Short Story Review: "The Quest of Iranon" by H. P. Lovecraft
Iranon arrives in the granite city of Teloth in a torn purple robe, his hair smelling of myrrh and a vine wrapped around his head. He tells the stern men of Teloth that he’s looking for his boyhood home of Aira, where his father was king, before they were sent into exile. He is as singer of songs.
“My wealth is in the little memories and dream, and in hopes that I sing in gardens when he moon is tender and the west wind stirs the lotos-buds.”
The practical men of Teloth decide to apprentice him to a cobbler, but Iranon asks, “Where’s the joy in that?”
Later, he leaves with young Romnod, one who seek green branches and who has heard of the city of Oonai, a place of lutes and dancing. Perhaps that is Iranon’s Aira? The two leave Teloth and find happiness after a fashion, wandering. Romnod grows older, Iranon does not. Romnod, who was once younger than Iranon, grows older…
This is an odd, sad little story about the nature of art and dreams. It’s considered part of Lovecraft’s Dream Cycle of stories, and it’s not difficult to understand why. They language had an archaic flavor, the dialogue full of thees and thous. Even if it weren’t for those affectations, this is some of the nice atmosphere Lovecraft is so capable of:
“’I remember the twilight, the moon, and the soft songs, and the window where I was rocked to sleep. And through the window was the street where the golden lights came, and where the shadows danced on houses of marble. I remember the square of moonlight on the floor, that was not like any other light, and the visions that danced in the moonbeams when my mother sang to me. And too, I remember the sun of morning bright above the many-coloured hills I summer, and the sweetness of flowers borne on the south wind that made the trees sing.’”
I liked this story, sad as it was.
Title: “The Quest of Iranon” written in 1921. First published in July/August 1935 issue of the magazine Galleon .
Author: H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937)
Last Review: “The Frogfather” by Manly Wade Wellman
Last Lovecraft Review: “The Nameless City”
©2015 Denise Longrie
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