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Old 12-07-2014   #1
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The Hideous Unknown of H.P. Lovecraft

A review, in The New York Review of Books, of "The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft."

Kind of condescending, and sort of schizophrenic, but as to be expected, a well-written analysis of Lovecraft that, towards the end,
can by extension be applied to Ligotti.

The Hideous Unknown of H.P. Lovecraft by Charles Baxter | The New York Review of Books
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Old 12-07-2014   #2
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Re: The Hideous Unknown of H.P. Lovecraft

Wow the author of that article is SOOOO stuck up and dismissive of anything that is not LITERATURE as he sees it. If its forced upon college kids and never read by anyone by choice. Then its for him. Wow.
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Old 12-08-2014   #3
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Re: The Hideous Unknown of H.P. Lovecraft

Charles Baxter: "His narrators cannot calm down; the fever never breaks. Accordingly, simple human decency, kindness, and generosity have no place anywhere in the stories. Their emotional range is limited to dread on one end of the spectrum and hysteria on the other."

And this is where I figured out Mr. Baxter does not get H.P. Lovecraft.

Your fall should be like the fall of mountains. But I was before mountains. I was in the beginning, and shall be forever. The first and the last. The world come full circle. I am not the wheel. I am the hand that turns the wheel. I am Time, the Destroyer. I was the wind and the stars before this. Before planets. Before heaven and hell. And when all is done, I will be wind again, to blow this world as dust back into endless space. To me the coming and going of Man is as nothing.

Last edited by miguel1984; 12-08-2014 at 07:30 AM..
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Old 11-10-2015   #4
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Re: The Hideous Unknown of H.P. Lovecraft

Lovecraft.
Our community taking sides on this is like fighting over the course history already took, here a literary history of which we are all part - when we know it can't be changed. That's not me sitting on the fence but just sayin'.
Time to move on, yes, to a new iconic symbol for an award, but not by destroying a past icon whose mind none of us can really know.

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Old 11-10-2015   #5
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Re: The Hideous Unknown of H.P. Lovecraft

No, it is not time to move on to another iconic symbol of an award, and this is the entire point of my contention. I am inspir'd to create a new blog, perhaps calling in "H. P. Lovecraft and His Influence," where I can discuss Lovecraft's fiction and its place in ye history of fantasy literature; and where I can praise Lovecraft as an excellent writer. I cannot agree that it is fine to allow the Lovecraft detractors to spread their hatred and bigotry without comment.

"We work in the dark -- we do what we can -- we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art."
--Henry James (1843-1916)
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Old 11-10-2015   #6
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Re: The Hideous Unknown of H.P. Lovecraft

Quote Originally Posted by hopfrog View Post
No, it is not time to move on to another iconic symbol of an award, and this is the entire point of my contention. I am inspir'd to create a new blog, perhaps calling in "H. P. Lovecraft and His Influence," where I can discuss Lovecraft's fiction and its place in ye history of fantasy literature; and where I can praise Lovecraft as an excellent writer. I cannot agree that it is fine to allow the Lovecraft detractors to spread their hatred and bigotry without comment.
please do, Willum. I'd love to read or hear more about that from you

Last edited by Spiral; 11-11-2015 at 12:20 AM..
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Old 11-10-2015   #7
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Re: The Hideous Unknown of H.P. Lovecraft

Quote Originally Posted by hopfrog View Post
No, it is not time to move on to another iconic symbol of an award, and this is the entire point of my contention. I am inspir'd to create a new blog, perhaps calling in "H. P. Lovecraft and His Influence," where I can discuss Lovecraft's fiction and its place in ye history of fantasy literature; and where I can praise Lovecraft as an excellent writer. I cannot agree that it is fine to allow the Lovecraft detractors to spread their hatred and bigotry without comment.
Speaking of influence, HPL had a significant impact on Ligotti. Anyone who has read the Gale Research (TL's old workplace) entries in such volumes as Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism will immediately recognize that. The compilation of criticism on Lovecraft is far more extensive than other notable authors. I even feel that Ligotti played a role in the recognition of Lovecraft as an important author in certain circles.
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Old 11-10-2015   #8
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Re: The Hideous Unknown of H.P. Lovecraft

