H. P. Lovecraft
Mark Kinsey Stephenson, Bryan Moore, Art Kitching
Nyarlathotep, Abdul Alhazred, Azathoth, Yog‑Sothoth, Herbert West
The statement of randolph carter h p lovecraft halloween scary stories classic horror
Randolph Carter is a recurring fictional character in H. P. Lovecraft's fiction and is, presumably, an alter ego of Lovecraft himself. The character first appears in "The Statement of Randolph Carter", a short story Lovecraft wrote in 1919 based on one of his dreams. An American magazine called The Vagrant published the story in May 1920.
- The statement of randolph carter h p lovecraft halloween scary stories classic horror
- The statement of randolph carter
- Character biography
- In literature
- In comics
- In parodies
- In games
- In film
- Chronological appearances
- Real life influences
Carter shares many of Lovecraft's personal traits: He is an uncelebrated author, whose writings are seldom noticed. A melancholy figure, Carter is a quiet contemplative dreamer with a sensitive disposition, prone to fainting during times of emotional stress. But he can also be courageous, with enough strength of mind and character to face and foil the horrific creatures of the Dreamlands (see also Lovecraft's Dream Cycle).
The statement of randolph carter
In Lovecraft's writings, Carter appears or is mentioned in the following tales, given in fictional chronological order.
Randolph Carter is an antiquarian and one-time student of the fictional Miskatonic University. Based on clues from various stories, he was probably born around 1874 and grew up in and around Boston. At the age of nine, he underwent a mysterious experience at his great-uncle Christopher's farm and thereafter exhibited a gift of prophecy.
He is the descendant of Sir Randolph Carter, who had studied magic during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England. Sir Randolph had then emigrated to America and his son Edmund Carter later had to flee the Salem witch-trials. Carter also had an ancestor involved in one of the Crusades, who was captured by the Muslims and learned "wild secrets" from them.
Carter served in the French Foreign Legion during the First World War, and was badly wounded in fighting near Belloy-en-Santerre in 1916, presumably during the Battle of the Somme in which the Legion participated. Poet Alan Seeger perished there in the Foreign Legion on the first day of the Somme, and Lovecraft may well have had Seeger in mind; Lovecraft penned a poem to Seeger's memory in 1918.
"The Statement of Randolph Carter" is narrated in flashback by Carter while being interrogated by the police, who suspect him of murdering Harley Warren. Carter and his friend Harley Warren investigate a mysterious crypt in an ancient abandoned cemetery. Warren believes the crypt may contain evidence that could confirm some of his speculations (details of these speculations are never revealed, but it is said that Warren recently read a mysterious book written in an unknown language about incorruptibility of the dead). Upon reaching the cemetery, Carter and Warren uncover the crypt by lifting an immense granite slab, revealing a set of stone steps leading downward into the earth. Warren insists that Carter remain at the surface. He descends the steps alone, but remains in communication with Carter via a portable telephone set. Shortly thereafter he tells Carter that he has discovered a monstrous unbelievable secret and pleads with his companion to replace the stone and run for his life. When Carter asks what he has found, his queries are initially met with silence and then by the voice of an unknown entity who informs him that Warren is dead. The story is almost verbatim from one of Lovecraft's nightmares, with but minor changes like the name "Lovecraft" to "Warren".
"The Unnamable" begins with Carter in conversation with his friend Joel Manton, principal of a New England high school, discussing the supposedly mythical creature that bears the story's name. The tale is set in a seventeenth-century cemetery as evening falls. Initially, Manton is skeptical and ridicules Carter for thinking that such a being may be possible. As darkness encroaches – and as Carter's descriptions become more detailed and supported by facts – his flippant dismissal gradually gives way to fear. The two are attacked by the monster but survive the experience. "The Unnameable" is notable for containing extensive quoted dialog between the characters, something which Lovecraft scarcely used at all in the rest of his fiction.
There is some question as to whether "The Unnamable's" protagonist is in fact Randolph Carter; he is named only as "Carter" and described as an author of weird fiction. An oblique reference to this incident is found in "The Silver Key".
The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath–one of Lovecraft's longest tales–follows Carter for several months searching for the lost city of his dreams. The story reveals Carter's familiarity with much of Lovecraft's fictional universe. Carter is also shown to possess considerable knowledge of the politics and geography of the dream world and has allies there. After an elaborate odyssey, Carter awakes in his Boston apartment, with only a fleeting impression of the dream world he left behind, though he now knows what the lost city actually is.
"The Silver Key"—perhaps the most overtly philosophical of Lovecraft's fiction—finds Carter entering middle age and losing his "key to the gate of dreams." No longer is Carter able to escape the mundane realities of life and enter the Lovecraftian dreamworld that alone has given him happiness. Wonder is gone and he has forgotten the fact that life is nothing more than a set of mental images, where there is no fundamental distinction between dreams and reality and no reason to value one above the other. In an attempt to recover his lost innocence, Carter returns to his childhood home and finds a mysterious silver key, which allows him to enter a cave and magically emerge again in the year 1883 as a child, full of wonder, dreams, and happiness. He remains in this condition until 1928, when he again disappears, presumably having found a way to transcend space and time and travel in other dimensions.
"Through the Gates of the Silver Key," written in collaboration with Lovecraft admirer E. Hoffman Price, details Carter's adventures in another dimension where he encounters a more primordial version of himself (implied to be Yog-Sothoth) who explains that Carter—and indeed all beings—are ultimately nothing more than manifestations of a greater being. Carter's mind ends up trapped in the body of an alien, another facet of the higher being. The investigation into Carter's disappearance takes place four years later, in 1932.
"Out of the Aeons" by Lovecraft and Hazel Heald features a brief 1931 appearance by Carter, while trapped in the alien body. He visits a museum exhibiting an ancient mummy from a long-forgotten civilization and recognizes some of the writing on the scroll that accompanies it.
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This list is based in the An H. P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia.
An H. P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia doesn't mention anything about the chronology of "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" or "Out of the Aeons". Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi used the chronology Lovecraft gives in "The Silver Key" in which the events in "The Statement of Randolph Carter" took place when Carter was in his late forties. Joshi says it would also explain why he was called a "bag of nerves" in that story, since it took place after his World War I service in which he was nearly killed and might still have post-traumatic stress.
Lovecraft's character may have been based on a real-life Randolph Carter, who was a Scholar at Christ's College, in the University of Cambridge, from 1892-1895. Carter took his Part I Tripos in Oriental Studies (Arabic), and his Part II in Egyptology. While at Cambridge, he was an acquaintance of Sir James George Frazer, author of The Golden Bough. Carter's whereabouts after Cambridge are unclear, but, like his fictional namesake, he may have used the French Foreign Legion as a route into exploring the North African deserts. College records do not indicate whether Carter was a US or British citizen.