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"Take a Victorian scifi premise, say, a trip to the center of the earth, and by the way, it's hollow. Add a tale of a soul condemned by the Illuminati to a perilous underground quest to find the Goddess of Love (spoiler alert: spell Aphrodite backwards). Top it off with a wild magic mushroom trip. That's Etidorhpa!
This may be the very source of the 'adepts living in hollow earth who abduct humans' meme, later developed by Ray Palmer, and many others. The book is larded with long passages of speculative science. The structure of the hollow earth and the effects of gravitation at various places is much better worked out than some of the 'nonfiction' hollow earth books (e.g. Reed or Gardner).
The journey of 'I-am-the-man' is a not-so-subtle allegory of spiritual progression to being a disembodied adept. Along the way he loses his youth, loses sunlight, becomes weightless, stops breathing, can hear without ears, then his heart stops, ... and still he lives. Each of this steps is symbolic of a progression to a more ethereal plane of existence.
At times, the narrative recursion is three levels deep. This is an acquired taste. L. Sprague de Camp called Etidorpha 'unreadable.' Modern readers accustomed to consuming multiple narrative streams at the same time (i.e. channel hopping), with long recursive breaks (i.e. commercials) might do better.
Except for the titular Etidorhpa, there are no female characters. And she only appears briefly in a hallucination. Why such a small part in the book? Other genre novels, such as Atlantida and The Lost Continent, are driven by strong female characters. And once the main character is inside the hollow earth, it just halts. He doesn't even get to meet Etidorhpa again. Whether the author ran out of steam, or the ending was only supposed to be implied, is unknown." (Quote from sacred-texts.com)
Table of Contents:
Publisher's Preface; Ascription; Preface; Preface To This Edition; A Valuable And Unique Library; Prologue; "never Less Alone Than When Alone"; A Friendly Conference; A Second Interview With The Mysterious visitor; A Search For Knowledge.—the Alchemistic Letter; The Writing Of My Confession; Kidnapped; A Wild Night.—i Am Prematurely Aged; A Lesson In Mind Study; I Can Not Establish My Identity; My Journey Towards The End Of Earth Begins.—the Adepts' Brotherhood; My Journey Continues.—instinct; A Cavern Discovered.—biswell's Hill; The Punch-bowls And Caverns Of Kentucky.—"into The Unknown Country"; Farewell To God's Sunshine.—the Echo Of The Cry; A Zone Of Light Deep Within The Earth; vitalized Darkness.—the Narrows In Science; The Fungus Forest.—enchantment; The Food Of Man; The Cry From A Distance.—i Rebel Against Continuing The Journey; My Unbidden Guest Proves His Statement And Refutes My Philosophy; My Weight Disappearing; My Unbidden Guest Departs; I Question Scientific Men.—aristotle's Ether; The Soliloquy Of Prop. Daniel Vaughn.—"gravitation Is The Beginning And Gravitation Is The End: All Earthly Bodies Kneel To Gravitation"; The Mother Of A Volcano.—"you Can Not Disprove, And You Dare Not Admit"; Motion From Inherent Energy.—"lead Me Deeper Into This Expanding Study"; Sleep, Dreams, Nightmare.—"strangle The Life From My Body"; A Challenge.—my Unbidden Guest Accepts It; Beware Of Biology, The Science Of The Life Of Man ; Looking Backward.—the Living Brain; A Lesson On Volcanoes.—primary Colors Are Capable Of Farther Subdivision; Matter Is Retarded Motion; "a Study Of Science Is A Study Of God."—communing With Angels; I Cease To Breathe, And Yet Live; "a Certain Point Within A Sphere."—men Are As Parasites On The Roof Of Earth; Drunkenness.—the Drinks Of Man; The Drunkard's Voice; The Drunkards' Den; Among The Drunkards; Further Temptation.—etidorhpa; Misery; Eternity Without Time; The Last Contest; The Fathomless Abyss.—the Edge Of The Earth Shell; My Heart Throb Is Stilled, And Yet I Live; The
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About the Author:
"John Uri Lloyd (19 April 1849 - 9 April 1936) was an American pharmacist influential in the fields of pharmacognosy, ethnobotany, economic botany, and herbalism. Born in upstate New York to teachers Nelson Marvin Lloyd and Sophia Webster, his family moved to Florence and Petersburg in northern Kentucky, near Cincinnati, Ohio in 1853. Lloyd took an apprenticeship with chemist William J.M. Gordon when he was 14 and later apprenticed with George Eger.
His younger brothers Nelson Ashley Lloyd (1851-1926) and Curtis Gates Lloyd (1859-1926) entered the field as well, and in 1886 the brothers renamed the Merrell and Thorpe Company as Lloyd Brothers, Pharmacists, Inc.
In 1919 Lloyd and his two brothers established trusts to prepetually fund the Lloyd Library and Museum. Today the Lloyd Library and Museum is considered by many to house the finest collections in the world devoted to Eclectic Medicine, medical botany and pharmacy.
After Lloyd's death, S.B. Penick bought the firm in 1938, and in 1960 the German pharmaceutical manufacturer Hoechst AG purchased the operations. Lloyd's innovations include a "cold still" for plant extractions and the first buffered alkaloid called alcresta (made with hydrous aluminium silicate). His most enduring legacy is the Lloyd Library and Museum and a series of local color novels about the Northern Kentucky area, and Etidorhpa, a scientific allegory that some consider the first real work of science fiction." (Quote from wikipedia.org)
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Book Description Forgotten Books, 2007. Paperback. Condition: Brand New. 393 pages. 9.00x6.00x0.98 inches. This item is printed on demand. Seller Inventory # zk1605064203
Book Description Forgotten Books, 2007. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111605064203