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Abominations of Yondo - Zothique?
Posted by: ThinkerX (IP Logged)
Date: 27 May, 2013 03:06AM
I've read through the CAS stories normally placed in the 'Zothique' cycle.

To me, it seems that 'Abominations of Yondo' belongs to this group as well: the tone indicates a far future setting 'bloated sun' and the setting appears compatable with northern Zothique.

Thoughts?

Re: Abominations of Yondo - Zothique?
Posted by: jimrockhill2001 (IP Logged)
Date: 27 May, 2013 05:26PM
I agree that there are similarities, but I do not believe this story takes place in Zothique. It is not just that it precedss Gnydron/Zothique and fails to mention any of the lands associated with the world of the dying sun. Smith is depicting a world, like some of the lands in Dunsany, that ends at a distant horizon with a definite rim leading into the abyss of space; hence the fragments of asteroids and other space detritus mentioned in the first paragraph.

Re: Abominations of Yondo - Zothique?
Posted by: jdworth (IP Logged)
Date: 28 May, 2013 12:11AM
I would agree with Jim on this. There are certainly similarities, but at best I would say that it is a case of a distant foreshadowing of the creation of Zothique, in some ways like what Tolkien did with the Father Christmas Letters, where one sees various things which are, if you will, nascent forms of things which later became important aspects of Middle-earth. "Yondo" is related to the later Zothique tales in this way perhaps, but I just can't see it being any more direct than that.

Re: Abominations of Yondo - Zothique?
Posted by: ThinkerX (IP Logged)
Date: 28 May, 2013 02:03AM
Quote:
Smith is depicting a world, like some of the lands in Dunsany, that ends at a distant horizon with a definite rim leading into the abyss of space; hence the fragments of asteroids and other space detritus mentioned in the first paragraph.

Problem is, at least one other definite 'Zothique' story also has a 'edge' to the world, or at least a character who believes such.

From 'Necromancy in Naat':

Quote:
'This I had apprehended when the storm bore us westward: for we have fallen into the grip of that terrible ocean-stream which mariners call the Black River. Evermore the stream surges and swiftens toward the place of the sun's outermost setting, till it pours at last from the world's rim. Between us now and that final verge there is no land saving the evil land of Naat, which is called also the Isle of Necromancers. I know not which were the worse fate, to be wrecked on that infamous isle or hurled into space with the waters falling from earth's edge.

Re: Abominations of Yondo - Zothique?
Posted by: jdworth (IP Logged)
Date: 28 May, 2013 04:39PM
Even granting a literal reading indicating that the "world's rim" does drop away into the void (rather than, as you also mention, it being merely the belief of the inhabitants of that world), this is the sort of similarity mentioned above, and is extremely common with writers. Some go so far as to call even this reuse of a particular detail or motif "cannibalism", but I would argue it is more properly seen as simply an idea which holds a special fascination for that writer.

Either way, it is far too slender an indication to place "Yondo" in with the Zothique tales; especially as it was still some time before Smith evolved the idea of Zothique proper....

Re: Abominations of Yondo - Zothique?
Posted by: jimrockhill2001 (IP Logged)
Date: 28 May, 2013 04:58PM
Excellent point, but whereas the rim is a peripheral concern in "Necromancy in Naat", it is one of the dominant features of Yondo. "Abominations of Yondo" certainly shares motifs with Zothique (as do several of the poems and prose poems), but if Smith had intended it to be part of the cycle he surely would have included it in the list of stories he set in that dying land, or referred to either Ong or Yondo in one of the stories set there.

Re: Abominations of Yondo - Zothique?
Posted by: calonlan (IP Logged)
Date: 28 May, 2013 11:08PM
Very interesting thread Gentlefolk -
I recall an evening discussion which may be related, in which we speculated about what kinds of matters we would have discussed and fears we would have had, if we had lived in a world with the pre-scientific outlook regarding geography and astronomy - it is an important exercise actually for any Historian to project himself into "Der Sitz im Leben" of the era he is studying - judging the past by present mind-sets is a futile and jejeune undertaking - interestingly, we also attempted to project ourselves into an imaginary future, in which our present "advanced" understanding of the universe had become as quaint as the 12th century seems to us. What might the future races know that makes our perception of reality absurd? hmmmm?



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