Peaslee, Nathaniel Wingate


Peaslee, Nathaniel Wingate
   He is a professor of political economy at Miskatonic University and the narrator and protagonist of “The Shadow out of Time.” He is married to Alice Keezar and father of Robert K. (b. 1898), Wingate (b. 1900), and Hannah (b. 1903). On May 14, 1908, Peaslee suffers a breakdown while lecturing, appearing to be stricken with amnesia until his memory suddenly returns on September 27, 1913. His restored self has no memory of the five-year period of amnesia. Even as he attempts to determine his activities over that period, he is plagued by dreams (which seem vividly like actual memories) and “pseudo-memories” of bizarre creatures in an equally bizarre setting. He thinks the dreams and pseudo-memories are related to the studies he engaged in during his amnesia, but the accounts he publishes in a psychological journal are corroborated by a mining engineer, who says the scenes he described in fact exist in the Great Sandy Desert of Australia. Peaslee accompanies the engineer to the site to investigate it. The creatures no longer exist, but the ruins there are astonishingly familiar to him. In his dreams, he believed himself to have been the victim of mindexchange with an incredibly alien creature living in the earth’s ancient past; while the alien occupied his own body, he himself had been tasked with writing a history of the era to which he had belonged. Peaslee finally wends his way through the ruins of an ancient library, seeking the evidence that would prove his dreams to be actual memories. He finds, but loses, the proof he desires and fears—a document in his own handwriting that could not be less than 150,000,000 years old. Peaslee may be the most thoroughly developed of HPL’s characters. His demeanor and attitude are much like HPL’s. HPL’s period of reclusiveness in 1908–13, following his abrupt departure from high school without a diploma, coincides with the duration of Peaslee’s amnesia. HPL’s description of Peaslee’s reemergence in the present is remarkably similar to his famous account of his emergence from his “New York exile” of 1924–26. And yet Peaslee himself seems to be modeled somewhat on HPL’s father, Winfield Scott Lovecraft. Peaslee’s eccentric behavior during his amnesia resembles Winfield’s own during the period of his madness, both of which last five years. Of course, Winfield never did recover, but Peaslee did. Eight-year-old Wingate “held fast to a faith that [Peaslee’s] proper self would return,” as one might imagine young HPL felt about his father’s condition. The revelation about Peaslee’s past occurs on July 17–18; HPL’s father died July 19.

An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia. .

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Peaslee, Wingate —    (b. 1900)    In “The Shadow out of Time,” the son of the story’s narrator, Nathaniel Wingate Peaslee, and the only one of Peaslee’s children to return to him after his “amnesia” of 1908–13. Wingate becomes a professor of psychology and… …   An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia

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  • “Shadow out of Time, The“ —    Novelette (25,600 words); written November 10, 1934 to February 22, 1935. First published in Astounding Stories(June 1936); first collected in O;reprinted in DH;corrected and annotated text (based on recently discovered AMS): Hippocampus Press …   An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia

  • Miskatonic University — is a fictional university located in Arkham; a fictitious town which is said to exist in Essex County, Massachusetts. It is named after the Miskatonic River (which is also fictional). After first appearing in the H. P. Lovecraft 1922 serial… …   Wikipedia

  • Dans L'abîme Du Temps — (The Shadow Out of Time) est l un des Grands Textes de H.P. Lovecraft. Rédigé en 1935 et publié dans l Astounding Stories de juin 1936, il est édité en français dans le recueil de nouvelles du même nom. Cette nouvelle, assez longue, fut rédigée… …   Wikipédia en Français


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