The Seven Geases


Clark Ashton Smith, "The Seven Geases" in Weird Tales, Vol. 24 No. 4, October 1934.

The themes of this myth are at one with Ligotti’s philosophical pessimism. Humankind, distilled into the character of Ralibar Vooz, begins a senseless quest to kill for sport (to hunt the Voormis). He is soon made a diplomatic pawn (a useless one as it turns out), an offered sacrifice, beginning a repetitious cycle of the human being used as a mere means. Paradoxically, it is humanity that uses itself as a mere means and brings about the vicious cycle that results in its own doom, for it is actually a human who sets Ralibar off under the control of the first geas. Under the geases, the paradox of freedom without freedom is borne out as humanity is exposed as the living puppet that it is. As it turns out Ralibar, in virtue of his humanity, is an outsider, always out of place, an abomination to all he meets, useless and ultimately a kind of failure destined to fall into a pit of oblivion.


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