Theosophy and Appendix N

Appendix N is the literary wellspring of the DCC RPG. Discuss it here, along with related subjects: D&D history, pulp sci-fi/fantasy magazines, pre-genre literature, etc.

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mattstaggs
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Theosophy and Appendix N

Post by mattstaggs » Tue May 22, 2012 6:47 am

I'm wondering if any of you have noticed connections between the many tropes of Appendix N pseudo-history and the teachings of Theosophy. You can, in my opinion, clearly see such analogues in Howard's Hyperborea: the fall of Atlantis, various relict races, etc. I'm just curious if anyone else has noticed and explored these.

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Re: Theosophy and Appendix N

Post by thogard » Thu May 24, 2012 7:09 am

mattstaggs wrote:I'm wondering if any of you have noticed connections between the many tropes of Appendix N pseudo-history and the teachings of Theosophy.
I always thought Michael Moorcock's fantasy showed the Anthroposophical influence of his Steiner/Waldorf education.

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Re: Theosophy and Appendix N

Post by finarvyn » Sat May 26, 2012 12:08 pm

I must not have been paying attention in English Lit class somewhere along the line. The words mostly look familiar but I have no idea what any of it means. :oops:

Tropes are styles or patterns or stereotypes, I think. What is "Theosophy"?

My best guess is that you're wondering if many Appendix N stories use a history similar but not exactly the same as ours?

Oh, and I'm pretty sure that Howard's Conan word was "Hyboria", not Hyperborea. (As in "The Hyborian Age.") There was a nation of Hyperborea somewhere in the NE section of the map but the world was Hyboria, unless my brain has totally cramped up on me.
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Re: Theosophy and Appendix N

Post by toadlike » Sun May 27, 2012 6:12 am

mattstaggs wrote:I'm wondering if any of you have noticed connections between the many tropes of Appendix N pseudo-history and the teachings of Theosophy. You can, in my opinion, clearly see such analogues in Howard's Hyperborea: the fall of Atlantis, various relict races, etc. I'm just curious if anyone else has noticed and explored these.
Good call Mattstaggs!

The first time I came across the word theosophy was in a Clark Ashton Smith letter. I never really thought much about it, but now that you mention it, it might be worth taking a cursory look at it for inspirational purposes.
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Re: Theosophy and Appendix N

Post by Geoffrey » Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:14 pm

mattstaggs wrote:I'm wondering if any of you have noticed connections between the many tropes of Appendix N pseudo-history and the teachings of Theosophy.
Definitely. Chaosium even published a volume of Blavatsky as part of its Call of Cthulhu Fiction series:

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