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Old 11-16-2014   #11
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Re: Borges comments briefly on Lovecraft' "bogus" story

I think Borges' fascination with Poe and Swedenborg show he was quite sensitive to the supernatural. Indeed, its because of his interest in Swedenborg that I think my preferred reading of "The South" is a legitimate one.
The South and Death and the Compass are my two favorite Borges tales.
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Old 11-18-2014   #12
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Re: Borges comments briefly on Lovecraft' "bogus" story

The effectiveness of any aspect of story telling relies entirely upon the talent of the author. I think we could all easily name at least a dozen successful authors who write fiction containing supernatural elements.

And for each successful author we could find a thousand failed ones self publishing on Amazon . . . but it's not the decision to include 'the supernatural' that's killing their work. It's their crimes against grammar and deep seated aversion to MS Spell Check.
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Old 11-19-2014   #13
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Re: Borges comments briefly on Lovecraft' "bogus" story

Borges exemplifies the peculiar draw that Lovecraft seems to have on literati in general. Even for those who profess hatred of Lovecraft's work or style, it's more of a confrontation - as if they must actually refute that there's anything appealing or interesting in Lovecraft - than a dismissal.

I first noticed this in my freshmen year of college when one of my English professors went on a completely random tirade about Lovecraft during a lecture on Thomas Hardy. This was before the internet had made Lovecraft widely known outside of horror fiction circles, so she had to immediately explain to the bemused class who Lovecraft was. I didn't pipe in all of this, but it was obvious to me that she had read a lot of Lovecraft, and I found it strange that anyone would read an author they found so terrible. I've since met many other people - usually of The Atlantic/New York Review of Books caste - who seem to have an equally paradoxical obsession with Lovecraft.
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Old 11-19-2014   #14
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Re: Borges comments briefly on Lovecraft' "bogus" story

You're right, Speaking Mute, it's not uncommon at all. Avram Davidson, a fine writer who had some things in common with Lovecraft (read Masters of the Maze which has some Lovecraftian touches), found his works "unwholesome." But for Davidson there was still a Love/Hate attraction to his fiction.
It usually comes down to one (or both) of two things. Literary snobs on one hand; and on the other, those troubled by Lovecraft's philosophy and racism. Of course, there were some writers, like Charles Beaumont, who found his style "old-fashioned" and complained about the absence of sexual themes (there were sexual elements in Lovecraft but always handled in a non-titillating fashion) and were stone blind to his innovations; as well as some like Blackwood and Matheson who found his work too replete with revolting physical horrors. But in general it's either snobbishness or antipathy to Lovecraft's worldview.
In high school and later in college, I found teachers who enjoyed his work and weren't reluctant to say so.
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Old 11-19-2014   #15
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Re: Borges comments briefly on Lovecraft' "bogus" story

Off Topic: I recommend Davidson's The Boss in the Wall: A Treatise on the House Devil to any lover of the True Weird. It has an almost Ligottian feel in one or two parts though its doubtful that Avram ever read anything by him. Great book! Great cover by the way!
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