The icy wind of time

A few thoughts on “At the Mountains of Madness”…

One of the fascinating aspects of this story is that the Elder Things are – finally – HPL’s first alien good guys. While the scenario in SooT was definitely written as a sort of utopia, the Elder Things are actually closer to humanity than one might believe. As the protagonist explains, “[…] they were not evil things of their kind. They were the men of another age and another order of being.”

But, of course, they found their nemesis. Not in the other beings living on earth. But in their own creation. The shoggoths, backbone of the Elder Things’ civilization, were the eventual cause of its annihilation. An entire race, wiped out by its own hubris.

Sounds familiar? It is the cornerstone of almost every (post-)apocalyptic scenario. HPL’s warning seems even more urgent today: We have to be careful, or we will be destroyed by our own creation. For some, the climate change may be the creation, for others the threat of nuclear destruction, either from atomic weapons or careless handling of nuclear reactors.

I hope we can learn a lesson from the mistakes the Elder Things made. Otherwise unwitting explorers might stumble upon our dead cities and learn the tale of our downfall…

Published in: on May 30, 2011 at 00:22  Leave a Comment  

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