Dave's Corner of the Universe

Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide

Why More Lovecraft?

HPL

There will be an increase in H.P. Lovecraft post here at DCotU. Why? You might ask. Ratings. After about two and half years of posting blogs I get 12-20 a day hits by search engines. And 6-10 are for the post, Is the Cthulhu Mythos real? And about 3-6 hits on other Lovecraft posts. So it makes sense that the blog will become more Lovecraft-centric.

Now that doesn’t mean that I will be dropping other type of posts and stop writing about other subjects. If I have to be pigeon holed, well there are worst subjects to be associated with. I do not claim to be the Lovecraft scholar that S.T. Joshi, Robert M. Price or Sandy Peterson are, but among my peers it is pretty much assumed that I am Cthulhu Mythos expert in the group. I have also done much research on the subject and have much to say about HPL and his effect on writing and culture.

2015 has brought us many headlines due to racism, and when I write about Lovecraft I cannot shy away from his unfortunate views on non-whites. Racism in Lovecraft’s writing is almost comical. Not comical in fact that it is kind of pathetic. His description of the black boxer in Herbert West Reanimator. The use of the N-word in the name of a cat, in Rats in the wall, or the his descriptions of immigrants in The Horror at Red Hook, see ridiculously dated. But what is truly repulsive is some of his personal correspondences where he claimed lynching is better than race mixing.

No matter how reprehensive I think his view were, I do not think HPL should be just pushed off in to the garbage bin of literature history. About fifteen years ago I came across an article about Gandhi, by Solomon Rushdie. I thought the article was rather unflattering but I will always remember how Rushdie explained that seeing Gandhi as a real human with flaws made him more interesting than painting picture of his as a modern saint. I in no way am comparing Lovecraft to one of the greatest men in the twentieth century. But I do feel that an artist should be venerated for his work despite his personal views, and that he should seen as human as warts and all.

The part that fascinate me the most about HPL is his effect on culture and pop culture, and that is what I want to focus on. I still think a full seven decades after his death Lovecraft is a prime factor in not only horror but also storytelling and I am looking forward to developing in deeper on his contributions.

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8 comments on “Why More Lovecraft?

  1. Parlor of Horror
    September 24, 2015

    He was a product of his time and being secluded from other races and cultures only added to his paranoia about them. I would say that it was not uncommon for many people to feel the same way about other cultures at the turn of the 20th century. Every immigrant influx, even whites, (Italians, Irish, etc). received harsh prejudice in our cities during the early 1900s. Unfortunately, while he was able to see beyond our galaxy, he wasn’t able to see beyond the prejudice of his time.

    • davekheath
      September 24, 2015

      True enough, I am not sure how much I agree with some scholars (like ST Joshi) who are convinced that if he had live longer that his views on race might have been drastically different it is something I want to explore.

  2. Mike
    September 25, 2015

    I’ve never seen that picture of HPL before. He looks like a Beat poet.

    • davekheath
      September 25, 2015

      I just came across it a few weeks ago. They believe it was taken in 1933.I like it because it looks like one of the few pictures where he isn’t posing.

  3. Jeff Japp
    September 26, 2015

    I’m planning to read some in October.

  4. A.M. Pietroschek
    April 12, 2016

    You are the first who brings the facts on ‘Lovecraftian Racism’. Many I read before you being so busy posturing the good guys, or boiling with their own hatred, that I never read a clear note on WHAT was supposedly racist in their rants.

    Minor Secondary Point: Thank you for pointing out the ‘error’ in my Menu at WordPress. Now there should be clickable choices to circumvent the need of crawling through archives… 😉

  5. Richard Klu
    July 10, 2017

    Reblogged this on Cabal of Horror.

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