The Chamber of the Yellow King book. Read 4 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The veil between the earth and all else is particular.
|Author||Robert W. Chambers|
|Genre||Decadent literature, horror, supernatural|
|Publisher||F. Tennyson Neely|
The King In Yellow usually takes the form of a gigantic human dressed in tattered yellow robes, occasionally with wings or a halo. It usually wears the Pallid Mask which conceals the hideousness of its appearance. Worship of this being has increased dramatically in recent years, and many artists and intellectuals have fallen under the King's sway. The Yellow King A dark horror MMO inspired by the writings of H.
The King in Yellow is a book of short stories by the American writer Robert W. Chambers, first published by F. Tennyson Neely in 1895. The book is named after a play with the same title which recurs as a motif through some of the stories. The first half of the book features highly esteemed weird stories, and the book has been described by critics such as E. F. Bleiler, S. T. Joshi and T. E. D. Klein as a classic in the field of the supernatural. There are ten stories, the first four of which ('The Repairer of Reputations', 'The Mask', 'In the Court of the Dragon', and 'The Yellow Sign') mention The King in Yellow, a forbidden play which induces despair or madness in those who read it. 'The Yellow Sign' inspired a film of the same name released in 2001.
The British first edition was published by Chatto & Windus in 1895 (316 pages).
The first four stories are loosely connected by three main devices:
These stories are macabre in tone, centering, in keeping with the other tales, on characters who are often artists or decadents, inhabitants of the demi-monde.
The first and fourth stories, 'The Repairer of Reputations' and 'The Yellow Sign', are set in an imagined future 1920s America, whereas the second and third stories, 'The Mask' and 'In the Court of the Dragon', are set in Paris. These stories are haunted by the theme: 'Have you found the Yellow Sign?'
The weird and macabre character gradually fades away during the remaining stories, and the last three are written in the romantic fiction style common to Chambers' later work. They are all linked to the preceding stories by their Parisian setting and their artistic protagonists.
The stories in the book are:
The fictional play The King in Yellow has at least two acts and at least three characters: Cassilda, Camilla and 'The Stranger,' who may or may not be the titular character.
Chambers' story collection excerpts some sections from the play to introduce the book as a whole, or individual stories. For example, 'Cassilda's Song' comes from Act 1, Scene 2 of the play:
Along the shore the cloud waves break,
The twin suns sink behind the lake,
The shadows lengthen
Strange is the night where black stars rise,
And strange moons circle through the skies,
But stranger still is
Songs that the Hyades shall sing,
Where flap the tatters of the King,
Must die unheard in
Song of my soul, my voice is dead,
Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed
Shall dry and die in
The short story 'The Mask' is introduced by an excerpt from Act 1, Scene 2d:
Camilla: 'You, sir, should unmask.'
Cassilda: 'Indeed it's time. We have all laid aside disguise but you.'
Stranger: 'I wear no mask.'
Camilla: (Terrified, aside to Cassilda.) 'No mask? No mask!'
It is also stated, in 'The Repairer of Reputations,' that the final moment of the first act involves the character Camilla's 'agonized scream and..awful words echoing through the dim streets of Carcosa.'
All of the excerpts come from Act I. The stories describe Act I as quite ordinary, but reading Act II drives the reader mad with the 'irresistible' revealed truths. 'The very banality and innocence of the first act only allowed the blow to fall afterward with more awful effect.' Even seeing the first page of the second act is enough to draw the reader in: 'If I had not caught a glimpse of the opening words in the second act I should never have finished it [..]' ('The Repairer of Reputations').
