Short story (2,240 words); written July 1917. First published in Vagrant(November 1919); rpt. WT (October 1923); rpt. WT(January 1936); first collected in O; corrected text in D; annotated version in CC.
   The unnamed narrator is about to kill himself after writing his account because he has no more money for the morphine that prevents him from thinking of what he has experienced. A supercargo on a vessel during the Great War, this individual is captured by a German sea-raider but manages to escape five days later in a boat. He drifts in the sea, encountering no land or other ship. One night he falls asleep, awaking to find himself half-sucked in “a slimy expanse of hellish black mire which extended about me in monotonous undulations as far as I could see”; evidently there had been an upheaval of some subterranean land mass while he slept. In a few days the mud dries, permitting the narrator to walk along its vast expanse. He aims for a hummock far in the distance, and when finally attaining it finds himself looking down into “an immeasurable pit or canyon.” Descending the side of the canyon, he notices a “vast and singular object” in the distance: it is a gigantic monolith “whose massive bulk had known the workmanship and perhaps the worship of living and thinking creatures.”
   Stunned by the awareness that such a civilization existed unknown to human science, the narrator explores the monolith, finding repellent marine bas-reliefs and inscriptions on it. But a still greater shock is coming to the narrator, for now a living creature emerges from the waves. He flees, and later finds himself in a San Francisco hospital, having been rescued by an American ship. But his life is shattered; he cannot forget what he has seen, and morphine is only a temporary palliative. His narrative concludes when he writes: “God, that hand! The window! The window!
   “Dagon” was in part inspired by a dream. In responding to a criticism regarding the narrator’s actions, HPL writes: “…the hero-victim ishalf-sucked into the mire, yet he doescrawl! He pulls himself along in the detestable ooze, tenaciously though it cling to him. I know, for I dreamed that whole hideous crawl, and can yet feel the ooze sucking me down!” (In Defence of Dagon [1921]; MW 150). William Fulwiler senses the general influence of Irvin S. Cobb’s “Fishhead,” a tale of a fishlike human being who haunts an isolated lake, and a tale that HPL praised in a letter to the editor when it appeared in the Argosyon January 11, 1913. HPL exhaustively rewrote “Dagon,” in various ways, in both “The Call of Cthulhu” (1926) and “The Shadow over Innsmouth” (1931).
   Some critics have believed that the monster actually appears at the end of the story; but the notion of a hideous creature shambling down the streets of San Francisco is preposterous, and we are surely to believe that the narrator’s growing mania has induced a hallucination. HPL remarked, shortly after writing the story, that “Both [‘The Tomb’ and ‘Dagon’] are analyses of strange monomania, involving hallucinations of the most hideous sort” (HPL to Rheinhart Kleiner, August 27, 1917; “By Post from Providence”).
   See Will Murray, “Dagon in Puritan Massachusetts,” LS No. 11 (Fall 1985): 66–70; William Fulwiler, “‘The Tomb’ and ‘Dagon’: A Double Dissection,” Crypt No. 38 (Eastertide 1986): 8–14.

An H.P.Lovecraft encyclopedia. .

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dagon — (auch Dagan), sumerisch dBE, akkadisch ddagana/daganu, dDa gan, hebräisch דגון, ist eine in Mesopotamien und Syrien verehrte Gottheit, deren Kult vor allem im 3. und 2. Jahrtausend v. Chr. verbreitet war. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Quellen 2 Ableitung… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Dagón — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Interpretación moderna de Dagón como dios pez . Dagón (derivado de la raíz semítica dag, que significa, pez pequeño ). Era un dios filisteo del mar. En demonología ocupa la segunda categoría en la jerarquía infernal …   Wikipedia Español

  • Dagon — • A Philistine deity Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Dagon     Dagon     † Catholic Encyclo …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • DAGON — (Heb. דָּגוֹן, Akk. Dagān), the Syrian and Canaanite god of seed, vegetation, and crops. Dagon first appears as an important and widely worshiped deity – but not as a god of crops – in documents of the dynasty of akkad (23rd century B.C.E.),… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • DAGON — idolum Philistinorum, cecidit coruam arca, 1. Sam. c. 5. v. 4. Dagonem, et Atergatim idem fuisse numen docti aliqui statuunt, adeoque Atergatin corrupte scribi pro addir dag, h. e. magnisico pisce, vel addir Dagon, magnifico Dagone. Sed Bocharti… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Dagon —   [hebraisierte Form des älteren kanaanäischen dạḡạn »Korn«, sicher nicht abzuleiten von hebräisch dạḡ »Fisch« (aus diesem Missverständnis entstand seine Darstellung mit dem Fischschwanz)], westsemitischer Getreidegott, seit etwa 2500 v. Chr.… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Dagon — Da gon (d[=a] g[o^]n), [Heb. D[=a]gon, fr. dag a fish: cf. Gr. Dagw n.] The national god of the Philistines, represented with the face and hands and upper part of a man, and the tail of a fish. W. Smith. [1913 Webster] This day a solemn feast the …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Dagon — Dagon, eine Hauptgottheit der Philister, verehrt in Gaza, Asdod und anderwärts (mehrere Ortschaften heißen Beth Dagon). Den Dagontempel in Gaza riß Simson ein, den in Asdod verbrannte zur Makkabäerzeit Jonathan (1. Makk. 10,83ff.; 11,4). Daß D.… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Dagon — god of the Philistines, from Heb. Dagon, from dag fish …   Etymology dictionary

  • Dagon — Dag on (d[a^]g [o^]n), n. [See {Dag} a loose end.] A slip or piece. [Obs.] Chaucer. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Dagon — Dagon, Nationalgott der Philister, s. u. Phönikische Religion …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.