Showing posts from February, 2024

Haïta the Shepherd

  Ambrose Bierce, "Haïta the Shepherd," in  Tales of Soldiers and Civilians  (E. L. G. Steele: 1891). Read the story here on Gutenburg In a previous murmur covering Ambrose Bierce’s short story “An Inhabitant of Carcosa,” I argued that Robert W. Chambers takes more from that story than just the name “Carcosa.” Likewise, it is often claimed that while Chambers takes the name “Hastur” from Bierce’s “Haïta the Shepherd,” the influence of that story on Chambers’ work ends there.  I think there is a much deeper connection, and I will argue that important themes in Bierce’s “Haïta the Shepherd” carry over to The King in Yellow .  Although a central theme in “Haïta the Shepherd” focuses on happiness being elusive and that the best way to attain happiness is by not purposely seeking it out, the story is also packed with other interesting themes relevant to certain readings of The King in Yellow . The first line of Bierce's parable like tale: “[i]n the heart of Haïta, the illusio