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The Old, American Horror Behind “Stranger Things”

Howard :. All I say is that I think it is damned unlikely that anything like a central cosmic will, a spirit world, or an eternal survival of personality exist. They are the most preposterous and unjustified of all the guesses which can be made about the universe, and I am not enough of a hairsplitter to pretend that I don't regard them as arrant and negligible moonshine.

In theory, I am an agnostic , but pending the appearance of radical evidence I must be classed, practically and provisionally, as an atheist. In , famed magician and escapist Harry Houdini asked Lovecraft to ghostwrite a treatise exploring the topic of superstition. Houdini's unexpected death later that year halted the project, but The Cancer of Superstition was partially completed by Lovecraft along with collaborator C. A previously unknown manuscript of the work was discovered in in a collection owned by a magic shop.

The book states "all superstitious beliefs are relics of a common 'prehistoric ignorance' in humans," and goes on to explore various superstitious beliefs in different cultures and times. Some of Lovecraft's work was inspired by his own nightmares. Lovecraft's most significant literary influence was Edgar Allan Poe. He had a British writing style due to his love of British literature. Like Lovecraft, Poe's work was out of step with the prevailing literary trends of his era.

Both authors created distinctive, singular worlds of fantasy and employed archaisms in their writings. This influence can be found in such works as his novella The Shadow over Innsmouth [] where Lovecraft references Poe's story " The Imp of the Perverse " by name in Chapter 3, and in his poem "Nemesis," where the " He was influenced by Arthur Machen 's [] carefully constructed tales concerning the survival of ancient evil into modern times in an otherwise realistic world and his beliefs in hidden mysteries which lay behind reality.

Lovecraft was also influenced by authors such as Oswald Spengler and Robert W. Chambers was the writer of The King in Yellow , of whom Lovecraft wrote in a letter to Clark Ashton Smith : "Chambers is like Rupert Hughes and a few other fallen Titans — equipped with the right brains and education but wholly out of the habit of using them.

Another inspiration came from a completely different source: scientific progress in biology, astronomy, [] geology, and physics. His astronomical telescope is now housed in the rooms of the August Derleth Society. Lovecraft's materialist views led him to espouse his philosophical views through his fiction; these philosophical views came to be called cosmicism.

Cosmicism took on a dark tone with his creation of what is today often called the Cthulhu Mythos, a pantheon of alien extra-dimensional deities and horrors which predate humanity, and which are hinted at in eons-old myths and legends. The term "Cthulhu Mythos" was coined by Lovecraft's correspondent and fellow author, August Derleth, after Lovecraft's death; Lovecraft jocularly referred to his artificial mythology as "Yog-Sothothery. Lovecraft considered himself a man best suited to the early 18th century. His writing style, especially in his many letters, owes much to Augustan British writers of the Enlightenment like Joseph Addison and Jonathan Swift.

Among the books found in his library as evidenced in Lovecraft's Library by S. Lovecraft's style has often been subject to criticism, [] yet scholars such as S. Joshi have shown that Lovecraft consciously utilized a variety of literary devices to form a unique style of his own — these include conscious archaism , prose-poetic techniques combined with essay-form techniques, alliteration , anaphora , crescendo , transferred epithet , metaphor , symbolism , and colloquialism.

Halloween Special: H. P. Lovecraft

Lovecraft was relatively unknown during his own time. He did, however, correspond regularly with other contemporary writers such as Clark Ashton Smith and August Derleth, [] who became good friends of his, even though they never met in person. This group of writers became known as the "Lovecraft Circle," since their writing freely borrowed elements of Lovecraft's stories, with his encouragement: the mysterious books with disturbing names, the pantheon of ancient alien entities such as Cthulhu and Azathoth, and eldritch places such as the New England town of Arkham and its Miskatonic University.

After Lovecraft's death, the Lovecraft Circle carried on.


  1. Filmography?
  2. Navigation menu.
  3. The Complicated Friendship of H. P. Lovecraft and Robert Barlow, One of His Biggest Fans;
  4. Cold Case, Hot Bodies (Mills & Boon Blaze) (The Wrong Bed, Book 40) (The Wrong Bed series).
  5. Laction publique face à la mobilité (Logiques sociales) (French Edition);
  6. Common scam in daily life日常骗局大揭秘.
  7. Paternalismus - Hierachische Strukturen in der indischen Arbeitswelt (German Edition)!

August Derleth in particular added to and expanded on Lovecraft's vision, not without controversy. While Lovecraft considered his pantheon of alien gods a mere plot device, Derleth created an entire cosmology, complete with a war between the good Elder Gods and the evil Outer Gods , such as Cthulhu and his ilk.

The forces of good were supposed to have won, locking Cthulhu and others up beneath the earth, in the ocean, and so forth.

Who is H.P. Lovecraft?

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. Lovecraft's fiction has been grouped into three categories by some critics. While Lovecraft did not refer to these categories himself, he did once write: "There are my 'Poe' pieces and my ' Dunsany pieces' — but alas — where are any Lovecraft pieces?

