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HP Lovecraft and His Work

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  • Originally posted by SeeDoubleYou View Post
    ...
    Makes me think, has anyone written of the mythos from the point-of-view of the Great Old Ones? or the Elder Gods?
    ...
    How about Neil Gaiman's "I Cthulhu" (http://www.neilgaiman.com/p/Cool_Stu...ries/I_Cthulhu)?
    Last edited by Heresiologist; 04-25-2015, 08:28 PM.

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    • Originally posted by krakenten View Post
      ...
      Lovecraft's aliens from 'The Whisperer in Darkness' come to Earth the get 'a certain kind of stone they can't get anywhere else', and eschew contact with us primitive critters. Get the rocks and get hat, that's the order of the day. Then a fly lands in the ointment.

      Makes a certain amount of sense,eh?
      ...
      Actually, no. Since the planets of the solar system all formed from the same cloud of dust it seems unlikely. And when you spin the claim out to the rest of the galaxy, let alone the cosmos, it seems astronomically far fetched. Not saying it's not possible, but as a rationale it kind of raises more questions than it answers. I suppose it's one more thing to read around.

      I had a similar problem with a re-read of "At the Mountains of Madness" with the line about hypnotizing shoggoths into forming temporary organs. It just got me wondering about shoggoth brains and the fact hypnosis doesn't work on all people. Eventually I remind myself that a lot of the weird fiction authors (probably dating back to Poe's M. Valdemar) used hypnotism/mesmerism as a sort of magic substitute.

      Originally posted by krakenten View Post
      ...
      Now remember, Fulton didn't invent the steamboat, the Wright Brothers didn't invent flight and Ford didn't invent the automobile. What they did was make these things practical and bring them into widespread use.
      ...
      A. Merritt was using most of the same tropes some while before Lovecraft. I'm pretty sure he was much more successful and popular writer than Lovecraft back in the day. So how can it be that Lovecraft took tropes that another writer already had notable success with and made them "practical and [brought] them into widespread use"?

      Also, the ghost of Alberto Santos Dumont would like you to know it was his airplane design that was the first to go into production. Not that he thinks he should get all the credit, just that there's more to it than a simple just so story about the Wright brothers.

      But back to Merrit because I'm surprised I've never seen anybody draw a connection between Merritt's batrachian Akka race and Lovecraft's Deep Ones. Maybe races of frog people were a staple back then?

      I'd also say, though I'm pretty sure it's not intentional, Stross' Jennifer Morgue is more in the spirit of Merritt (i.e. ADVENTURE) than Lovecraft (i.e. flyspeck planet in hostile/indifferent cosmos). But it has been some time since I read that one so maybe I'm not remembering anything particularly Lovecraftian to the story beside the creatures.
      Last edited by Heresiologist; 04-26-2015, 08:35 AM.

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      • I must say, you do have a point, but.....

        Seen any A. Merritt tee shirts lately?

        Look, I'm not saying that HPL was some great prodidgy-he wasn't. The authors we have mentioned all brought tasty dishes to the table.

        Lovecraft was the guy who got the credit. Santos-Dumont flew, but mention his name, and you get a blank look.

        Lovecraft embraced the latest ideas of his time-along with some really moldy oldies-and now these are cast aside.

        Lovecraft lived in a time of fear and repression-in some parts of America it was illegal to sell soda water on the sabbath, that's where the ice-cream sundae came from. If it was fun, it was against some law.

        I grew up in such a town, and there were secrets roiling about, just out of sight. Now, the place is delapadated and rapidly becoming deserted. I lived there for a time, while my Mom was on her way out, and the decline in population was obvious, as businesses closed and housing became vacant.

        Taxes went up(fewer people to share the burden)so the tax refugees from Maryland have begun to filter back home(it's dull there, people call it Dead Lion and Dullesttown) Jobs are scarce now-once they were plentiful.

        So what you get is a donut of fairly new places around a deteriorated center. The demise of the baby boom will probably finish the town-services for the elderly are the last real enterprises there.

        Strange times, eh?

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        • As far as the pop culture product mill goes, it's all about Cthulhu. Cthulhu slippers, mittens, dolls, tea sets, games, etc. are all over the place. It's H.P.'s Superman, Conan, Tarzan, Holmes. That's what made the imprint and if it goes on everyone will know Cthulhu but not so many will know Lovecraft.

          Tolkien pulled it off with a place, not a name, much like Baum, and if it goes on people might know middle earth but not Tolkien, in the way they know Oz - but who the hell is Baum?

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          • I sometimes wonder if I should be in this group.😉 Cant read JRRT or HPL. Too scared to read M.R.James...Don't like most SF of Fantasy...Oh dear. I'm a Failed Fan!

            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
            The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
            Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
            The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
            Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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            • The ones who can, do. The ones who cannot, become fans.

              I'll never understand your aversion to Tolkein, HPL is frightening(or at least unsettling) but Middle Earth is a place where Elric might feel at home.

              The hobbits, peaceful but staunch, are the personification of England that was. OK, should have been.

              I love your work, except for Elric, cannot stand his whinging about that sword.

              Jerry, on the other hand, is the personification of the hip I'll never be.

              Von Bek is a reasonable man in a world gone mad-with him, I can identify.

              Besides, your skills as a critic are much more than a fan.
              (yes, I know your tongue is in your cheek!)

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              • We're shaped by our environment. The one word which describes Tolkien's tone for me is 'smug'. Reminds me of all the old Tories who told me I was just going through a phase, that anti-racist legislation wouldn't work (it did, in UK at any rate) oh, and all the old patronising crap I associated with people who tolerated inequality and injustice and defended the status quo. Elric isn't really certain about anything but he knows the status quo stinks.

                Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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                • Originally posted by Michael Moorcock View Post
                  I sometimes wonder if I should be in this group.�� Cant read JRRT or HPL. Too scared to read M.R.James...Don't like most SF of Fantasy...Oh dear. I'm a Failed Fan!
                  Mike, do you like any of Stephen King's work, horror or otherwise?

                  And YES, Tolkien reeks of classism, the posh all-knowing elves and wizards and the stupid, subservient working class-accented orcs and hobbits. It's pure escapism with little to no real-life value. His love of trees is nice I suppose.

                  Comment


                  • Remember, the Elves and wizards are centuries old, they should have learned something along the way?

                    Why expect a tale of this sort to be anything but escapist?

                    Jeeze, guys, it makes a very pleasant place to vacation in, away from the cruel real world. Some people try to live there(a couple of years ago I saw some people, come to York,PA for a convention who had some kind of implants in their ears to make them elves.) Body modification is big there, not long after I saw a man who had a beard tattooed on his face.

                    But will ye, or nil ye, reality cannot be denied for long. So enjoy your vacation.

                    China Mieville's Bas Lag is the least attractive reality I can think of, yet people love the books. Somehow, Middle Earth seems, well, better.

                    Real life blows goats, what's wrong with a little vacation time?

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by krakenten View Post
                      Remember, the Elves and wizards are centuries old, they should have learned something along the way?

                      Why expect a tale of this sort to be anything but escapist?

                      Jeeze, guys, it makes a very pleasant place to vacation in, away from the cruel real world. Some people try to live there(a couple of years ago I saw some people, come to York,PA for a convention who had some kind of implants in their ears to make them elves.) Body modification is big there, not long after I saw a man who had a beard tattooed on his face.

                      But will ye, or nil ye, reality cannot be denied for long. So enjoy your vacation.

                      China Mieville's Bas Lag is the least attractive reality I can think of, yet people love the books. Somehow, Middle Earth seems, well, better.

                      Real life blows goats, what's wrong with a little vacation time?
                      Nothing wrong with it at all. I'm genuinely sorry if I came across as a dick because honestly I think Tolkien is a good story teller and a linguistic genius, he just doesn't do it for me personally anymore. But there was a time when I read all of his works and got a lot of enjoyment from them and I do not knock or think less of anyone else who does.

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                      • For me it's probably Tolkien's prose that puts me off, same with Lovecraft. It's not the only thing I get into in a book but if I'm not blissed out at least a little by the prose, it had better not get in the way.

                        I was watching the Hobbit movies and thinking they looked a little like the Brothers Hildebrandt paintings. I enjoy those paintings and the films but they're sort of like an otherworldly Norman Rockwell.

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                        • I always have to recommend The Colour Out Of Space to non-Lovecraftians because it's one of his only works I can objectively say is well written and in places, genuinely terrifying. The rest is pretty niche for his aesthetic and clunky style. Whisperer In The Darkness, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, At The Mountains of Madness are all worth reading for fiction affecianados just for their eclectic and unique styles. The Call of Cthulhu is a great experimental novel, its most notable modern child is probably Carrie which also uses a meta-textual latticework of newspaper clippings, interviews and direct narrative to weave a New-England story of the profoundly profane and unnatural.

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                          • The one time I met Tolkien, -,,,,,,having told him I hadn't read his books yet, he could not have been more charming. He couldn't help being a man of his time. If I picked a single word to describe that prose I'd say it was bland, lacking all the resonances of its influences. I can't say I've read every word of it. I had never read The Hobbit as a kid. In fact I read a vast amount and had never heard of it. Neither did anyone I know mention it. I probably thought of it as a fairy story and wasn't interested. I liked E. Nesbit, though, which might be why I found Lewis to be wanting in his Narnia stories which were heavily influenced by Nesbit. She was a livelier writer. Lewis's SF was too much of a struggle, though I had heard some of it on the radio along with Wyndham Lewis. The line of T's which sums it all up for me is where he says every prisoner desires escapism. I replied that every jailer likes escapism because it keeps prisons quiet. What every prisoner desires is escape! Few academics like to take risks. Maybe risk takers attract me, in most arts.
                            Last edited by Michael Moorcock; 04-27-2015, 04:07 PM.

                            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                            The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                            Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                            The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                            Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                            Comment


                            • The one time I met Tolkien having told him I hadn't read his books yet, he could not have been more charming. He couldn't help being a man of his time. If I picked a single word to describe that prose I'd say it was bland, lacking all the resonances of its influences. I can't say I've read every word of it. I had never read The Hobbit as a kid. In fact I read a vast amount and had never heard of it. Neither did anyone I know mention it. I probably thought of it as a fairy story and wasn't interested. I liked E. Nesbit, though, which might be why I found Lewis to be wanting in his Narnia stories which were heavily influenced by Nesbit. She was a livelier writer. Lewis's SF was too much of a struggle, though I had heard some of it on the radio along with Wyndham Lewis. The line of T's which sums it all up for me is where he says something like every prisoner desir a escapism. I replied that every jailer likes escapism because it keeps prisons quiet. What every prisoner desires is escape! I think I'm attracted to artists who take risks.
                              Last edited by Michael Moorcock; 04-27-2015, 04:27 PM.

                              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                              The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                              Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                              The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                              Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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                              • In instances where writing/art/etc. takes the place of religion I can see the importance of making art that is sound. But to me, if everything furthers, than why not enjoy what's there?
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