If horror writer H.P. Lovecraft were to write an advice column, it would be somewhat less useful than those of Miss Manners of Dear Abby, but much more entertaining. In an imaginary column by James Warner, here is a part of the response to a woman who received a letter from a man she dated once in high school.
Although humankind has a yearning toward whatever is redolent of mystery and allurement, it is well that certain lacunae in our knowledge should remain forever unfilled. Your shadowy correspondent’s mention of the ill-regarded numbers nineteen and three recalls an unutterable experiment performed on sticklebacks by the Swedish icthyologist Dalgaard. I dare not describe his observations, but he concluded that, the longer we can remain innocent of our place in the cosmos, the better it must augur for our mental integrity. He came to understand there was more meaning than is commonly supposed in the nebulous half-inscriptions found on abandoned wharves — while who knows what malign significance underlies the latest findings on the growth of angiosperms, or the cycle of the solar spots?
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