Necronomicon * ‘Simon’ (1980 avon * isbn 0380751925)

I saw this book in a local second hand bookshop. There is a lot to say about this famous little book. Some people say that the book was written by H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) and the history was invented by the same famous poet. Others take more credibility to Lovecraft’s story and say that “the Necronomicon was written in Damascus in 730 A.D. by Abdul Alhazred”. It found its way through the ages, was translated into Latin by Olaus Wormius in in 1487 (this is not Ole Worm the Dane about whom you can read in other places on Monas.nl), John Dee owned a copy and Aleister Crowley studied Dee’s copy. If the last is true, that is all before Lovecraft’s invention. On the other hand, with everything before Lovecraft, it is even more likely that the man invented the whole thing.
Then to the book itself. The Necronomicon reads like a bad copy of the famous Greater and Lesser Key Of Solomon, but then with the Hebrew(ish) names, replaced by Mesopotamian names. The images in the Necronomicon are quite cheap. There are actually only a few different symbols and they look like the Medieval magical seals, but not entirely. The references to numbers of demons (the fifty names of Marduk in this case) and their functions remind of the Keys. The summonings are strange and long strings of letters, supposedly ‘Mesopotamian’. It is clear that this little book had a vast influence on the minds of ‘occult youngsters’, for example in the black metal scene. I recognise many bandnames and album titles of music that I listened to in my metal period.
My judgement about the book. I don’t think that this is a serious magical work and not likely very old either. It is a fun read, but actually so are the Medieval magical books (I definately don’t plan to try and find out if something happens if I follow the instructions). Like I said earlier, in my eyes the Necronomicon is a fantasyfull rework of the famous Medieval grimoires and it is not unlikely that indeed Lovecraft (or at least someone in his time) fabricated it. I don’t know what this writer “Simon” that Amazon uses refers to. The book itself does not give an author. This version does have a lenghty introduction refering to Lovecraft, Crowley, etc.

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