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Information on Smith's unfinished "House of Haon-Dor"
Posted by: charaina (IP Logged)
Date: 29 August, 2020 09:31PM
Hello all. I know that there is a synopsis of "The House of Haon Dor" in Smith's Black Book, and a fragment in Strange Shadows, but are there any other details in his letters/correspondence?

Re: Information on Smith's unfinished "House of Haon-Dor"
Posted by: Hespire (IP Logged)
Date: 31 August, 2020 03:20AM
Unfortunately there are no letters on this site referring to Haon-Dor, but maybe you'll find something if you read a copy of Dawnward Spire, Lonely Hill, since CAS and HPL enjoyed sharing their plot ideas with each other, even for stories they'd never end up writing.

Why are you interested in the antehuman sorcerer, by the way? Do you plan on writing that story yourself?

In less useful news, CAS made a sculpture titled "Antehuman Grotesque." The title likely doesn't refer to any specific being, but rather a general idea of a creature. Still, it's funny thinking Haon-Dor could look something like this:

[eldritchdark.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 31 Aug 20 | 03:22AM by Hespire.

Re: Information on Smith's unfinished "House of Haon-Dor"
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 31 August, 2020 04:03AM
In Lovecraft's and CAS's correspondence, CAS's talks about completing the tale, and Lovecraft is repeatedly eager to get a chance to read it (he writes, "... the fragmentary outline of which is tremendously alluring") . But nothing more develops from it.

Haon-Dor is also mentioned in "The Seven Geases".

Re: Information on Smith's unfinished "House of Haon-Dor"
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 31 August, 2020 10:30AM
"Huan-Dor" sounds so much like Jack Vance's "Ulan Dhor" (1950) from THE DYING EARTH, that it is hard not to think there is some kind of connection, especially since it is pretty clear (to me) that Vance's DYING EARTH was influenced by CAS. But then again, it is unclear how there could there be a connection, in this case.

Re: Information on Smith's unfinished "House of Haon-Dor"
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 31 August, 2020 11:36AM
Lovecraft wrote to CAS:

"These various neo-Rosicrucian orders must be rather picturesque ....surely no tame & commonplace society would be sending its novices to the madhouse! And that lone, forbidding shanty on the sea-cliff, beneath which branch the nighted burrows of the Gnophs & Gnoles! Nrrrgghhh ........ I surely hope to see your tale ["The House of Haon-Dor"] based on that horror. If I ever had any cash to fling around, I think I'd join one of those nut-circles--for they certainly must treat their suckers to an impressive & literarily usable line of bull!"

Re: Information on Smith's unfinished "House of Haon-Dor"
Posted by: Hespire (IP Logged)
Date: 31 August, 2020 12:02PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lovecraft wrote to CAS:
>
> "These various neo-Rosicrucian orders must be
> rather picturesque ....surely no tame &
> commonplace society would be sending its novices
> to the madhouse! And that lone, forbidding shanty
> on the sea-cliff, beneath which branch the nighted
> burrows of the Gnophs & Gnoles! Nrrrgghhh ........
> I surely hope to see your tale ["The House of
> Haon-Dor"] based on that horror. If I ever had any
> cash to fling around, I think I'd join one of
> those nut-circles--for they certainly must treat
> their suckers to an impressive & literarily usable
> line of bull!"


Fascinating stuff. I was curious to know if CAS had any interest in occultist groups after I read his synopsis for "The House of Haon-Dor." It seems he and HPL had a small discussion on the subject in relation to this unfinished story. What did CAS say that led to HPL's response, or is that letter unavailable?

Re: Information on Smith's unfinished "House of Haon-Dor"
Posted by: charaina (IP Logged)
Date: 31 August, 2020 12:27PM
This is all quite interesting. Does Smith provide any details on he plot in his correspondence with Lovecraft?

Re: Information on Smith's unfinished "House of Haon-Dor"
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 31 August, 2020 12:44PM
Unfortunately several of CAS's letters from the correspondence appear to be missing.

Re: Information on Smith's unfinished "House of Haon-Dor"
Posted by: Hespire (IP Logged)
Date: 31 August, 2020 12:56PM
A shame perhaps, but one's own imagination is a fun way of exploring others' hints and suggestions much deeper.

Universal considered turning some of CAS' published stories into theatrical films in his lifetime. The synopsis for "House of Haon-Dor" alone could have inspired a great black-and-white monster movie classic!

Re: Information on Smith's unfinished "House of Haon-Dor"
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 31 August, 2020 06:54PM
Maybe...

CAS, for those who read his stuff, has mystique, in spades...and for some odd reason, this is extremely important to me.

Would it survive being made into a B movie?

I don't know. I'm unfamiliar with the idea for the story under discussion.

What do you think?

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: Information on Smith's unfinished "House of Haon-Dor"
Posted by: Hespire (IP Logged)
Date: 31 August, 2020 07:30PM
Sawfish Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> CAS, for those who read his stuff, has mystique,
> in spades...and for some odd reason, this is
> extremely important to me.
>
> Would it survive being made into a B movie?


