[ELDRITCH-DARK] Re: Machen's "The Experiment" (in The Great God Pan) and "The Inmost Light"

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#1 [ELDRITCH-DARK] Re: Machen's "The Experiment" (in The Great God Pan) and "The Inmost Light"

Beitrag von Nyarlathotep » 10.10.2019, 05:58

Notes on "The Experiment" continued. Page 177: Machen underscores the pathos and horror of what is about to happen by giving the girl the virginal name Mary. Her innocent trust will be terribly betrayed. She is dressed in white, like a bride, and blushes; that's significant; Machen could have had her looking white with uneasiness, for example, but no. Note that Raymond says to Clarke, "You are my witness." It's as if Clarke is not only a witness that Mary, as a competent young adult, has consented to the operation, but as if he is a witness at a marriage ceremony of a sort. Raymond seeks to reassure Clarke, and perhaps to delude himself, by a reductive explanation of what is going to occur; after all it's just a little incision in the "grey matter." For the sake of exact knowledge within certain limited spheres, researchers may focus solely on the measurable, quantifiable aspects of nature -- if they are restrained by sound morality. Raymond is deluded by what we now can call scientism, the notion that all you have to do to understand anything is "follow the science" and that science potentially offers all we need for a complete understanding of existence. But the scientific method only works on some, not all, planes, and our humanity includes more than physics, chemistry, biology, or even psychology as usually conceived. Hence poor Mary is set up for disaster. I expect to say something about Clarke's dream later.

Source: http://www.eldritchdark.com/forum/read. ... #msg-12110