“Memory“


“Memory“
   Prose poem (350 words); probably written in the spring of 1919. First published in the United Cooperative (June 1919), an amateur journal coedited by HPL, Winifred Jackson, and others. First collected in BWS;corrected text in MW
   A Daemon of the Valley holds a colloquy with “the Genie that haunts the moonbeams” about the previous inhabitants of the valley of Nis, through which the river Than flows. The Genie has forgotten these creatures, but the Daemon declares: “I am Memory, and am wise in lore of the past, but I too am old. These beings were like the waters of the river Than, not to be understood. Their deeds I recall not, for they were but of the moment. Their aspect I recall dimly, for it was like to that of the little apes in the trees. Their name I recall clearly, for it rhymed with that of the river. These beings of yesterday were called Man.”
   Poe’s influence dominates this very short work: there is a Demon in Poe’s “Silence—a Fable”; “the valley Nis” is mentioned in Poe’s “The Valley of Unrest” (whose original title was “The Valley Nis,” although HPL may not have been aware of the fact); and “The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion,” which features a dialogue like that of HPL’s tale, speaks of the destruction of all earth life by means of a fire caused by a comet passing near the earth.
   See Lance Arney, “The Extinction of Mankind in the Prose Poem ‘Memory,’” LS No. 21 (Spring 1990): 38–39.

An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia. .

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