A chilling and poetic passage from/through H. P. Lovecraft’s Mountains of Madness…

“Our sensations of tense expectancy as we prepared to round the crest and peer out over an untrodden world can hardly be described on paper; even though we had no cause to think the regions beyond the range essentially different from those already seen and traversed. The touch of evil mystery in these barrier mountains, and in the beckoning sea of opalescent sky glimpsed betwixt their summits, was a highly subtle and attenuated matter not to be explained in literal words. Rather was it an affair of vague psychological symbolism and aesthetic association – a thing mixed up with exotic poetry and paintings, and with archaic myths lurking in shunned and forbidden volumes. Even the wind’s burden held a peculiar strain of conscious malignity; and for a second it seemed that the composite sound included a bizarre musical whistling or piping over a wide range as the blast swept in and out of the omnipresent and resonant cave-mouths. There was a cloudy note of reminiscent repulsion in this sound, as complex and unplaceable as any of the other dark impressions…” – H. P. Lovecraft, At the mountains of madness

Nicholas Roerich’s ‘Pink Mountains’ (1933)

NB. The featured image is also by Nicholas Roerich (Ice sphinx, 1938). Roerich is repeatedly mentioned throughout At the Mountains of Madness (1936), and was one amongst many artists who were deeply influential for Lovecraft.

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