Anonymous of Holland            -A Dutchman in Korea-

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A mysterious package

Deze vrijdag werd dit mysterieuze pakje bij me afgeleverd. Ik had de naam van degene die het supposedly verstuurd had nog nooit eerder gezien, en kon me niet herinneren dat ik wat besteld had..
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Bovenop lag een bruine enveloppe enkel gemarkeerd als ‘Documents’.

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In de enveloppe zat een verkleurd krantenknipsel wat volgens de datering al behoorlijk oud was. Het ging over een of andere oude gast die in 1927 wat indiaanse artifacts had gevonden.

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In dezelfde enveloppe zat deze brief, die ik hieronder voor de duidelijkheid even heb overgetypt:

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Dear Richard,

As per your request, I will try to relate to you all of the informationI have about the Cthulhu statue that had belonged to my grandfather. Iwrote it all up and Jenny is typing it for me so you’ll be able to readit.

My grandfather, George Price, born in 1889, was a nativeof Providence, RI, and knew H.P. Lovecraft as a teenager. Back in thelate 60’s he told me a story of how he, Lovecraft, and their mutualfriends Harold and Chester Munroe had been taken to see a collection ofAmerican Indian artifacts that were owned by Edward Johnson, said to bea descendent of Israel Smith, one of the militia members who hadoccupied the Wampanoag village where Chief Metacom (know to the Englishas King Philip) had resided. Inside the Chief’s lodge he had found anumber of items that he claimed as war trophies. Among the items was avery strange statue that King Philip (known for adopting certain itemsof European dress and accoutrements) had apparently taken in trade, orpossibly in a raid, from English settlers. These artifacts and otherswere all later donated or sold to Rudolf F. Haffenreffer, who openedthe King Philip Museum right on the Mount Hope Grant, where King Philiphad made his headquarters. As it turned out, Haffenreffer was notinterested in the odd little statue because it was not of NativeAmerican origin, and the story of its acquisition could not be fullydocumented. He sold the statue to a local dealer of antiquities and mygrandfather recalled seeing it in the dealers shop as early as 1927.

In1972 my grandfather sent a letter to me that provided most of thedetails of this story, and included a old newspaper clipping aboutEdward Johnson. My grandfather died in 1977, and as per hisinstructions, the statue of Cthulhu was given to me.
It sat in thestore unsold, but when my grandfather read Lovecraft’s "The Call ofCthulhu" story in Weird Tales early in 1928, he went to the shop andbought it. He intended to give it to Lovecraft, though he had not seenhim in over twenty years. After an unsuccessful attempt to deliver thestatue (Lovecraft was traveling), my grandfather relocated and nevertried to contact Lovecraft again.

Why Lovecraft, in all of hisvoluminous correspondence never mentioned seeing the statue is notknown, although my grandfather told me that upon returning home on theday they had seen the collection, Lovecraft was told of hisgrandfather’s death. The shock of this event must have torn the memoryfrom his mind, only to have it resurface later as the nightmarishCthulhu.

Richard, I know you will be leaving the country andwant to wish you all the best for your future endeavors, education, andthe research you described, although I must admit the research is allvery mysterious to me.

Sincerely,

Joe Price

De Lovecraft referenties en het idee van een eeuwenoud standbeeldje deden mijn hart natuurlijk sneller slaan, en ik dacht eigenlijk verder niet na bij de vreemde dingen die in de brief stonden zoals mijn ‘research’ die ik blijkbaar ‘described’ had en mijn ‘leaving the country’.
Ik haalde de inhoud uit het pakketje. Het bleek een zakje en iets verpakt in bubblewrap te bevatten.

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In het zakje zaten deze ‘munten’, met daarop designs die duidelijk geïnspireerd waren door (of misschien toch, de inspiratie waren voor?) Lovecrafts Cthulhu Mythos.


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Verpakt in de bubblewrap zat het standbeeldje, een exacte replica van de enige tekening die Lovecraft ooit van Cthulhu gemaakt had. Het beeld voelde zwaar in m’n handen, zwaarder dan ik had verwacht gebaseerd op zijn toch vrij kleine afmetingen. Het was handgemaakt, en was waarschijnlijk aardig wat geld waard mocht ik het besluiten te verkopen. Maar al snel kon ik nieteens meer denken aan het verkopen van het beeld. Op een of andere manier voelde het alsof het gemaakt was om bij mij te eindigen, om me compleet te maken.

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Op een of andere manier kwam het beeld me bekend voor. Niet omdat ik de schets van Lovecraft ooit eens had gezien (ookal was dat natuurlijk wel het geval); het was iets recenters. En toen kwam ik opeens tot de ontdekking…dit beeld was hetzelfde als die in het krantenknipsel uit 1927….

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3 comments on “A mysterious package

  1. Koen
    31 May 2010

    Waarbij heb je het gewonnen?

  2. ludwig
    1 June 2010

    Ha nicole vertelde hier over op de fiets. Supertof

  3. Harry de B. live from Uni
    3 June 2010

    Gewonnen? Moar like gekocht ;_;
    Het was wel de laatste, de mold die degene die ‘m heeft gemaakt gebruikt is na deze kapot gegaan, dus hij zal met de hand een nieuwe moeten maken. Hij maakt als hobby Lovecraft-related figures, dus vandaar dat er ook van die awesome nep ‘documentatie’ bij zit. $100 voor een handgemaakte resin figure is niet duur though.

    @Manon: Hah! Ja, die documentatie maakt ‘t gewoon net even wat leuker om open te maken enzo. Op /toy/ waren ze ook erg onder de indruk =p

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This entry was posted on 30 May 2010 by in Stuff, Toys and tagged , , , , .

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Another gorgeous #sunset at #Mihwangsa #temple.
I am so thankful to #SBS and 혜민스님 for letting us stay here.
Just like the title of his book, there are many things you can only see when you #slow down. Staying at the temple and talking with the staff has taught me once again that Korea is an amazing country, and I couldn't be happier to be here. 
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#nature #Korea #SouthKorea #sea #island #절라도 #절라남도 #바다 #섬 #자연 #일몰 Away from the hectic Seoul life for a couple of days, enjoying clean #Jeollanamdo air and the #calm of the #Mihwangsa #temple.

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