One may be tempted to separate Lovecraft’s fictional works from his own personal views. "[81], On June 11, Robert E. Howard committed suicide after being told that his mother would not awaken from her coma. [52], In the winter of 1918–1919, Susie, exhibiting symptoms of a "nervous breakdown" of some sort, went to live with her elder sister Lillian. [33] A 1913 letter critical of Fred Jackson, a prominent writer for Argosy, started Lovecraft down a path that would greatly affect his life. The life and occult works of Robert W. Chambers Lord Dunsany: The English fantasist who young Lovecraft went to hear. While he thought that Roosevelt enact more progressive policies, he came to the conclusion that the New Deal was the only realistic option for reform. [183], Lovecraft has also influenced gaming, despite having hated games during his lifetime. praised design trends for the y Often his characters are subject to a compulsive influence from powerful malevolent or indifferent beings. H.P. Lovecraft thought that an intellectual aristocracy needed to be formed to preserve America. Their name is derived from a line in "The Tomb". [58] This period also proved to be the most prolific of Lovecraft's short-story career. It was at around this time he wrote the outline for "The Call of Cthulhu", with its theme of the insignificance of all humanity. [50] In 1917, as Lovecraft related to Kleiner, Lovecraft made an aborted attempt to enlist in the army. [29] Lovecraft found his studies were hobbled by the mathematics involved, which he found boring and would cause headaches that would incapacitate him for a day. Sometimes, an isolated pocket of humanity falls into decadence and atavism of its own accord (e.g. In his old age he helped raise the young H. P. Lovecraft and educated him not only in the classics, but also in original weird tales of "winged horrors" and "deep, low, moaning sounds" which he created for his grandchild's entertainment. Despite Hess' protest that this was not the case, Susie maintained this stance. Stephen King,[139] Ramsey Campbell,[163] Alan Moore,[164] Junji Ito,[165] Thomas Ligotti,[166] Caitlín R. Kiernan,[167] William S. Burroughs,[168] and Neil Gaiman,[169] have cited Lovecraft as one of their primary influences. [27] A next-door neighbor later pointed out that what others in the neighborhood often supposed were loud, nocturnal quarrels between mother and son, she recognized as being recitations of Shakespeare, an activity that seemed to delight mother and son. In accordance with his lifelong scientific curiosity, he kept a diary of his illness until he was physically incapable of holding a pen. Levenda went on to claim that Lovecraft had access to this purported scroll. The dreamlands in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath are a shared dreamworld that can be accessed by a sensitive dreamer. His family supported the Republican Party for the entirety of his life. "[53] In the same account, Hess describes a time when they crossed paths in downtown Providence and Susie "was excited and apparently did not know where she was." He did say, though, that while having some conflicts with teachers, he enjoyed high school, becoming close with a small circle of friends and performed well academically, excelling in particular at chemistry and physics. In any event, they appear more prolific than ever. Lovecraft. Peter Levenda, an occult author who has written about the Necronomicon, claims that he and "Simon" came across a hidden Greek translation of the grimoire while looking through a collection of antiquities at a New York bookstore during the 1960s or 1970s. Loveman was Jewish, but he and Lovecraft became close friends in spite of the latter's nativist attitudes. He frequently revised work for other authors and did a large amount of ghostwriting, including The Mound, Winged Death, and The Diary of Alonzo Typer. [148] Several scholars, including S. T. Joshi and Alison Sperling, have said that this confirms H. P. Lovecraft's place in the western canon. [93], Lovecraft was an atheist. [76] A few years after Lovecraft had moved to Providence, he and his wife Sonia Greene, having lived separately for so long, agreed to an amicable divorce. After a few unsuccessful spells as a low-level clerk, his job-seeking became desultory. He was also influenced by the travel literature of John Mandeville and Marco Polo. Lovecraft took to discussing and debating his pessimism with his peers, which allowed him to solidify his philosophy. Cosmicism took on a more pessimistic tone with his creation of what is now known as the Cthulhu Mythos; a fictional universe that contains alien deities and horrors. Due in no small part to the encouragement of W. Paul Cook, another UAPA member and future lifelong friend, Lovecraft began writing and publishing more fiction. Sometimes the barbarism comes as an external threat, with a civilized race destroyed in war (e.g. [25] Lovecraft mentions a steady continuation of their financial decline highlighted by a failed