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The Brahmin's Wisdom
Posted by: casofile (IP Logged)
Date: 25 June, 2004 01:00AM
The story "The Brahmin's Wisdom" was included in UNTOLD TALES of CLARK ASHTON SMITH (Crypt of Cthulhu #27) and a copy is also found among the CAS papers at Brown University, but apparently this tale was NOT written by CAS. I've asked both Steve Behrends and Donald Sidney-Fryer about this, and while they agree the tale is not by Smith, neither one can recall exactly why not. Evidently while the manuscript is unsigned, there are sufficient differences between it and the authentic CAS papers to rule out CAS as the author. After re-reading the story (it can be found on site among the writings/short stories) I agree that it does not read much like Smith, although the title, theme, and ironic content do seem much like CAS.
The question is: If not CAS, then who wrote this tale? Was it Donald Wandrei, E. Hoffmann Price, or another of Smith's literary friends? Or was it something that some unknown friend or fan sent CAS to evaluate? I'd be curious to learn what others think of the story, so have a read and let us know what you think. (It's quite short)
I hope to get a copy of the manuscript at some point and see what the actual evidence is, but in the meanwhile perhaps Boyd could add a note to this tale mentioning that the authorship is in doubt.

Re: The Brahmin's Wisdom
Posted by: calonlan (IP Logged)
Date: 27 June, 2004 08:26PM
Just read the story here on this site - first time I've ever seen it
that I recall - stylisctically alone it is not CAS - no resemblence to his form of writing - If someone finds the manuscript, I would
suspect a handwriting comparison will put it on Wandrei's doorstep.

Re: The Brahmin's Wisdom
Posted by: Boyd (IP Logged)
Date: 28 June, 2008 12:17AM
Thought - i would share a recent email

Regarding the question of the authorship of "The Brahmin's Wisdom":
The story is by the German author Gustav Meyrink.
Original title: "Die Weisheit des Brahmanen"
Published in: "Des deutschen Spie├čers Wunderhorn"


Re: The Brahmin's Wisdom
Posted by: J. B. Post (IP Logged)
Date: 28 June, 2008 08:03AM
Meyrink is an interesting author in his own right and THE GOLEM is a strange book length tale with a strange ending. HPL apparently thought it had good atmosphere.

But, yes, a manuscript version of a German story in CAS's papers is odd. Was it a translation sent to CAS?


Re: The Brahmin's Wisdom
Posted by: casofile (IP Logged)
Date: 29 June, 2008 10:48AM
Great! Another mystery solved . . . I suppose that if Lovecraft was familiar with an English translation of Meyrink's "The Golem" it seems likely he was also the source of the copy of "The Brahmin's Wisdom" which he may have circulated among his circle of correspondents for their opinions. I wonder if HPL's "Selected Letters" might turn up any references to this story (as he heads towards the bookshelves . .)

Re: The Brahmin's Wisdom
Posted by: calonlan (IP Logged)
Date: 29 June, 2008 11:07AM
There is no doubt that the work is not Clark's -- Even as the subject elsewhere of French translations is observed, one might like to see this in German - What we have here is a high-school level translation - It might actually function in German where the sounds of the words, and in particular the parallel lines could build an atmosphere of substance - would it not have been fine to have had Clark translate his own stuff into French? Hard to say - It would be a rare gift indeed for an author to hear the same music in a language other than that in which the song first came to him - In my experience, the translations of the works of Nikos Kazantzakis into English have been the most successful when compared to the original Greek - German often translates simplistically, missing the craggy glory of the language.

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