth is hanging open in surprise and fearMIRIAM to Spinrobin Oh You are so tender so wise so very sensitive I am yours You are my MasterSPINROBIN nervously to Skale Bu bu bu but what is thi thi this The human voice is capable of such unnatural wonders by simply uttering the right notes By naming the unnameable I have always imagined this to be so even as a child when playing with my beloved imaginary companion Winky But what will our human chord provoke And what shall happen if a human chord is sung incorrectly He looks significantly at Mrs Mawle s ear horn and withered arm What is your ultimate oal Reverend Sir Into what shall we be transformedSKALE We shall become GOD you dullardAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA HAHAHA HA HA HASPINROBIN Huh ACT IIISCENEA forest Spinrobin and Miriam lie huddled behind some bushes azing at the back of the stage There in the background is a huge mansion engulfed in flames painted backdrop and the sounds of a woman s alto and man s baritone can be heard singing fervently The singing voices suddenly turn into agonized shrieks before being drowned in the sounds of crackling flames Nd he flamed up He possessed it seemed the other necessary ualifications; for a thin tenor voice not unmusical was his and also a smattering of Hebrew which he had picked up at Cambridge because he liked the fine high sounding names of deities and angels to be found in tha.