Quote Originally Posted by bendk View Post
Speaking of influence, HPL had a significant impact on Ligotti. Anyone who has read the Gale Research (TL's old workplace) entries in such volumes as Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism will immediately recognize that. The compilation of criticism on Lovecraft is far more extensive than other notable authors. I even feel that Ligotti played a role in the recognition of Lovecraft as an important author in certain circles.
Having just re-read a lot of Ligotti's works, I can see that is very true.

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Old 11-10-2015   #9
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Re: The Hideous Unknown of H.P. Lovecraft

I see H. P. Lovecraft as a very positive influence. He is the second writer with whom I became obsess'd (the first was Poe, who I discovered while in grade school). It was because of the influence of Lovecraft, and my correspondence with Robert Bloch while I was a missionary in Ireland, that made me try my hand at writing my own fiction. While serving as minister in Ireland, I began to haunt used book shops and look for anthologies that included stories by HPL and Bho Bloch, and this served to my introduction to so many other weird fiction writers. Because of health reasons, I was transferred from Ireland to Arizona and finished my missionary service there; and it was while living in Tucson and Las Vegas that I found used pb copies of TALES OF THE CTHULHU MYTHOS. Thus was ye eldritch influence planted in mine soul.

I was not much of a reader, and my obsession was with horror films--I was determined to become a horror film actor. Discovering H. P. Lovecraft changed all that. I began to order books from Arkham House, and reading the first three volumes of HPL's SELECTED LETTERS made me a Lovecraft fanatic, I was so enchanted by the persona I encounter'd in those volumes. I began to ape Lovecraftian eccentricities in my own correspondence, using antiquated spelling &c. Deliriously, I began to write story after story for the small press market--until I realized that my fiction sucked as wretchedly as had my acting. I dropped out of the Lovecraft scene, my only connection with it being ye occasional issues of NYCTALOPS that found their way into my mailbox. Then, in the mid-1980's, I began to write fiction again--and it was clear then that my fictive voice was and wou'd remain Lovecraftian to ye core. I made my personal vow that my life as a writer wou'd be dedicated to paying homage to ye voice and vision of H. P. Lovecraft. I had no choice, however, and no matter how often I try'd my hand at writing non-Lovecraftian "cutting edge" pieces, I always return'd to ye Lovecraft influence, where I find my psyche's home.

I've always loved HPL's fiction; but it never occurred to me to ponder on the quality of that fiction until I began to read Crypt of Cthulhu and especially Lovecraft Studies. As the years passed, more and more books were publish'd discussing Lovecraft's Literary Art, and as I began to study Lovecraft's prose rather than just read it, I became convinced as well that Lovecraft was a great writer. When S. T. Joshi moved to my town and we began to hang together, that conviction of Lovecraft's excellence became a thing of solidity. I am now slowly drinking the three volumes of H. P. LOVECRAFT COLLECTED FICTION: A VARIORUM EDITION, and Lovecraft's Work impresses me more than ever before. Lovecraft was an excellent writer, his prose is magnificent, his ideas original and alluring. This is, of course, a personal viewpoint, and others have differing views. It is enough for me that when people complain that Lovecraft was a bad writer, I know they do not speak truth.

"We work in the dark -- we do what we can -- we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art."
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Old 11-10-2015   #10
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Re: The Hideous Unknown of H.P. Lovecraft

Lovecraft saved my life and by inspiring me to become a 'weird fiction' writer gave me a purpose that led me away from self-harm and toward self-improvement. I owe him everything and more. Without Lovecraft it's possible I may not even still be here, and if I was then I certainly wouldn't be an avid reader and never would have discovered Ligotti or Aickman or de la Mare or so many giants who have brought me joy.

You have lived an interesting life, hopfrog. I shall be checking out more of your fiction soon, as I have regrettably only read one of your stories so far (which I enjoyed immensely).

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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