Sunday, August 3, 2014

MBWS: Chthonic

Chthonic, to those familiar with mythology, fantasy, or memes, evokes memories of a Lovecraftian god, for reasons of spelling alone. While the name of the god may reference this word, rest assured the word predates Lovecraft. With that out of the way, on with the quotes!

What was in fact happening, as the wizard knew, was that as the abused spirit of Bel-Shamharoth sank through the deeper chthonic plates his brooding  spirit was being sucked out of the very stones into the region which, according to the discworld's most reliable priests was both under the ground and Somewhere Else.
 - from "The Color of Magic," by Terry Pratchett

I just love it when quotes that I find not only use the word (else what would be the point in using the quote) but through more than just contextual clues actually provides the definition.

"Deep[er]... under... ground," is essentially it. Those words (though separated by many other words) do indeed appear in order in the above quote, though I recognize saying that, many of you will go up and double check.

...that chthonic realm, reserved for forgotten religions.
 - from "Food of the Gods," by Terence McKenna

Like forgotten words and unlike forgotten pets, forgotten religions don't go to heaven. Generally, I suppose, they settle like dust motes in a lost place, piling upon each other and losing details until some poor souls tasks himself to clean up the mess.

I'm not referring to myself as the poor soul, but I may as well, as this word seems to be on the way out. For all the new words that seem to find their way into the dictionary, mostly invented by lazy teenagers who can't be bothered to take care of the words that they've already got, with this post I will hoist chthonic out of the chthonic depths.

It almost seems to me that this is one word Goths should embrace as a prerequisite. If nothing else, that alone should serve to keep it alive and well, if a bit undernourished.

Now, I had a third quote for this entry, but it appears to have gone missing. If anyone would be so kind enough to help me look for it in the chthonic passages (sorry, that's a little mean, but I couldn't help myself, I love saying and writing this word) of "The Long War" by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter, I'd be most grateful.

Thanks to The Death of Fissiparous and Other Words: a Dictionary of Words and Phrases on the Verge of Extinction for providing such wonderful quotes.

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