Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Real Lovecraft Fan Speaks

I came across this neat blog called the Staging Point. (click here for full text).


But how on earth does someone who can compose the wonderful simile of the ruins "protruding uncannily above the sands as parts of a corpse may protrude from an ill-made grave" manage to let themselves write, not a page later, that the "brooding ruins ... swelled beneath the sand like an ogre under a coverlet"? --Kenneth Hite on Lovecraft

The BBC recently broadcast a radio show examining the life and continuing influence of H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft is the early 20th-century writer of weird fiction who invented the Cthulhu Mythos and penned many stories of "cosmic horror."

I am extraordinarily fond of Lovecraft's writing. In fact, I'd certainly place him amid the crowd of writers whose work has inspired or influenced me throughout my reading life. ... But he's got one thing that more than compensates for any technical failing of his writing: sheer, unadulterated vision. You can see it lurking behind every awkward, adjective-laden phrase, in every earnest description of a monster that's supposed to be horrifying but instead comes across sounding like a hippopotamus-headed tentacled frog. ... Occasionally, amidst all the mad scientists and squid-faced flying ooze monsters, you catch a sanity-shattering glimpse of what Lovecraft is really scared of: a universe that doesn't care, in which mankind and all he's accomplished is just an unnoticed aberration of evolution. ... I like Lovecraft because he's an example of somebody whose ideas were so compelling that his writing deficiencies simply didn't matter.

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