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Old 09-07-2014   #101
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

My impression of Mishima's work is essentially one of distance. His world is one of a brittle, harsh beauty but it's quintessentially Japanese. The martial religion of Shinto is uni-racial, geared towards ancestor tribute and the non-Japanese cannot participate. Mishima advocated Shinto because he hated foreign influence on his culture and politics. He wanted the Emperor to return to his former god status. Modern Japan, even to this day, is resolutely mono-cultural and immigration is not encouraged; “welcome visitors and make certain they leave” seems to be the nation's foreign relations motto. I think only Westerners who are Japanese culture devotees can try and make the attempt to fully enter into Mishima's mindset, and I doubt he would have taken much notice of them except where they were able to promote his fiction abroad to his advantage. They could never form a part of his prime goal for a reawakening of the traditional Japanese values, a goal for which he committed sepukku in a public political display of bushido designed for maximum effect.

For sheer poetry in prose, I think Mishima is on a level with Lovecraft. Mishima's technique is spare, sharp and acute, like pinpricks. Lovecraft's on the other hand is primarily incantatory, building up a sequence of words to create a transcendent mood appropriate to his cosmic themes. I don't see why both styles can't be valid in the same way as differing schools of painting can be.

Lovecraft's artificial mythology with all its tentacled polymorphs and hybrid monsters must, I suspect be of immense cultural interest to the Japanese and it wouldn't surprise me if HPL is even more an object of fascination, homage and study in Japan than is Mishima currently.

Mark S.

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Old 09-07-2014   #102
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

Quote Originally Posted by mark_samuels View Post
Lovecraft's artificial mythology with all its tentacled polymorphs and hybrid monsters must, I suspect be of immense cultural interest to the Japanese and it wouldn't surprise me if HPL is even more an object of fascination, homage and study in Japan than is Mishima currently.

Mark S.
You're aware of Nyaruko?



The character above is a manifestation of Nyarlathotep. Rather than appear as a sinister pharaoh, the Crawling Chaos is now CRAWLING WITH LOVE:

Nyaruko:_Crawling_with_Love Nyaruko:_Crawling_with_Love


Nodens the Great God of the Abyss and Clark Ashton Smith are also characters.

At one point I also remember finding a Japanese novel that had Lovecraft as the main character and seemed to deal entirely with him sodomizing August Derleth while possessed by Cthulhu. It ended with them expelling the Old One but remaining as a couple, with Derleth retaining the passive female role. This was not an underground production but a novel released by a mainstream publisher.
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Old 09-07-2014   #103
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

Nyaruko: Crawling with Love and those other examples from Japan you mention rather put the likes of Derleth and Lumley's re-interpretation of the Cthulhu Mythology into the shade. I wonder what S.T. Joshi would make of it.

Mark S.

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Old 09-07-2014   #104
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

Quote Originally Posted by Druidic View Post
I would suggest Lovecraft was deeply prophetic. The rise of death cults, the destructive power of technology, the inevitable rise of New Age Mysticism...It just didn't make for a cheery Progressive vision. One reason the old sci-fi guys dissed him so.
To quote Ligotti on the subject (emphasis mine):

Lovecraft’s narrative is not only modern, it also emerged from an imagination that was deferential to no dogma that may be dated, one that assimilated what had come before and envisioned what might come to be in the evolution of human consciousness, deliberating with a fearsome honesty until it settled on a position it could hold in good faith and was ready to jettison as dictated by evidence or cerebration. Lovecraft drew upon and extended the most advanced thought of his time as well as all previous scientific and philosophical developments that tended to disenchant the human species with itself. In that sense, he really went the limit of disillusionment in assuming the meaningless, disordered, foundationless universe that became the starting point for later figures in science and philosophy. Lovecraft existed in no man’s land of nihilism and disillusionment. He will always be a contemporary of whatever generation comes along. One cannot say the same about most recipients of the Nobel Prize in literature, never mind writers of horror fiction.
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Old 09-07-2014   #105
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

There is a 4 book series called Lair Of Hidden Gods dedicated to Japanese Lovecraftian stories in english.
http://www.kurodahan.com/mt/e/catalog/horror-weird/

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Old 09-07-2014   #106
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

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Rather than appear as a sinister pharaoh, the Crawling Chaos is now CRAWLING WITH LOVE:
Justin Isis
All right, I'm ready to die now. All hope abandoned. Too bad it took so long.
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Old 09-07-2014   #107
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
There is a 4 book series called Lair Of Hidden Gods dedicated to Japanese Lovecraftian stories in english.
http://www.kurodahan.com/mt/e/catalog/horror-weird/
Whoa! There's some fascinating stuff over there.

THE EDOGAWA RAMPO READER? I need this book. I'll never forget the madness of a film adaptation of his stuff, Horrors of Malformed Men (1969), I saw a few years back.

Mark S.

"You have no idea how much nastier I'd be if I were not a Catholic. Without supernatural aid I would hardly be a human being." Evelyn Waugh
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Old 09-07-2014   #108
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

Around the site there are other books and writers that are around the weird/fantasy area, like Zoran Zivkovic.

Strange Tale Of Panorama Island got translated recently, I think it was actually around the time the Maruo comic adaptation came out in English. When searching Rampo, I need to remember to search "Ranpo" too, as his name is sometimes spelled.

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Old 09-07-2014   #109
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

I see that some folk who knock around here were aware of the Lairs of the Hidden Gods series a few years back.

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I wonder if anyone's read the tales and how they compare to Western Cthulhu Mythos tales? I can't believe they're all akin to Nyaruko: Crawling With Love!

Mark S.

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Old 09-07-2014   #110
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

About the award: some have suggested it be changed to a general fantasy image such as a mythical creature. I think that is probably better than a writer.
Do the Bram Stoker or Shirley Jackson awards have a sculpture of those authors?

I once heard that A C Doyle actually carried out a racially motivated attack but I've never been able to find anything on the internet about that.

There was a pretty good BBC documentary called Menace Of The Masses about the biggest authors of the Victorian and Edwardian era and their astonishing hatred of the working classes.
Since class hatred today is rarely as extreme as it was then, I feel as if that hatred isn't remembered enough or taken as seriously as it should be. When some writers believed that the urban working classes should be sent to gas chambers, I think that should noted just as much as racism, sexism, fascism and imperialism.

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