Post by whpugmireesq on Jun 1, 2016 15:35:58 GMT -5
I am curious about ye Lovecraft reading experience of modern fans, and thought this may be a good place to get some feedback--even though activity on HPL and Mythos forums seems to be very low in this day & age. What I am curious about is how often people read Lovecraft's weird fiction, and how much of the actual fiction has been read by individuals. I've come to ye conclusion that I'm a bit of a weird exception in that I return to read something by Lovecraft three or four times a month. My case in different from most, perhaps, because I am constantly writing about Lovecraft's tales, on my blog, at forums, or professionally in essays for books. As a writer, I am constantly being invited to do some new thing for the ever-growing horde of Lovecraft/Mythos-themed anthologies, and that will get me back to reading his books as well.
There is also the balm with which I am bless'd when I read Lovecraft, an almoft spiritual peace of mind. If I am feeling especially cranky, or weary of ye world, I find a peaceful escape when I open a Lovecraft book. It's like spending a quiet, peaceful hour with a beloved friend. I've never had a writer affect me in that way, where his work and his personality (as express'd in his publish'd correspondence) plant a special warmness in my heart. It's like sitting with a loved one in a quiet room before a hearth, with no words spoken except the language of words read on the pages of a book held in hand.
So I ask: How often do you return to Lovecraft, and for what reasons? Thank ye for any responses forthcoming.
I first discovered Lovecraft's work about 6 years ago, and I enjoyed it so immensely that I read his entire body of fiction within the same year that I discovered him. Only recently did I decide to re-read some of his stories. Initially I only had an interest in his cosmic horror, though I find that these days I love re-reading his Dunsanian Dreamland stories more than anything. It's that style of fantasy combined with Lovecraft's ability to paint meticulous word pictures that is perfect for reading before bedtime... whenever I want to plant the seed of an interesting dream I'll read the White Ship or the Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath or some other before falling to sleep. The only other fantasy author I've found that can provoke the imagination in the same way is Clark Ashton Smith.
When I read fantasy/horror fiction I'm less about the story/characters and more about the imagery that the author conjures up in the reader's imagination... and Lovecraft is of course perfect at that.
Post by hollowskido on Mar 29, 2017 4:01:41 GMT -5
I knew of Lovecraft in my 20's after playing the board game Mansions of Madness. But I was still a devoted Poe reader and never got around to reading Lovecraft's work until recently. One of my favorite streamers on Twitch, is called CallofCthulhu, his stream is mainly lovecraft and horror. His whole theme and aesthetic is based around it. He was a philosophy student so his eloquent vocabulary (while also peppered with some of the most outstanding cursing combinations you've EVER heard, typical because he's british) definitely lends itself to the whole overall picture.
I began to notice a lot of the little snippets in his dialog were obviously from Lovecraft so I decided to start reading them myself. I read Lovecraft's wikipedia page first. I will admit I was not a fan upon learning about his xenophobia. It was a complete turn off, but I also reminded myself that, his opinions about race and facial features were the product of his time period. It was acceptable back then, which is why it ran so rampant. And then I watched a biography about him, with Guillermo Del Toro, and learned more about his background and heard people's opinions on him and how his creations influenced horror and created the niche he'd cut out for himself. While I may not like a lot of Lovecraft's personality traits, because he also came across as extremely lazy as far as finding work went to support himself and his wife, I appreciated his genius as it was then.
So far, of his body of work I have made my way through; The Tomb, Dagon, Polaris, Beyond The Wall of Sleep, Memory, Old Bugs, The Transition of Juan Romero, The White Ship, The Doom that came to Sarnath, The Statement of Randolph Carter, The Terrible Old Man, The Tree, The Cats of Ulthar, The Temple, Facts Concerning The Late Arthur Jermyn and his Family, The Street, Celephais, From Beyond, Nyarlathotep, The Picture in the House, The Hound, The Lurking Fear, The Rats in the Walls, The Call of Cthulhu, The Colour Out of Space, The History of the Necronomicon, The Dunwich Horror, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, The Dreams in the Witch House.
I have plenty of material left to go through. I've noticed themes as I'm sure everyone does when reading Lovecraft's work. Things such as; it's scarier if you don't name it, he had a thing with apes, he had a thing with arabs, he had a dislike for plants (lol), he had a thing for graveyards, etc.
All in all, so far, I'm really enjoying what I've read so far to the point that I've read some twice or more. There were some that were to dry for me, like The doom that came to sarnath, I just couldn't make it all the way through that one. But I read Lovecraft at all times. When I'm bored, I'll listen to audio books of my favorites when I'm doing something else, like modding streams or typing out my own stories, etc. There's never a wrong time for Lovecraft.
If anyone has a suggestion for one I haven't read, I'm all ears.
Post by tsathoggua9 on Aug 21, 2017 14:55:49 GMT -5
I had heard of Lovecraft since childhood (I was born in 1960), but never did more than skim through his works at the bookstore until around 2002. I began collecting quite a number of his books, and got hooked. I have read most of his works, my favorites being "Call of Cthulhu" and "The Colour Out Of Space". I have also read S. T. Joshi's biography "H. P. Lovecraft : A Life". I tend to get an urge to re-read his works at least a couple of times per year. I also enjoy modern anthologies like the ones put out by Chaosium.
I've heard about Lovecraft since 4th grade, but never thought I'd end up a fan of him. I heard about him in relation to Poe quite a few times. I began just indulging a curiosity about him a few months by watching videos explaining what made his work unique, and quickly found myself ordering a Complete Fiction. I've read 32 short stories so far.
I read Lovecraft almost daily. I've just gotten into his poetry and amateur journalism, which are as interesting to me as his fiction, and lend themselves to daily perusal more so than the short stories or novellas. His essay "Supernatural Horror in Literature" opened my eyes to the startlingly high IQ the man had. I put him as an equal to Isaac Asimov. When I want to read one of his stories, I've found I like to allot myself more time than I would for another author at a similar length. Lovecraft's writing is sometimes as arrogant as he was, but his ability to craft the English language was second to none. There is often more going on than what is at the surface, and he remains in touch with authors who've been around since the late Middle Ages.
Why do I keep going back? Because it's always good. For better or worse, I've always loathed stupid people and the product of stupid people. So did H.P. Lovecraft. I love his prejudices. I love his arrogance. I love his sheer ability, and his unhinged brashness at displaying it in such a varied way. You cannot created a stereotype, as he did with the spooky backwoods redneck, without being deeply in touch with the innermost motivations of the human psyche. It seems to me, Lovecraft could pick any sort of "other" out of human existence and personify our fears of this other in a way that makes our mind shake or our skin crawl. If he wasn't doing that, then he just might use the cutting edge science of his day to create an "other" - literally - in another time, dimension, or space. And it's always good.
Other than "The Hounds of Tindalos" by August Derleth, I cannot think of a Mythos story I've read that I consider Lovecraft quality. Much of the Mythos not written by Lovecraft simply lacks his ability. And this yawning chasm is noticeable, so much so that I go back to Lovecraft far more often than I seek out something new and disappointing.
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