Chambers usually gives only scattered hints of the contents of the full play, as in this extract from 'The Repairer of Reputations':
He mentioned the establishment of the Dynasty in Carcosa, the lakes which connected Hastur, Aldebaran and the mystery of the Hyades. He spoke of Cassilda and Camilla, and sounded the cloudy depths of Demhe, and the Lake of Hali. 'The scolloped tatters of the King in Yellow must hide Yhtill forever,' he muttered, but I do not believe Vance heard him. Then by degrees he led Vance along the ramifications of the Imperial family, to Uoht and Thale, from Naotalba and Phantom of Truth, to Aldones, and then tossing aside his manuscript and notes, he began the wonderful story of the Last King.
A similar passage occurs in 'The Yellow Sign', in which two protagonists have read The King in Yellow:
Night fell and the hours dragged on, but still we murmured to each other of the King and the Pallid Mask, and midnight sounded from the misty spires in the fog-wrapped city. We spoke of Hastur and of Cassilda, while outside the fog rolled against the blank window-panes as the cloud waves roll and break on the shores of Hali.
Chambers borrowed the names Carcosa, Hali and Hastur from Ambrose Bierce: specifically, his short stories 'An Inhabitant of Carcosa' and 'Haïta the Shepherd'. There is no strong indication that Chambers was influenced beyond liking the names. For example, Hastur is a god of shepherds in 'Haïta the Shepherd', but is implicitly a location in 'The Repairer of Reputations', listed alongside the Hyades and Aldebaran.
Brian Stableford has pointed out that the story 'The Demoiselle d'Ys' was influenced by the stories of Théophile Gautier, such as 'Arria Marcella' (1852); both Gautier and Chambers' stories feature a love affair enabled by a supernatural time slip.
In Raymond Chandler's 1938 detective story, also titled 'The King in Yellow', the protagonist says 'The King in Yellow. I read a book by that title once.'
The first season of HBO's True Detective television series revolves around a string of crimes committed by the elusive 'Yellow King' with Carcosa also being mentioned on numerous occasions. Black stars are also prominent in reference and imagery during the series.
The Yung Lean song 'Yellowman' references The King in Yellow, using the lyric 'I'll be your yellowman, Carcosa land.'
In his 1984 novel Thinner, Stephen King makes a passing reference to The King in Yellow, a head shop in the small (fictional) town of Fairview, Conn.
The Mask that the Stranger is instructed to remove but turns out not to exist at all in the excerpt from The King in Yellow play (in Chambers' short story 'The Mask') evokes the scene in Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Masque of the Red Death' where Prince Prospero demands that the stranger dressed as the Red Death should remove his mask and robes, only to find nothing underneath. Given the recognition of that short story, this might be an inspiration or even a tribute from Chambers to Poe.
Marion Zimmer Bradley drew a number of names from The King in Yellow for her Darkover series, including Hastur, Hali, Camilla, and Cassilda. Bradley mentioned Chambers as an influence in a 1980 interview.
Swedish writer Anders Fager's short stories 'Miss Witt's Great Work of Art' and 'The Queen in Yellow' features the Stockholm-based 'The Carcosa Foundation' as it turns a performance artist ino an avatar of the Yellow King.
H. P. Lovecraft read The King in Yellow in early 1927and included passing references to various things and places from the book—such as the Lake of Hali and the Yellow Sign — in 'The Whisperer in Darkness' (1931),one of his main Cthulhu Mythos stories. Lovecraft borrowed Chambers' method of only vaguely referring to supernatural events, entities, and places, thereby allowing his readers to imagine the horror for themselves. The play The King in Yellow effectively became another piece of occult literature in the Cthulhu Mythos alongside the Necronomicon and others.
In the story, Lovecraft linked the Yellow Sign to Hastur, but from his brief (and only) mention it is not clear what Lovecraft meant Hastur to be. August Derleth developed Hastur into a Great Old One in his controversial reworking of Lovecraft's universe, elaborating on this connection in his own mythos stories. In the writings of Derleth and a few other latter-day Cthulhu Mythos authors, the King in Yellow is an Avatar of Hastur, so named because of his appearance as a thin, floating man covered in tattered yellow robes.