Lovecraft's writing, particularly the so-called Cthulhu Mythos, has influenced fiction authors including modern horror and fantasy writers. Kiernan , William S.

Biography Newsletter

Burroughs , and Neil Gaiman , have cited Lovecraft as one of their primary influences. Beyond direct adaptation, Lovecraft and his stories have had a profound impact on popular culture. Some influence was direct, as he was a friend, inspiration, and correspondent to many of his contemporaries, such as August Derleth, Robert E.

Howard, Robert Bloch and Fritz Leiber. Chiaki J. Konaka is an acknowledged disciple and has participated in Cthulhu Mythos, expanding several Japanese versions.

Quick Facts

Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life. Prolific American writer Joyce Carol Oates wrote an introduction for a collection of Lovecraft stories. The Library of America published a volume of Lovecraft's work in , a reversal of traditional judgment that "has been nothing so far from the accepted canon as Lovecraft. Lovecraft's fictional Mythos has influenced a number of musicians, especially in rock music. Most notably, the psychedelic rock band H. Lovecraft who shortened their name to Lovecraft and then Love Craft in the s released the albums H.

Lovecraft and H. The founders of their record company, Bill Traut and George Badonsky, were fans of the author and gained August Derleth's permission to use Lovecraft's name for the band. Lovecraft has also influenced gaming, despite having hated games during his lifetime. Novel to the game was the Lovecraft-inspired insanity mechanic, which allowed for player characters to go insane from contact with cosmic horrors.

This mechanic would go on to make appearance in subsequent table top and video games. Though few subsequent Lovecraftian board games were released annually between and , the years after saw a surge in the number of Lovecraftian board games, possibly because of the entry of Lovecraft's work into the public domain combined with a revival of interest in board games. Few video games are direct adaptations of Lovecraft's works, but many video games have been inspired or heavily influenced by Lovecraft.

H.P. Lovecraft - Author - Biography

Besides employing Cthulthean antagonists, games that invoke Lovecraftian horror have used mechanics such as insanity effects, or even fourth wall breaking effects that suggest to players that something has gone wrong with their game consoles. Aside from his appearance in Robert Bloch 's " The Shambler from the Stars ", [] Lovecraft continues to be used as a character in supernatural fiction.

He makes a brief appearance in an early version of Ray Bradbury 's "The Exiles".


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  • Timeless Trilogy, Book One, Fate.
  • Everyday Vitamin Water Recipes: Natural and Healthy Drinks for the Whole Family;
  • The H.P. Lovecraft Archive;
  • Prendre corps (French Edition);
  • The Cowards Way Out (Ward of the Vampire Serial Book 4)!
  • Trilogy Lovecraft as a main character in his pulp fiction series Der Hexer The Wizard , which is mainly based on the Cthulhu Mythos, even though the plot takes place before Lovecraft was born. A satirical version of Lovecraft named "H. Hatecraft" appeared as a recurring character on the Cartoon Network television series Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. Howard" to most of the main characters. He is eventually killed when his body becomes host to an extradimensional being infecting the timestream.

    His power, "The Great Old Ones" pays homage to his classic short story, " The Call of Cthulhu ," which grants him the ability of transforming himself into an octopus-like monster resembling Cthulhu. For most of the 20th century, the definitive editions specifically At the Mountains of Madness and Other Novels , Dagon and Other Macabre Tales , The Dunwich Horror and Others , and The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions of his prose fiction were published by Arkham House , a publisher originally started with the intent of publishing the work of Lovecraft, but which has since published a considerable amount of other literature as well.

    They collect the standard texts as edited by S. Joshi, most of which were available in the Arkham House editions, with the exception of the restored text of "The Shadow Out of Time" from The Dreams in the Witch House , which had been previously released by small-press publisher Hippocampus Press. In the prestigious Library of America canonized Lovecraft with a volume of his stories edited by Peter Straub , and Random House's Modern Library line have issued the "definitive edition" of Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness also including " Supernatural Horror in Literature ".

    Lovecraft Night Shade Books, , while much of his juvenilia, various essays on philosophical, political and literary topics, antiquarian travelogues, and other things, can be found in Miscellaneous Writings Arkham House, Lovecraft's essay "Supernatural Horror in Literature," first published in , is a historical survey of horror literature available with endnotes as The Annotated Supernatural Horror in Literature.

    Although Lovecraft is known mostly for his works of weird fiction , the bulk of his writing consists of voluminous letters about a variety of topics, from weird fiction and art criticism to politics and history. Lovecraft's biographer L. Sprague de Camp estimates that Lovecraft wrote , letters in his lifetime, a fifth of which are believed to survive. He sometimes dated his letters 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.

    He explained that he thought that the 18th and 20th centuries were the "best," the former being a period of noble grace, and the latter a century of science. Lovecraft was not an active letter-writer in youth. The initial interest in letters stemmed from his correspondence with his cousin Phillips Gamwell but even more important was his involvement in the amateur journalism movement, which was initially responsible for the enormous number of letters Lovecraft produced.

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