Saturday, November 08, 2008

Lovecraft in Context (1917)


Lovecraft, as much as we admire, idolize, or scartch our heads over him, was a man of his times. He had a cultural milieu, and this indicates that there was a socio-economic and political group in which he was at home. People knew him, understood him, and he, they. To others, outside, they may have been puzzled at his beliefs and opinions, but not his group. Not yet. Not until his horizons grew, and he became a very big fish in a small pond.


The Inspiration for April 1917
…heart, we ourselves, look out upon the world with eyes that are beneath the fretful surface with hearts that reach out to the innermost hearts of mankind. We are bound to our fellowmen by stronger ties than kinship or ace, by a mightier-than-human Force which holds us together, an all-powerful Something that will not let us go.

In a little poem which has just come to light, Robert Louis Stevenson says:

"Let us wander where we will,
Something kindred greets us still,
Something seen on vale or hill
Falls familiar on the heart;
So at scent of sound or sight,
Severed souls by day and night …
Tremble half the world apart."

The Great War, raging fiercely for almost three years across the wide Atlantic, has "fallen familiar on the heart," – on the heart of us individually, on the heart of our little fraternity collectively. No less than twenty-seven of our number – members of the British Amateur Press Association and our own Canadian constituent – have enlisted and gone to that hazardous, far-reaching Front, and the little band is scattered frm No-Man's Land to Mesopotamia, from London to Zanzibar. Where many of them are, we do not know; perhaps never shall know; but our souls, severed from them in truth, have "trembled half the world apart," and we want Our Boys to know it. We want these brothers of ours, this fraternal kin of ours, to feel that we are with them, that we have been from the beginning, will be to the end.


And, therefore, are we gathered here – a little handful of us together – to speak for us all; to lay at their feet this little tribute of pride, of love, and affection, though nothing we can do, no words we may speak, no tribute, however great is worthy of them. And when it is all over when they come marching back with blaring trumpets, and flags opf victory, they will find

No comments:


Blog Archive


Google Analytics