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Derek Fisher

The Infinite Horror Labyrinth Of The Carcosa Mythos, THE EXORCIST Miniature, And More!
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The Infinite Horror Labyrinth Of The Carcosa Mythos, THE EXORCIST Miniature, And More!

In HBO’s True Detective, moments before his face is blown off, Reggie Ledoux tells detective Rustin Cohle “You’re in Carcosa now.” The 2014 show straddled the line between drama and horror brilliantly, in part because of how it alluded to an esoteric horror mythology — “Carcosa,” and “The Yellow King” — without ever bogging itself down in explanations. As HBO begins another journey into cosmic horror with its acclaimed new series Lovecraft Country, let’s take a look back how weird fiction haunted this earlier pop culture phenomenon.

Oh, The Sin Of Writing Such Words: The Infinite Horror Labyrinth Of The Carcosa Mythos
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Oh, The Sin Of Writing Such Words: The Infinite Horror Labyrinth Of The Carcosa Mythos

The Carcosa mythology is not solely attributable to any one particular horror author, though is most commonly associated with American short story writer Robert Chambers. His 1895 collection The King in Yellow contains a number of stories that reference the King of the book’s title and the mythical city of Carcosa. The opening story, “The Repairer of Reputations,” is the most explicit work of fiction about the titular figure. The story’s narrator, Hildred Castaigne, has lost his mind, presumably from reading a forbidden play called “The King in Yellow.” To read the play is to suffer irreparable madness.