Saturday, October 31, 2015


“Apropos of sleep, that sinister adventure of all our nights, we may say that men go to bed daily with an audacity that would be incomprehensible if we did not know that it is the result of ignorance of the danger.”

So wrote Baudelaire, in the translation read by H. P. Lovecraft sometime between 1919 and 1922. It inspired a creepy gem of a short story, which, although it displays some of the faults of Lovecraft's prose (but thankfully not of his personality), is also evocative, sinister and in its own way perfect. You can read it here. It's very short.

It's Halloween, hence this picture. It is on display in Toronto at the Graven Feather, 906 Queen st. West, November 5th to 28th. For the last two years, I've illustrated terrifying tales from history - this one is merely from literature, and therefore less frightening. You can see the others here and here.

I didn't try to represent a precise scene from the story, but rather suggest its events. Here is a body contorted in nightmare, its identity effaced by the placid mask of the Greek god Hypnos, or Dream.