Earlier this year C, who is 100% a literalist subeditor, managed to get through several HPL stories, including “The Haunter of the Dark” & “The Colour Out of Space”, as bedtime reading, without having a moment’s insomnia or a single nightmare.
“So, this ‘Goat with a Thousand Young’ business,” she says: “What’s scary about that ?”
I try to explain that it can’t really be a goat. It’s an attempt to describe something by one of its qualities, or–worse–to encode some quality it possesses which can’t be described any other way.
She says: “Bollocks. Goats can’t have a Thousand Young. & anyway, why’s that frightening ?” She’s Lovecraft-proof.
At 17, I couldn’t have the books in the house. If I owned them I’d read them. If I read them, I wouldn’t sleep for days. When did they stop doing that to me ?