Among them are works by Caspar David Friedrich, Albrecht Dürer, Sandro Botticelli, Johannes Vermeer, Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, Jan van Eyck, Diego Velázquez, Joan Miró, Paul Cézanne, J. M. W. Turner, Thomas Eakins, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Thomas Gainsborough, Salvador Dalí and many more.
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"Dagon" is often not counted as one of Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos stories, but it is the first of Lovecraft's stories to introduce a Cthulhu Mythos element — the sea deity Dagon itself.
The creature that appears in the story is often identified with the deity Dagon, but the creature is not identified by that name in the story "Dagon", and seems to be depicted as a typical member of his species, a worshipper rather than an object of worship. Nor is it likely that Lovecraft intends "Dagon" to be the name used by the deity's nonhuman worshippers; as Robert M. Price points out, "When Lovecraft wanted to convey something like the indigenous name of one of the Old Ones, he coined some unpronounceable jumble".
Price suggests that readers of "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" may be mistaken as to the identity of the "Dagon" worshipped by that story's Deep Ones: in contrast to the Old Ones' alien-sounding names, "the name 'Dagon' is a direct borrowing from familiar sources, and implies that [Obed] Marsh and his confederates had chosen the closest biblical analogy to the real object of worship of the deep ones, namely Great Cthulhu."
Lin Carter, who thought "Dagon" an "excellent" story, remarked that it was "an interesting prefiguring of themes later to emerge in [Lovecraft's] Cthulhu stories. The volcanic upheaval that temporarily exposes long-drowned horrors above the waves, for example, reappears in "The Call of Cthulhu" (1926)". Other parallels between the two stories include a horrifying tale told by a sailor rescued at sea; a gigantic, sea-dwelling monster (compared to Polyphemus in each tale); an apocalyptic vision of humanity's destruction at the hands of ancient nonhuman intelligences; and a narrator who fears he is doomed to die because of the knowledge he has gained. S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz call the latter story "manifestly an exhaustive reworking of 'Dagon'".
In "The Call of Cthulhu", one of the newspaper clipping collected by the late Professor Angell mentions a suicide from a window that may correspond to the death of the narrator of "Dagon".
The tale opens with the unnamed narrator arriving at the house of his boyhood friend, Roderick Usher, having received a letter from him in a distant part of the country complaining of an illness and asking for his help. Although Poe wrote this short story before the invention of modern psychological science, Roderick's symptoms can be described according to its terminology. They include hyperesthesia (hypersensitivity to light, sounds, smells, and tastes), hypochondria (an excessive preoccupation or worry about having a serious illness), and acute anxiety. It is revealed that Roderick's twin sister, Madeline, is also ill and falls into cataleptic, death-like trances. The narrator is impressed with Roderick's paintings, and attempts to cheer him by reading with him and listening to his improvised musical compositions on the guitar. Roderick sings "The Haunted Palace", then tells the narrator that he believes the house he lives in to be sentient, and that this sentience arises from the arrangement of the masonry and vegetation surrounding it.
Roderick later informs the narrator that his sister has died and insists that she be entombed for two weeks in a vault (family tomb) in the house before being permanently buried. The narrator helps Roderick put the body in the tomb, and he notes that Madeline has rosy cheeks, as some do after death. They inter her, but over the next week both Roderick and the narrator find themselves becoming increasingly agitated for no apparent reason. A storm begins. Roderick comes to the narrator's bedroom, which is situated directly above the vault, and throws open his window to the storm. He notices that the tarn surrounding the house seems to glow in the dark, as it glowed in Roderick Usher's paintings, although there is no lightning.
The narrator attempts to calm Roderick by reading aloud The Mad Trist, a novel involving a knight named Ethelred who breaks into a hermit's dwelling in an attempt to escape an approaching storm, only to find a palace of gold guarded by a dragon. He also finds hanging on the wall a shield of shining brass of which is written a legend: that the one who slays the dragon wins the shield. With a stroke of his mace, Ethelred kills the dragon, who dies with a piercing shriek, and proceeds to take the shield, which falls to the floor with an unnerving clatter.
As the narrator reads of the knight's forcible entry into the dwelling, cracking and ripping sounds are heard somewhere in the house. When the dragon is described as shrieking as it dies, a shriek is heard, again within the house. As he relates the shield falling from off the wall, a reverberation, metallic and hollow, can be heard. Roderick becomes increasingly hysterical, and eventually exclaims that these sounds are being made by his sister, who was in fact alive when she was entombed and that Roderick knew that she was alive. The bedroom door is then blown open to reveal Madeline standing there. She falls on her brother, and both land on the floor as corpses. The narrator then flees the house, and, as he does so, notices a flash of light causing him to look back upon the House of Usher, in time to watch it break in two, the fragments sinking into the tarn.
The story describes a young man's discovery of a strange hybrid race, half-human and half an unknown creature that resembles a cross between a fish and a frog, that dwell in Innsmouth - a coastal town that had seen better days, and the waters offshore. The townspeople worship Dagon, a Philistine deity incorporated into the Cthulhu Mythos.
A man touring Mammoth Cave separates from his guide and becomes lost. His torch expires and he is giving up hope of finding a way out in the pitch dark, when he hears strange non-human footsteps approaching him. Thinking it to be a lost mountain lion or other such beast, he picks up a stone and throws it toward the source of the sound. The beast is hit and crumples to the floor. The guide finds the protagonist back, and together they examine the fallen creature with the guide's torchlight. The creature mutters in its last breaths and they see its face, discovering that it is in fact a pale, deformed human, who had also become lost in the cave.
The story is the first to mention Lovecraft's fictional Miskatonic University. It is also notable as one of the first depictions of zombies, as corpses arising, through scientific means, as animalistic, and uncontrollably violent creatures.
The story is told from the first person perspective of an unnamed narrator and details his experiences with a scientist named Crawford Tillinghast. Tillinghast creates an electronic device that emits a resonance wave, which stimulates an affected person’s pineal gland, thereby allowing them to perceive planes of existence outside the scope of accepted reality.
Sharing the experience with Tillinghast, the narrator becomes cognizant of a translucent, alien environment that overlaps our own recognized reality. From this perspective, he witnesses hordes of strange and horrific creatures that defy description. Tillinghast reveals that he has used his machine to transport two of his house servants into the overlapping plane of reality. He also reveals that the effect works both ways, and allows the denizens of the alternate dimension to perceive humans. Tillinghast's house servants were attacked and killed by one such entity, and Tillinghast informs the narrator that it is right behind him. Terrified beyond measure, the narrator picks up a gun and shoots it at the machine, destroying it. Tillinghast dies immediately thereafter as a result of apoplexy. The police investigate the scene and it is placed on record that Tillinghast murdered the two house servants.