Friday, September 17, 2010

H. P. Lovecraft Week is Coming!

Howard Phillips Lovecraft was born in 1890 and did most of his writing in the 1920's.  Although he was not considered a great writer of his time, he is now viewed as one of the most influential horror writers of all time.  Until he died in 1937, he wrote many short stories which have gained a cult following and have served to provide inspiration for a whole new generation of horror writers.

Lovecraft focused on many distinct themes in his story telling.  Most deal with the unknown.  Lovecraft told tales about deep and hidden truths - things that were never meant to be discovered by man kind - being uncovered by unsuspecting people.  These cosmic horrors mostly deal with the creation and destruction of reality as we know it, and the people that stumble across the truth often become insane; their minds unhinged at the prospect of a horrible and unspeakable evil.

The most impressive part of H. P. Lovecraft's body of work is that it is still expanding.  His literary efforts have created a nidus of creation, later termed the Cthulhu Mythos (named after one of his more popular works, Call of Cthulhu).  Many authors of the past 70 years have used Lovecraft's themes and writing style as a jumping off point for their own stories, each one adding their own perspective of the Mythos.

What is more, the Cthulhu Mythos has been spun off into many other elements:  board games, toys, stuffed animals, and many other things.

Throughout the coming week, we will be exploring a few aspects of this giant (and ever-growing)  sub-genre of horror literature.  If you've never explored this "Lovecraftian" universe before, it can be a little daunting, so I am going to try to give you a good starting point.  First, I will be focusing on a few of his stories.  I will be calling them reviews, but I will mostly just be summarizing (excluding spoilers) the plot and pointing out how they each contribute to the Mythos.  Towards the end of the week, we'll check out a Lovecraftian story written by one of my favorite authors, and look at some other fun Lovecraft related stuff.

There's a lot out there - too much to cover in one week - but I hope that this expedition piques your interest for further study!


  1. Sounds interesting! I have yet to read any Lovecraft... maybe this will inspire me!

  2. I hope it does! H.P. Lovecraft may not be for everyone, but he really is a master of suspense.

  3. I am curious about his work, and if his storytelling is for me. The week you have planned sounds interesting; look forward to reading the posts.

  4. Sounds like fun, I've only read one collection of his stories and even the person who recommened it to me told me it wasn't the best sampling he's seen. This collection seemed to carry a theme without meaning to, if I remember right the collection was called The Watchers Out of Time.

    I've been meaning to read more of his work sinc ethen but I haven't done so yet. Maybe this will give me the motivation to do so.