Short Story #391: Ex-Oblivion by H. P. Lovecraft

Title: Ex-Oblivion

Author:  H. P. Lovecraft


Book cover to H. P. Lovecraft: The Complete Collection with Accompanying Facts from Red Skull Publishing
The narrator explains that he is completely bored and disinterested with the common life and has pursued the world of dreams by taking opium to keep him in the fascinating worlds of dream longer and longer.  While exploring, he comes across a barrier--a wall that he cannot cross.  He keeps looking for ways to surpass it but doesn't seem to know how to get into it.  Finally, in a dream city, he stumbles upon the information needed to know how to enter the world beyond the wall, where he believes there is an even richer world of dreams.  The answer lies in taking a strong drug, which upon waking he finds and consumes.  This time, he approaches the gate in the wall and it is open and he steps through.  He enters a pure empty oblivion and feels he has finally come home.


A  curious tale by Lovecraft where tragedy or horror appear to not be the end goal but rather moving into a type of nirvana.  I kept expecting the end to come with him finding himself in a demon's pit or something.  There's a surprising serenity of this tale that is rarely seen in his work.

Rating:  3 (out of 5 stars)

Source:  I read this version  of a the complete works of H. P. Lovecraft from Red Skull Publishing (that's their book cover too).  However, you can find all of H. P. Lovecraft's work for free at this website.  

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.

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