In August Kate Treloar will look at the Kraken – the myth, the reality it’s based on, and key inclusions in literature and popular culture.
Krakens are giant squid sea monsters from the ocean’s depths, capable of destroying ships and hurling hapless sailors to watery deaths. Seemingly based on real creatures, the line between reality, myth and imagination easily blurs, providing a fascinating topic to explore.
Before the Kraken catchup, you may be interested in delving into a selection from this list:
- Kraken by China Mieville (2010)
- The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham (1953)
- The Call of Cthulhu by HP Lovecraft (1928)
“Of such great powers or beings there may be conceivably a survival . . . a survival of a hugely remote period when . . . consciousness was manifested, perhaps, in shapes and forms long since withdrawn before the tide of advancing humanity . . . forms of which poetry and legend alone have caught a flying memory and called them gods, monsters, mythical beings of all sorts and kinds. . . .”
- Clash of the Titans (1981, 2010)
- Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest (2006)
- Giant squid battle from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUgDYxZHGz0
“The Kraken” (1830) – Victorian Web
Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides: above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumbered and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages and will lie
Battening upon huge sea-worms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.
“The Kraken”, Poems, Chiefly Lyrical by Alfred Tennyson
Further suggestions welcome!!