The review of Maculotti’s essay Carcosa Unveiled. Notes for an esoteric reading of True Detective, a book that in just over a hundred pages opens infinite doors to different worlds. If you loved the Pizzolato series, from now on you will love it even more
Not long ago, we announced the arrival of the debut essay by Marco Maculotti, Carcosa unveiled. Notes for an esoteric reading of True Detective. Thanks to the courtesy of Mimesis editore, we were able to get our hands on the work, so that now we can tell you more about it.
In the legendary first season of True Detective, Nic Pizzolato he never pauses to tell the many details that characterize the story. Just as in the Lovecraftian cosmic horror, the disturbing lurks in the unspoken, in the intricate wooden gifts found at the crime scene, or in the apparently delusional speeches of Rust Cole.
Carcosa unveiled has the ambitious goal of reconnecting every piece of the puzzle to its origin in the literary, historical, or even current world. And it succeeds, it succeeds very well, placing itself as an easy-to-read essay despite the topics covered. The stunning illustrations by Marco Sabbatani complete the work, taking us back to the atmospheres of the Pizzolato series, and even beyond it, towards the worlds of Lovecraft, Ligotti, Bierce, and ancient Celtic mythology.
The pieces of the puzzle | Carcosa review unveiled
The unveiled Carcosa index offers a menu of dozens of the most disparate topics. Only those who have seen the first season of True Detective can recognize the common thread that binds all the elements and begin to connect them. Maculotti divides his work into three main categories: the first, Human sacrifices and pagan rites, traces the history of sacrifice rituals, from the dawn of civilization to today; the second is The yellow thread for Carcosa, in which the place cited several times in True Detective as the origin and end of all things is delineated through the recovery of the literature of Loovecraft, Bierce and Chambers; finally with Time is a flat circle, the focus shifts to the characters, philosophy and their destiny. Here we finally get to talk about Thomas Ligotti, the main source of inspiration for Pizzolato.
Particularly striking is the choice to begin by talking about current affairs and conspiracy, citing, among other things, the infamous Bohemian Groove and modern Satanism. Between reality and paranoia, Maculotti’s goal is to restore the atmospheres of the television series, which clearly wants to recall these controversial events. It’s not all conspiracy: Louisiana has indeed been the scene of ritualistic serial killings in the past few years.
As we continue with the reading, the common thread we were talking about becomes more and more clear, and we come to the understanding that all these themes are not linked only by True Detective, but exist independently of it. The television series has the goal of making us perceive this “hidden world”, but now we can define it in words.
The whole is accompanied, in addition to Sabbatani’s illustrations, with an accurate bibliographic and in-depth annotation.
In conclusion …
A Carcosa review unveiled is not enough to outline the strength of this book. Although the title speaks of “notes”, and is overall short (130 pages approx), the topics covered could be frightening for their complexity. Instead, Maculotti manages to create a perfectly understandable essay, even for non-experts who are approaching the topics for the first time. The way in which the author manages to simplify the discussion without trivializing it is worthy of praise, and is undoubtedly the strong point of the work.
True Detective could be enjoyed as it is: the elusive mystery, as we said, is an integral part of the experience. But for those who, just like Rust Cole, feel they want to lift that veil, looking for “the other darkness under the darkness”, Carcosa unveiled is the perfect starting point. It represents a sort of conceptual map, just like the ones that detectives create to follow their cases, from which one can then deepen mythology and literature, going to the sources listed in the bibliography.
We talk about Carcosa unveiled, and certainly, after reading, we feel we have revealed many things. But, as always happens in the path of knowledge, an answer is followed by many new questions.
A golden opportunity to rediscover a high-level series
Points in favor
- Accessible but not trivial reading
- Complete analysis of every aspect
- Excellent bibliography
- The wonderful illustrations of Sabbatani
- Reserved for those who have already seen the television series, as it obviously is