Announcement

Collapse

Welcome to Moorcock's Miscellany

Dear reader,

Many people have given their valuable time to create a website for the pleasure of posing questions to Michael Moorcock, meeting people from around the world, and mining the site for information. Please follow one of the links above to learn more about the site.

Thank you,
Reinart der Fuchs
See more
See less

HP Lovecraft and His Work

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Originally posted by Octo Seven View Post
    ...
    I've not read Patrick Von Flynn. Does it attack the Irish over our neutral attitudes towards the Germans during the wars?
    Yeah, pretty much. But Von Flynn is, of course, an immigrant. As a "satire" it seems mostly an excuse to indulge in stereotypes and condescension. Here's a link:
    https://books.google.ca/books?id=xiR...0Flynn&f=false

    Originally posted by krakenten View Post
    ...
    Much of the blame for the Shoah lies upon the European intellectual community-they published books, papers and articles that held Jews to be sub-human rascals, geneticly inferior and corrupt.
    ...
    It often occurs to me that Lovecraft was much like those intellectuals, only much lower profile. I've read that he boasted that within two days of entering high school he was known as an anti-semite. Another example would be his "The Isaacsonio-Mortoniad," which promoted racism and was a retort to a pair of friends who were anti-racists, one of whom had the temerity to publish some criticisms of Lovecraft's published racist views.

    Originally posted by krakenten View Post
    Now, can we please return to HPL's very influential body of work?

    His inventions-Cthulhu and Nyerlathotep-are pretty widely recognized today, largely because of gaming's use of them. Arkham is known well enough to be used in the comic universe.

    If they didn't strike a chord, would they be so prominent?

    And even though it may be debated, is it an accident that HPL's ideas are so like the "Chariots of the Gods"? (perhaps we might profitably explore HPL's connection to Donelly's"Atlantis" and Churchward's "Mu". With a grudging nod to M. Blavatsky, of course).

    Now, giving props to evd and his gang of followers for showmanship(and when I consider such as a sideshow, my objections vanish.) I present-

    THE MYTHOS!

    Complex, convoluted and contradictory as any holy writ, full of lacunae and strange spellings, this work, produced in less than a century has been mistaken for fact more than once.

    Is this not an indication of some underlying merit? Ancient astronut theorists(who think every ritual head-dress is a space helmet!) say yes!
    I agree that there is something to the mythos, but this is still essentially argumentum ad populum. And, as I've mentioned before, the current level of popularity may be as transitory as the 15th century popularity of stories about Amadis of Gaul.

    I seriously doubt Nyarlathotep is widely recognized. It may seem so to people steeped in Lovecraft, and he's currently more popular than ever, but I contend the best descriptor of Lovecraft is "niche author" and that he's far more referenced than read. But, yes, he's currently doing pretty good for an author who considered the vast majority of the world's population to be his inferiors and who otherwise claimed to have no interest whatsoever in "ordinary people" and human relations.

    I am, however, seriously interested in Lovecraft's influence and place in the canon. Unfortunately, I firmly believe 80 odd years of Lovecraft devotees praising the man to the cosmos has greatly clouded the issue. For instance, your contention that Lovecraft was a great influence on Doctor Who because Lovecraft wrote of ancient evils, the deep past, and creatures who mostly remain out of sight. I'll just point out the opening of War of the Worlds:
    But who shall dwell in these worlds if they be inhabited? . . .
    Are we or they Lords of the World? . . .
    And how are all things made for man?--

    Kepler (quoted in The Anatomy of Melancholy)
    No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. It is possible that the infusoria under the microscope do the same. No one gave a thought to the older worlds of space as sources of human danger, or thought of them only to dismiss the idea of life upon them as impossible or improbable. It is curious to recall some of the mental habits of those departed days. At most terrestrial men fancied there might be other men upon Mars, perhaps inferior to themselves and ready to welcome a missionary enterprise. Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.
    How about that? Kepler dressed up like a literary Copernicus, humanity compared to wee tiny, ephemeral, waterborne bugs, threats from older worlds, aliens who remain mostly offstage. It often seems to me the fixation on Lovecraft does a disservice to other authors and tends to distort genre history (which is why I appreciate when Machen, Blackwood, Chambers et al come up, especially when they aren't just presented as Lovecraftian footnotes).
    Last edited by Heresiologist; 06-13-2015, 01:42 PM.

    Comment


    • Actually, I mostly agree. Those prior masters certainly set the stage, and Lovecraft the fictioneer left much to be desired.

      Lovecraft's great skill was in using an air of menace long enough to raise tension, then springing the trap in a reveal at the end.

      Horror stories work best as short works-can you imagine Lovecraft doing a work as long as ''The Gunslinger''? Quite beyond his capacity.

      ''At the Mountains of Madness'' was about his limit.

      HPL pioneered a new type of strange tale-full of ongoing menaces and lurking secrets. He made it work as a sustained framework

      Just as I love the Ancient Astronauts shows(and don't believe them), I find Lovecraft compelling. As I approach the big seven-zero, I have less enthusiasm for this sort of thing-realizing that if it hasn't been solved by now, it isn't likely to be, that too many of these cases have been endlessly rehashed into waters so muddy you can build on them and there is an awful lot of bull-jive floating around them.

      But I love the fiction dearly, with all it's many faults-and Nyerlathotep is too widely recognized, so there! Much of the Mythos has become an in-joke, like the Pastafarians and the Church of the Sub-Genius, and what's wrong with that?

      Read the newer works, like Stross' "Laundry Files" or the "Shadows over Main Street" collection(something for everyone in that book) and see what has been built.

      Ancient Astronut theorists say, "YES!"

      Comment


      • Oh, yes.....mean ethnic humor.