business venture of his uncle that cost Susie a large portion of their dwindling wealth. By this point, Lovecraft's literary career had reached its end. [75], Although he was able to combine his distinctive style (allusive and amorphous description by horrified though passive narrators) with the kind of stock content and action that the editor of Weird Tales wanted—Wright paid handsomely to snap up "The Dunwich Horror" which proved very popular with readers—Lovecraft increasingly produced work that brought him no remuneration. In some cases, this doom is manifest in the entirety of humanity, and no escape is possible (The Shadow Out of Time). [78][page needed] After leaving New York, he moved to an apartment at 10 Barnes Street near Brown University with his surviving aunt; a few years later, they moved to a slightly less expensive place at 65 Prospect Street. "[104] Like Lovecraft, Poe was out of step with the prevailing literary trends of his era. The forces of good were supposed to have won, locking Cthulhu and others beneath the earth, the ocean, and elsewhere. Recommended to you based on your activity and what's popular • Feedback Lovecraft, like his contemporaries, envisioned "savages" as closer to supernatural knowledge unknown to civilized man. | Jul 14, 2020 5.0 out of 5 stars 4 Contemporary French writer Michel Houellebecq wrote a literary biography, H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life. Lovecraft portrays this potential for a growing gap of man's understanding of the universe as a potential for horror, most notably in "The Colour Out of Space", where the inability of science to comprehend a contaminated meteorite leads to horror. In response to this discovery, Lovecraft took to studying astronomy and described his observations in the local newspaper. [20] It was also during this period that Lovecraft produced the first of the types of fiction he would later be known for, namely "The Beast in the Cave" and "The Alchemist". [1], Lovecraft's writing, particularly the so-called Cthulhu Mythos, has influenced fiction authors including modern horror and fantasy writers. "[13], In 1902, according to Lovecraft's own correspondence, astronomy became a guiding influence on his world view. Novel to the game was the Lovecraft-inspired insanity mechanic, which allowed for player characters to go insane from contact with cosmic horrors. "[130] Non-Euclidean geometry is the mathematical language and background of Einstein's general theory of relativity, and Lovecraft references it repeatedly in exploring alien archaeology. By the time he was seventeen, he had read detailed writings that agreed with his worldview. "Herbert West–Reanimator" reflects on the atheism common in academic circles. Lovecraft's discovery of the stories of Lord Dunsany,[111] with their pantheon of mighty gods existing in dreamlike outer realms, moved his writing in a new direction, resulting in a series of imitative fantasies in a Dreamlands setting. It sold slowly and only approximately 200 copies were bound. Only the human scenes and characters must have human qualities. [36], Lovecraft immersed himself in the world of amateur journalism for most of the following decade. Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Lovecraft spent most of his life in New England. Bill Traut and George Badonsky, who set up Dunwich Records, were fans of the author and gained August Derleth's permission to use Lovecraft's name for the band. Arthur Machen's "The Novel of the Black Seal" (1895), which uses the same method of piecing together of disassociated knowledge (including a random newspaper clipping) to reveal the sur… For other sections, dates are the time of composition, not publication. The exact sources of Phillips' weird tales have not been identified. [65], Lovecraft's aunts disapproved of this relationship with Sonia. In some stories this struggle is at an individual level; many of his protagonists are cultured, highly educated men who are gradually corrupted by some obscure and feared influence. According to Gary Hill's The Strange Sounds of Cthulhu, their band's raison d'être is to reference Lovecraft's tales. This library contained classical literature, scientific works, and early weird fiction. In early 1920 followed "The Cats of Ulthar" and "Celephaïs". She attributed Lovecraft's passive nature to a stultifying upbringing by his mother. He saw that Roosevelt was trying to steer a middle course between the conservatives and the revolutionaries, which he approved of. Joshi, H.P. [n 5] These municipalities are located in the western half of a fictionalized Massachusetts. [191] This book was claimed to have born the seal of the Necronomicon. However, he thought that Hitler's racial policies should be based on culture rather than descent. He opposed democracy and thought that America should be governed by an aristocracy. [56], Late 1919 saw Lovecraft become more outgoing. [102], His interest started from his childhood days when his grandfather, who preferred Gothic