“Green Meadow, The“


“Green Meadow, The“
   Short story (2,330 words); written in collaboration with Winifred Virginia Jackson, c. 1918 or 1919. First published in Vagrant(Spring 1927) (as “Translated by Elizabeth Neville Berkeley and Lewis Theobald, Jun.”); first collected in BWS; corrected text in HM
   An introductory note states that the following narrative was found in a notebook embedded in a meteorite that landed in the sea near the coast of Maine. This notebook was made of some unearthly substance and the text was “Greek of the purest classical quality.”The narrative itself tells of a person who finds himself (or, conceivably, herself) on a peninsula near a rushing stream, not knowing who he is and how he got there. The peninsula breaks off its land mass and floats down the river, which is gradually wearing away the soil of the newly created island. The narrator sees in the distance a green meadow. His island is approaching it, and gradually he hears a weird singing on it; but as he approaches close enough to see “the sourceof the chanting,” he suddenly experiences a cataclysmic revelation: “therein was revealed the hideous solution of all which had puzzled me.” But after a few hints the text becomes illegible.
   HPL admits that the story was based upon a dream that Jackson had, probably in late 1918, and that this dream “was exceptionally singular in that I had one exactly like it myself—save that mine did not extend so far. It was only when I had related my dream that Miss J. related the similar and more fully developed one” ( SL1.116). Elsewhere HPL states that he added the “quasi-realistic… introduction from my own imagination” (HPL to the Gallomo, [January] 1920; AHT). The fact of the document being in Greek is intended to suggest that it is the “narrative of an ancient Greek philosopher who had escaped from the earth and landed on some other planet” ( SL1.136), although it is difficult to arrive at this conclusion from the text alone.
   See Stefan Dziemianowicz, “‘The Green Meadow’ and ‘The Willows’: Lovecraft, Blackwood, and a Peculiar Coincidence,” LS Nos. 19/20 (Fall 1989): 33–39.

An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia. .

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