        There was a lot of it, and it lasted a long time-however, it seems to have gone out of vogue, perhaps never to return.

        I can't recall the last time I heard one, and nobody laughs any more.

        Poems of that sort were considered quite clever, if you find a volume of popular verse called "Best Loved Poems of the American People" you'll see just how widespread it was. But like the ribald song, it has dwindled away.

        Such humor seems to be the province of high school and college students.

        As to the German-Irish connection, remember that Germany supplied arms to Irish rebel groups often, it was a way to undermine British power, and that the more radical Irish factions were important allies to German intelligence.

        Comment


        • I often wonder what HPL might have done with WWII had he lived.

          Many authors have used the Nazi/Cthulhu idea-I just recently banged one out where The Great Old Ones were aiding Japan's A-Bomb project Rather a natural, considering Cthulhu's connection to the Pacific.

          Somehow, I doubt he would have cheered the Axis on. But, who knows?

          By the 60's, Lovecraft's star had dimmed, then it grew a bit brighter as new disiples took up the Mythos. Some of these were plain awful, but others were pretty good.

          The Mythos has become overcrowded, I think my next tale may attempt to open up some room.

          Comment


          • Good on yeh for banging one out, k. Since you've brought it up before, I was thinking you ought to be encouraged to that end. So get to work on the next one (or polishing the banged out one).

            And nice work giving Imperial Japan some time in the rising sunlight. Them damn Nazis get all the attention.

            However... of course I see the notion of GOOs taking sides in human conflict as diminishing their cosmic scale and alien nature (both of which conceptions I consider valuable notions to embrace in order to transcend the racism in the original conceptions). And associating them with the Axis powers seems a bit Derlethian at heart. Then again, examining use of those weapons through a mythos lens does sound interesting. Anyway, it's your story. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.

            I seem to remember reading that Lovecraft thought Japan was going to end up leading Asia, that they would also end up prevailing over the Anglo led world and that these beliefs sort of show up in The Shadow Out of Time.
            Last edited by Heresiologist; 06-28-2015, 12:50 AM.

            Comment


            • Japan might well have done just that, had they had a little more time-and not been so hysterical.

              A lot of their war plan worked, they seized the Phillipines, took Singapore and scads of other territory, the attack on Pearl Harbor creamed the American capital ships-but missed the aircraft carriers, out on maneuvers.

              It was a carrier war, the big gunships fell to torpedoes and dive bombers, often in shockingly short order.

              Then they proceeded to waste what they had left in suicide attacks.

              I shudder to think what might have happened, had they won.

              Comment


              • Remember that the GOO have plans to "clear off the Earth" and reoccupy it. What better way to do this than by letting mankind blast and poison itself in a big war.

                Radiation doesn't bother them.

                I never found the motivations of the GOO mysterious; "We were in, now we're out-and we want back in"

                Earth has a very robust magnetic field-so far, unique-perhaps there are very few such. And might that field not be useful to the works of the GOO?

                (I used to write a monthly story for an on-line magazine called 'Fantastic Horror', and but for the demise of same I'd still be doing that. These were gathered into a collection called "Song of Shub-Niggurath" and may still be available from Amazon. This most recent tale may go into volume 2)

                Comment


                • Fans and detractors of HPL-How many genre-benders and mashups can we think of?

                  Lovecraft and the Mythos can blend with many other kinds of fiction-Charles Stross' procedurals from The Laundry Files being quite popular, and a lot of fun to read.

                  Or the magnificent Declare, from Tim Powers.

                  OK, friends, what can you think of?

                  Comment


                  • I would love to see some Lovecraft tales retold in the style of EC comics.

                    Comment


                    • I've seen a few Lovecraft-themed comics.

                      Mostly they don't work very well-illustration spoils the subtle suggestion that makes an HPL tale build to the reveal at the end.

                      But let me recommend, again, the HP Lovecraft Historical Society's film version of The Whisperer in Darkness- an exceeding good adaptation, very well filmed and acted in period style.

                      Worth watching.

                      Comment


                      • Yes indeed! The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society did a brilliant job with that one and with The Call Of Cthulhu as well. I just hope they do another adaptation of one of his stories soon...it's been a little while.
                        "He found a coin in his pocket, flipped it. She called: 'Incubus!'
                        'Succubus,' he said. 'Lucky old me.'" - Michael Moorcock The Final Programme

                        Comment


                        • Whisperer is one of his wildest stories, would love to see the film.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by krakenten View Post
                            I've seen a few Lovecraft-themed comics.

                            Mostly they don't work very well-illustration spoils the subtle suggestion that makes an HPL tale build to the reveal at the end.

                            But let me recommend, again, the HP Lovecraft Historical Society's film version of The Whisperer in Darkness- an exceeding good adaptation, very well filmed and acted in period style.

                            Worth watching.
                            Hellboy seems pretty mythos influenced.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Octo Seven View Post
                              Whisperer is one of his wildest stories, would love to see the film.
                              The film does justice to the story. It's one of the very few Lovecraft film adaptations that's faithful to the tale.
                              "He found a coin in his pocket, flipped it. She called: 'Incubus!'
                              'Succubus,' he said. 'Lucky old me.'" - Michael Moorcock The Final Programme

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Una Persson View Post
                                Originally posted by krakenten View Post
                                I've seen a few Lovecraft-themed comics.

                                Mostly they don't work very well-illustration spoils the subtle suggestion that makes an HPL tale build to the reveal at the end.

                                But let me recommend, again, the HP Lovecraft Historical Society's film version of The Whisperer in Darkness- an exceeding good adaptation, very well filmed and acted in period style.

                                Worth watching.
                                Hellboy seems pretty mythos influenced.
                                I was tempted to pick up Hellboy Volume 1 last week, heard good things about it but not sure if it's for me.

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X