stories, would tell him stories of his own design. [119] In 1991, as a result of his rising place in American literature, it was popularly thought that Lovecraft extensively transcribed his dreams when writing fiction. Derleth's Cthulhu Mythos stories went on to associate different gods with the traditional four elements of fire, air, earth and water — an artificial constraint which required rationalizations on Derleth's part as Lovecraft himself never envisioned such a scheme. "[12] At the age of eight, he took a keen interest in the sciences, particularly astronomy and chemistry. Howard Phillips Lovecraft (US: /ˈlʌvkræft/; August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937) was an American writer of weird and horror fiction, who is known for his creation of what became the Cthulhu Mythos. "[156], In 2020, Lovecraft was awarded the 1945 Retro-Hugo Award for Best Series for the Cthulhu Mythos.[160]. The awe and dread described by the characters in Lovecraft's weird fiction baffle them; they are stunned as their minds struggle to comprehend the alien things before them. From the start, Lovecraft did not hold all white people in uniform high regard, but rather esteemed English people and those of English descent. "[155], Several media outlets published articles discussing Lovecraft's legacy as a horror fiction writer, with many outlets in the 2010s discussing and criticizing Lovecraft's racism and homophobia. Often these criticisms were couched in xenophobic and racist arguments bemoaning the "bastardization" of the "national language" by immigrants. [99], Initially, Lovecraft showed sympathy to minorities who adopted Western culture, even to the extent of marrying a Jewish woman he viewed as "well assimilated. [159] After the World Fantasy Award dropped their connection to Lovecraft, The Atlantic commented that "In the end, Lovecraft still wins—people who've never read a page of his work will still know who Cthulhu is for years to come, and his legacy lives on in the work of Stephen King, Guillermo del Toro, and Neil Gaiman. It is unclear what Susie may have been suffering from. [175], Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges wrote his short story "There Are More Things" in memory of Lovecraft. He was known to give up trying to sell a story after it had been once rejected. He questioned if God is also a myth. He was an ardent supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Kenneth Grant of the Typhonian Order incorporated Lovecraft's Mythos into his ritual and occult system, but in a more direct and literal sense than the Church of Satan. Corin Hardy) [Official Audio]", "How to Investigate the Copyright Status of a Work", "Caring about the Civilization (1929–37)", "The Complicated Friendship of H. P. Lovecraft and Robert Barlow, One of His Biggest Fans", "The Developing Storyworld of H. P. Lovecraft", "Transcending Time and Space: H.P. Specifically, he began to have recurring nightmares of beings he termed "night-gaunts"; their appearance he credited to the influence of Doré's illustrations, which would "whirl me through space at a sickening rate of speed, the while fretting & impelling me with their detestable tridents." [6] Throughout his life, Lovecraft maintained that his father fell into a paralytic state, due to insomnia and being overworked, and remained that way until his death. Instead, it was caused by the increase in socialism's political capital during the 1930s. [129], In a letter to James F. Morton in 1923, Lovecraft specifically pointed to Albert Einstein's theory on relativity as throwing the world into chaos and making the cosmos a jest; in a letter to Woodburn Harris in 1929, he speculated that technological comforts risk the collapse of science. He passively accepted both of them. Lovecraft’s literary successors, led by August Derleth, who co-founded Arkham House Publishers to promulgate Lovecraft’s work, expanded this rich religious vision to an even greater extent, as did later authors (Mackley2013). [98] His arguments were justified using disparagement of various races in his journalism and letters,[81] and perhaps allegorically in his fiction concerning non-human races. However, Lovecraft's difficulty made him ill-suited to the pulps; he was unable to compete with the popular recurring protagonists and damsel-in-distress stories. "[137] According to Joyce Carol Oates, Lovecraft (and Edgar Allan Poe in the 19th century) has exerted "an incalculable influence on succeeding generations of writers of horror fiction. After a period of isolation, he began joining friends in trips to writer gatherings; the first being a talk in Boston presented by Lord Dunsany, whom Lovecraft had recently discovered and idolized. In his early published essays, private letters and personal utterances, he argued for a strong color line to preserve race and culture. [14] Lovecraft went in and out of elementary school repeatedly, oftentimes with home tutors making up for those lost school years, missing time due to health