Wednesday, June 05, 2013

HP Lovecraft - the Writer Out of Time

He had one of the bleakest worldviews ever committed to paper, was racist – and could be a terrible writer. So why is HP Lovecraft more popular than ever?

From a piece in the Guardian...

 Lovecraft's work is not obviously child-friendly. "I am so beastly tired of mankind and the world," he once wrote, "that nothing can interest me unless it contains a couple of murders on each page, or deals with the horrors unnameable and unaccountable that leer down from the external universes." So why a baby book? "When we first printed Baby's First Mythos a decade ago," says Erica Henderson, "it was meant as more of a novelty for adults. But parents came back to us years later and said they were teaching their children with it. I think people like it when horror is subverted."

Why does she think he is so popular? "Lovecraft made a world where humans are alone, floating on a rock in a terrifying larger universe that we cannot possibly comprehend because our time in it has been so short and we are so insignificant compared to the horrors from the Cthulhu Mythos. So much of modern horror is based on that idea. We wouldn't have Ghostbusters if it weren't for Lovecraft – and that's the best argument I can think of for his work."

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