I'm wary of turning his stories into cinema, unless it's an artfully inspired film. That's not to say I'm a raving fan who would cry "they ruined the book!", and I would definitely find any attempt interesting, but I guess I'd rather avoid the whole issue. Most likely they'd have to alter the story to suit a generic audience's tastes, which means dumbing down or entirely removing the most unique and nuanced qualities. Based on my narrow understanding, most young people wouldn't like the sort of fantasy CAS writes. PG-rated young adult dystopian fiction is what's most popular these days, especially the kind that have predictable plots and cliched character types, since they keep adapting those into films. Also the type of story in which an adolescent becomes the messiah of some hidden world.

Universal Studios considered turning the stories "The Dark Eidolon" and "The Colossus of Ylourgne" into movies, and CAS was okay with this. Personally I don't think any Hollywood production would do the first one justice, but I can see a decent chance in the latter, with its dramatic mystery, definite hero and villain, and somewhat action-oriented plot. Whether as a black-and-white flick or a CGI-laden drama, this probably wouldn't be too hard to adapt well.

"The House of Haon-Dor" is little more than a synopsis and a fragment, so my comment was rather reckless, but I think the synopsis is the sort of thing Universal could have picked up for a black-and-white monster movie, and it would probably be easier to produce than "The Dark Eidolon" since at least half of the story takes place in a mundane setting.


Quote:
Sawfish
I'm unfamiliar with the idea for the story under discussion.

The synopsis can be found in CAS' Black Book, and a small fragment of the story can be read in the story section of this site.

Here's CAS' synopsis:

Quote:
A tumbledown cabin on the verge of the deep hydraulic diggings at Cougar Hollow, which some believe to be deserted, and others say is haunted or inhabited. A youth named Robert Farway, living for the summer near the diggings, and prospecting for his health, enters the cabin in spite of the warnings he has received from the members of a society of occultists, the Brotherhood of the Sun, who have their establishment in the neighborhood. He comes out an utterly different person, and it becomes evident that some alien and demoniac entity has taken possession of him. When he attempts an act of vampirism, the nature of the entity is obvious. The narrator, Wiley Hastane, uncle of the youth, and the head of the colony of occultists, one Antonius Mer((goin))la, ((enter the cabin)) follow the youth to the cabin in an effort to rescue him-and entering at night, find themselves in a vast, fiend-haunted edifice of which the cabin is merely the vestible. Here, beleaguered by elementals, opposed by unthinkable monstrosities, they ((find them in)) fight their way from depth to depth in search of the master of the house, the evil magician Haon-Dor, who has ensouled the youth with one of his attendant vampires, and has confined the youth's soul in a monstrous form. Haon-Dor, in the shape of a fifteen foot rattlesnake, ((de)) guards the ultimate vault of abominations and [the] vampire corpse, and a terrible struggle ensues between the snake and the white master, Antonius. With the vanquishing of the serpent, the vampire leaves the youth, and returns to its own body, that of a prehistoric mummy.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 31 Aug 20 | 07:44PM by Hespire.

Re: Information on Smith's unfinished "House of Haon-Dor"
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 31 August, 2020 07:54PM
Gosh.

I'd prefer to think that the guy who wrote The Witchcraft of Ulua had nothing to do with that...

Sorry, but you know how I am, Hespire! ;^)

BTW, our daughter came home unexpectedly from her job in CA for my wife's birthday (yesterday! 64! and she looks about 45!); she (my daughter) is fortunate in that she can work remotely.

Anway, I talked about the link to Japanese monsters that you sent, and told her:

"Can you image these coming off the ferry in Miayazaki's "Spirited Away", coming to Ubaba's bath house to "replenish themselves"?

She laughed and laughed...

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: Information on Smith's unfinished "House of Haon-Dor"
Posted by: Hespire (IP Logged)
Date: 31 August, 2020 08:29PM
Haha! "Ulua" is definitely among his more raunchy stories, and a favorite of mine, though something about it elevates it above most horror-sexual fantasies for me. Maybe it's just the beautiful writing, and the creative phantasmagoria of fiends. Even CAS and HPL agreed it wasn't the average schlock fest.

I think CAS' early interplanetary stories could have possibly been suited for the cheesy sci-fi treatment, though I don't think any film in his lifetime would have had the budget for them! Aside from the stop-motion puppets of King Kong, special effects were somewhat limited.

"Charnel God" might also be one of his more accessible stories, since the heroic protagonist prevails and the scheming villain gets his just desserts. And I think the nuance of the characters' personalities, expressions, and the ominousness of the ancient city and its masked priests, could have been nicely portrayed in a classic flick. Not sure how well Hollywood would handle it today though, but certainly it would either be good or just so-so, since I don't think a story like this would be easy to mess up!

I plan to respond to the folklore thread soon, so I'll answer the rest there!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 31 Aug 20 | 08:31PM by Hespire.

Re: Information on Smith's unfinished "House of Haon-Dor"
Posted by: Platypus (IP Logged)
Date: 1 September, 2020 10:10AM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Haon-Dor is also mentioned in "The Seven Geases".

Ah, ok. That explains the "Ulan Dhor" / "Haon-Dor" similarity.



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