concerns that are not entirely clear. Now all my tales are based on the fundamental premise that common human laws and interests and emotions have no validity or significance in the vast cosmos-at-large. [n 6][142] Mystery and Adventure columnist Will Cuppy of the New York Herald Tribune recommended to readers a volume of Lovecraft's stories, asserting that "the literature of horror and macabre fantasy belongs with mystery in its broader sense. Selected Works of Howard Phillips Lovecraft novellas/novelettes, short stories, poetry, revisions and collaborations, essays, juvenalia At the Mountains of Madness The Case of Charles Dexter Ward The Colour Out of Space The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath Dreams in the Witch-House The Dunwich Horror Herbert West: Reanimator [3] Susie's family was of substantial means at the time of their marriage, her father, Whipple Van Buren Phillips, being involved in business ventures. He sometimes dated his letters 200 years before the current date, which would have put the writing back in US colonial times, before the American Revolution (a war that offended his Anglophilia). They can only describe their own sensations in the presence of great horrors, such as the way the beings smell or what horrible sounds they make. "[153] Philosopher Eugene Thacker echoes this in his "Horror of Philosophy" series of books, finding in Lovecraft's ideas a "cold rationalism" or "cosmic pessimism" that highlights the limitations of anthropocentric thinking. These stories also included fantastic elements that represented the perceived fragility of anthropocentrism. This is a direct reference to the nicknames that Lovecraft gave to some of his correspondents. Lovecraft: A Life (West Warwick: Necronomicon Press, 1996) 33. [103], One of Lovecraft's most significant literary influences was Edgar Allan Poe, whom he described as his "God of Fiction. (An earlier, less complete version was published by Night Shade Books in 2001). The period beginning after his return to Providence—the last decade of his life—was Lovecraft's most prolific; in that time he produced short stories, as well as his longest works of fiction: The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, and At the Mountains of Madness. H. P. Lovecraft is one of the most well-known horror authors, but he is also one of the most controversial, as his racism is often included when discussing his body of work. ", "Weird realism: John Gray on the moral universe of H P Lovecraft", "Gunship – Cthulhu (Feat. It was in this period that Lovecraft was introduced to some of his earliest literary influences such as The Rime of the Ancient Mariner illustrated by Gustave Doré, One Thousand and One Nights, a gift from his mother, Thomas Bulfinch's Age of Fable and Ovid's Metamorphoses. [84] Lovecraft was listed along with his parents on the Phillips family monument (41°51′14″N 71°22′52″W / 41.8540176°N 71.3810921°W / 41.8540176; -71.3810921). Continuing, Lovecraft said that Jackson's characters exhibit the "delicate passions and emotions proper to negroes and anthropoid apes. [49] In 1919, Lovecraft published another short story, "Beyond the Wall of Sleep". "The Lurking Fear"). [92] Internationally, like many Americans, he initially expressed support for Adolf Hitler. While put forward as posthumous collaborations while Derleth was alive, the status of these works as collaborations with Lovecraft was swiftly disputed after his death. S. T. Joshi is supervising an ongoing series of volumes collecting Lovecraft's unabridged letters to particular correspondents. Following Derleth's death in 1971, his attorney proclaimed that all of Lovecraft's literary material was part of the Derleth estate and that it would be "protected to the fullest extent possible. [72], Not long after the marriage, Greene lost her business and her assets disappeared in a bank failure; she also became ill. Lovecraft made efforts to support his wife through regular jobs, but his lack of previous work experience meant he lacked proven marketable skills. (This may have been partially due to censorship guidelines imposed in the aftermath of a Weird Tales story that hinted at necrophilia, although after Lovecraft's death, Wright accepted many of the stories he had originally rejected. He encouraged other writers to reference his creations, such as the Necronomicon, Cthulhu and Yog-Sothoth. [25] He endeavored to commit himself to the study of organic chemistry, Susie buying the expensive glass chemistry assemblage he wanted. [40] He used this position to advocate for his, what many considered peculiar, insistence on the superiority of English language usage that most writers already considered archaic. Particular attention is given to his correspondence with August Derleth and Robert E. Howard. A genuine pagan decrying both his prior beliefs and the author H.P this! Termed `` cosmic indifference '' and `` Celephaïs '' was forced to move herself and son. 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