In Lovecraft's cycle of horror sonnets, Fungi from Yuggoth, sonnet XXVII 'The Elder Pharos' mentions the last Elder One who lives alone talking to chaos via drums: 'The Thing, they whisper, wears a silken mask of yellow, whose queer folds appear to hide a face not of this earth..'. This thing with a silken mask of yellow also features in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath.
In the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game published by Chaosium, the King in Yellow is an avatar of Hastur who uses his eponymous play to spread insanity among humans. He is described as a hunched figure clad in tattered, yellow rags, who wears a smooth and featureless 'Pallid Mask'. Removing the mask is a sanity-shattering experience; the King's face is described as 'inhuman eyes in a suppurating sea of stubby maggot-like mouths; liquescent flesh, tumorous and gelid, floating and reforming'.[attribution needed]
Although none of the characters in Chambers' book describe the plot of the play, Kevin Ross fabricated a plot for the play within the Call of Cthulhu mythos.
The Secret World, a Lovecraft-inspired massively multiplayer online role-playing game, quotes Cassilda's Song and other elements from The King in Yellow during a quest.
The theft of a supposed manuscript of the play The King in Yellow from the British Library forms a major plot element of Charles Stross's Lovecraft-inspired book The Annihilation Score.
In Alan Moore's comic series Providence, as well as in his previous story Neonomicon, Moore re-imagines the Lovecraftian mythos while referencing and borrowing heavily from The King in Yellow. The book is referenced by name throughout Providence, as well as referencing a fictional variation Sous Le Monde, French for 'Under the World.' In both Providence and its sequel, a recurring character named Johnny Carcosa appears as an avatar/speaker for a Lovecraftian entity, possibly Nyarlathotep or Azathoth.
Game designer Robin D. Laws wrote a collection of Chambers-inspired stories entitled New Tales of the Yellow Sign after converting the story 'Repairer of Reputations' for Trail of Cthulhu. He subsequently wrote Yellow King Roleplaying Game that takes place in four Chambers-inspired 'realities', including Belle-epoque Paris, Chambers' fictional European war, the United States after the fall of the Castagne regime, and an apparently contemporary setting subject to subtle incursions from Carcosa.
Dan Abnett's novels The Magos, Pariah, and several connected short stories feature an ominous character called 'Grael Ochre, or the Yellow King,' whose nature is expected to be revealed in the last two parts of the Bequin trilogy (which began with Pariah.) These works are set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, which has many Lovecraftian elements.
First publication: Robert W. Chambers, The King in Yellow .. F. Tennyson Neely, 1895
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to The King in Yellow.|
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
The book has been written.
The book has been read.
Ford mondeo crossover 2021. New look, raised ride height and technology-heavy interior will bring the Mondeo into Ford's new era Leaked images purporting to show the all-new 2021 Ford Mondeo suggest that it will bear minimal resemblance to the current car.
Now it rewrites you.
Across time it spreads, creating dread new realities.
And you’re in all of them.
Inspired by Robert W. Chambers’ influential cycle of short stories, The Yellow King Roleplaying Game takes you on a brain-bending spiral through multiple selves and timelines.
Written and designed by GUMSHOE master Robin D. Laws, it pits the characters against the reality-altering horror of The King in Yellow. This suppressed play, once read, invites madness or a visit from its titular character, an alien ruler intent on invading and remolding our world into a colony of his planet, Carcosa.
Four full-colour hardback books, served up together in a beautiful slipcase, with a separate GM screen, confront your players with an epic journey into reality horror:
New GUMSHOE features include:
Each purchase of The Yellow King RPG from our website, or a bricks-and-mortar retailer, includes the following downloads:
|Stock #: PELGY01||Author: Robin Laws|
|Artists: Aaron Aurelio Acevedo, Dean Engelhardt, Melissa Gay, Shel Kahn, Christian Knutsson, Jessica TC Lee||Format: 4 x hardback books, presented in a slipcase, with a separate GM screen|