BEYOND THE WALL OF SLEEP
Updated: Apr 2
This short story was written in 1919 and first published in Pine Cones in October 1919, an amateur journal edited by John Clinton Pryor. It was subsequently reprinted in The Fantasy Fan (October 1934) and Weird Tales (March 1938). It is said that the title of the story may have been influenced by Ambrose Bierce's Beyond the Wall; as Lovecraft was known to be reading Bierce in 1919.
Lovecraft said the story was inspired by an April 27, 1919 article in the New York Tribune. Reporting on the New York state police, the article cited a family named Slater or Slahter as representative of the backwards Catskills population. The nova mentioned at the end of Lovecraft's story is a real star, a nova known as GK Persei; the quotation is from Garrett P. Serviss' Astronomy with the Naked Eye (1908).
On February 22, 1901, a marvellous new star was discovered by Dr. Anderson, of Edinburgh, not very far from Algol. No star had been visible at that point before. Within twenty-four hours the stranger had become so bright that it outshone Capella. In a week or two it had visibly faded, and in the course of a few months it was hardly discernible with the naked eye.
THE ALBANY JAIL/COUNTY SHERIFF
DATE(S) VISITED: JUL 12, 2020
On the third day Slater was found unconcious in the hollow of a tree, and taken to the nearest jail, where alienists from Albany examined him as soon as his senses returned. - HPL ~ Beyond the Wall of Sleep