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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

THE VRIL SOCIETIES & VARIATIONS

I was in college when I read the works of EDWARD BULWER- LYTTON in the Hamilton Library Building at UNH around the early fifties. My readings in the library were often completely unconnected to any of my actual studies or subjects but more of what I wanted to read, needed to read for personal reasons, and also to fill in gaps and to round out my interests. Needless to say, I read a lot of fiction by 'classic authors, and many in translation into English. Some works I wanted to read were not available,of course, but I was an ardent searcher among the stacks, and I sometimes bought books being sold off by the library, something most libraries seem far too eager to do these days, as a result of the insane and  inane  obsessions with 'electronic' data and formats, none of which I want to replace actual books regardless of other factors that many laud and extoll in their basic ignorance.


Lord Lytton's THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEI, I had seen on the screen when a youth in my town of Claremont, NH, at the MAGNET THEATER, long since burned down and never replaced. I have also read, if there was one, the 'CLASSIC COMIC' or 'CLASSIC ILLUSTRATED' COMIC (which  replaced the originals) of 'THE LAST DAYS'. I now find I need to re-read the actual book, which I may have glanced at or partially read, along with some other things by Lytton in college. I am particularly interested in his sections on THE WORSHIP OF ISIS as practiced in ANCIENT ROME at the time of the RISE OF EARLY CHRISTIANITY in the so-called 'PAGAN' world. Most people do not know the actual meanings of the word itself. THE WORSHIP OF ISIS as well as other 'Goddesses' or counterparts of 'masculine' gods have interested me over the years. Various cultures have some rather interesting ones that are sometimes in vogue among moderns from time to time, either as objects of actual worship or devotion,etc.

'THE COMING RACE' & 'ZANONI' were the ones I read. The latter,I read first, if I recall, since it purportedly dealt with some 'ROSICRUCIAN' descriptions and subjects, while the former dealt with VRIL and a subterranean race of people. I had heard of such 'peoples' before: one was a JULES VERNE story, another a TARZAN (EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS novel, which I eventually acquired when the TARZAN & other works by BURROUGHS came out in paperbacks, and,of course, H.G.WELLS' story, THE TIME MACHINE.   

Such stories are often labeled and tagged as 'SCIENCE FICTION' of which there are innumerable works and classics, from simple 'rocket ship excursions' to planets and the moon and even galaxies, many of which I managed to read before college and also listen to radio programs with such themes, like DIMENSION X, X-MINUS ONE, 2000 PLUS, etc. as well as BUCK ROGERS and also the comics, the BIG & BETTER LITTLE BOOKS, and all the movies from silent to color for many years, aside from the few pulps and Sunday comics I read. I also got interested, of course,in Atomic Energy, UFO's, SPACE TRAVEL, Meteors, etc. and other astronomical topics, even taking a course in ASTRONOMY in college at which I did not excel.