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H.P. Lovecraft (1890 - 1937)

Lifespan: 1890 - 1937

Related: horror fiction - science fiction literature - fantastic fiction - American literature

Non-fiction: Supernatural Horror in Literature (1924-1927) - H. P. Lovecraft

H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life (1991|2005) - Michel Houellebecq [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Connoisseurs: Michel Houellebecq Elsa Schiaparelli


Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937) was an American author of fantasy, horror and science fiction, noted for combining these three genres within single narratives. Lovecraft's readership was limited during his life, but his works have become highly important and influential among writers and fans of modern horror fiction. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.P._Lovecraft [Apr 2006]

Lovecraft on Goya

Any magazine-cover hack can splash paint around wildly and call it a nightmare or a Witches' Sabbath or a portrait of the devil, but only a great painter can make such a thing really scare or ring true. That's because only a real artist knows the actual anatomy of the terrible or the physiology of fear- the exact sort of lines and proportions that connect up with latent instincts or hereditary memories of fright, and the proper colour contrasts and lighting effects to stir the dormant sense of strangeness. I don't have to tell you why a Fuseli really brings a shiver while a cheap ghost-story frontispiece merely makes us laugh. There's something those fellows catch- beyond life- that they're able to make us catch for a second. Doré had it. [Sidney] Sime has it. Angarola of Chicago has it.


I don't believe anybody since Goya could put so much of sheer hell into a set of features or a twist of expression. And before Goya you have to go back to the mediaeval chaps who did the gargoyles and chimaeras on Notre Dame and Mont Saint-Michel. -- H. P. Lovecraft, written in 1926, published October 1927 in Weird Tales, sourced via http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Pickman%27s_Model [Apr 2006]

See also: Goya - Lovecraft

Zoomorphism [...]

A motif that predominates Lovecraft's fiction is zoomorphism. A strong example of this motif can be found in The Festival, a story in which Lovecraft's protagonist is lured by a cacophony of strange sounds to a ritual held in the bowels of decaying city. There he finds a horde of creatures leaking into our reality: "There flapped rhythmically a horde of hybrid winged things...not altogether crows, nor moles, nor buzzards, nor ants, nor decomposed human beings but a combination of these things that I can not and must not fully recall..." (The Doom..., pp. 54) --© 2001 John R. Harford, Surrealism , H.P. Lovecraft and Dream Reality [http://www.thefragment.com/essay/surrealwriting/surrealpoetry3.html, Mar 2004]

Arkham House

Arkham House is a weird fiction specialty publishing house founded by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei. Arkham House published the first hardback collections of H. P. Lovecraft's work. Arkham House editions are noted for the quality of their printing and binding. The company's name is derived from Lovecraft's fictional city Arkham.

In addition to volumes of Lovecraft's fiction, Arkham House published collections of his letters to peers, friends and family. Among his correspondents were Arkham House founders, Derleth and Wandrei.

Arkham House also published fiction from several of Lovecraft's contemporaries, including Frank Belknap Long, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert Bloch, and Derleth himself; classic genre fiction by authors such as William Hope Hodgson, Algernon Blackwood, and J. Sheridan Le Fanu; and later writers in the Lovecraft school, such as Ramsey Campbell and Brian Lumley.

After Derleth's death, his successors expanded the company's range of authors to include such prominent science fiction and fantasy writers as Michael Bishop, Lucius Shepard, Bruce Sterling, James Tiptree Jr., and J. G. Ballard, often publishing hardcover collections of shorter works. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arkham_House [Jun 2005]

H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life (1991|2005) - Michel Houellebecq

From Booklist
Earlier this year, a quasi-amateur "pulp" writer vaulted into the national literary canon when the Library of America published H. P. Lovecraft: Tales. Now McSweeney's Believer Books makes available in English a perspicacious essay on the reclusive horror-fictionist by a controversially antiliberal French novelist. Houellebecq finds Lovecraft's significance in his rejection of human importance. A thoroughgoing materialist, Lovecraft based the horror in his stories on the perception that humanity was doomed to extinction well before the end of the cosmos. The monstrous, implacable, arational Old Ones--Cthulhu and the rest--that Lovecraft repeatedly depicts as eventually invading and destroying human civilization are simply the imaginative expression of a deeply pessimistic cosmic fatalism that Lovecraft's own stunted life seemingly endorsed. Lovecraft was against life and the world because science and rationality told him they were meaningless and ephemeral. Yet what inspirationally disturbing and vivid fiction Lovecraft's beliefs animated. Without his example, would the fiction of Stephen King, who contributes an argumentative introduction here, and such superb movie shockers as Alien ever have existed? Ray Olson Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --via Amazon.com

Book Description
"Those who love life do not read. Nor do they go to the movies, actually. No matter what might be said, access to the artistic universe is more or less entirely the preserve of those who are a little fed up with the world." In this prescient work—now with an introduction by Stephen King—Michel Houellebecq, the author of the novels Platform and Elementary Particles, focuses his considerable analytical skills on H.P. Lovecraft, the seminal, enigmatic horror writer of the early 20th century. Houellebecq’s insights into the craft of writing illuminate both Lovecraft and Houellebecq’s own work. The two are kindred spirits, sharing a uniquely dark worldview. But even as he outlines Lovecraft’s rejection of this loathsome world, it is Houellebecq’s adulation for the author that drives this work and makes it a love song, infusing the writing with an energy and passion not seen in Houellebecq’s novels to date. Indispensable reading for anyone interested in Lovecraft, Houellebecq, or the past and future of horror. --via Amazon.com

see also: Michel Houellebecq - Stephen King

The Music of Erich Zann (1925) - H. P. Lovecraft

"The Music Of Erich Zann" is a short story by H. P. Lovecraft, written in December 1921 and published in the May 1925 issue of Weird Tales. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Music_of_Erich_Zann [Jul 2006]

I have examined maps of the city with the greatest care, yet have never again found the Rue d’Auseil. These maps have not been modern maps alone, for I know that names change. I have, on the contrary, delved deeply into all the antiquities of the place, and have personally explored every region, of whatever name, which could possibly answer to the street I knew as the Rue d’Auseil. But despite all I have done, it remains an humiliating fact that I cannot find the house, the street, or even the locality, where, during the last months of my impoverished life as a student of metaphysics at the university, I heard the music of Erich Zann. --http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Music_of_Erich_Zann [Jul 2006]

See also: Weird Tales - 1925 - H. P. Lovecraft - fantastic literature

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