History YMMV / HPLovecraft

13th Jul '17 4:39:44 PM JulianLapostat
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* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: Thanks to his influence, many of Lovecraft's themes have become horror clichés.

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* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: Thanks to his influence, many of Lovecraft's themes have become horror clichés.clichés although on account of MainstreamObscurity, it still largely has its effect.
13th Jul '17 4:37:44 PM JulianLapostat
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* ValuesDissonance: Lovecraft's racism was known for slipping into some of his works.

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* ValuesDissonance: Lovecraft's racism was known for slipping into some many of his works.works and some, such as Michel Houellebecq, have argued, that his fundamental worldview of man's lack of purpose in cosmos is largely the projection of a white man recognizing the inevitably of a multicultural world [[ItsAllAboutMe where he would not have the same central position]] of privilege and autonomy. Incidentally, his racism ultimately led to a fantasy award [[https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/nov/09/world-fantasy-award-drops-hp-lovecraft-as-prize-image formerly named after him]] to rebrand itself after much protest.



*** [-''It would be too hideous if they knew that the one-time heiress of Riverside -- the accursed gorgon or lamia whose hateful crinkly coil of serpent-hair must even now be brooding and twining vampirically around an artist's skeleton in a lime-packed grave beneath a charred foundation -- was faintly, subtly, yet to the eyes of genius unmistakably the scion of Zimbabwe's most primal grovellers. No wonder she owned a link with that old witch-woman -- for, though in deceitfully slight proportion, Marceline was a negress.''-]

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*** --> [-''It would be too hideous if they knew that the one-time heiress of Riverside -- the accursed gorgon or lamia whose hateful crinkly coil of serpent-hair must even now be brooding and twining vampirically around an artist's skeleton in a lime-packed grave beneath a charred foundation -- was faintly, subtly, yet to the eyes of genius unmistakably the scion of Zimbabwe's most primal grovellers. No wonder she owned a link with that old witch-woman -- for, though in deceitfully slight proportion, Marceline was a negress.''-]



** While it's impossible to dissociate Lovecraft from his racism, it is frequently misunderstood. Which isn't to defend him. His prejudice, if anything, ran deeper than race, and he took almost as dim a view of rural whites as blacks. It's arguably easier to find an example of a sympathetic minority in his writing (like Dr. Muñoz in "Cool Air," who was "of superior blood and breeding") than a sympathetic white country-dweller (the entire town of Dunwich, for instance). His attitudes towards race also change over time, though they never approach anything that would be acceptable to modern readers (or even many contemporary ones).
*** It should also be noted that Lovecraft's stories were primarily written during the heyday of Eugenics in the United States of America. In a real world that outlawed interracial marriage and forcibly sterilized those declared "feeble-minded", the values in his stories weren't so horribly dissonant as they are now.
** Slightly less noticeable than his racism, but Lovecraft also tended to shy away from female characters entirely. For the most part, they're not present at all, or are only present in background roles. One of the few exceptions is Asenath Waite Derby from "Literature/TheThingOnTheDoorstep," the villain of the story [[spoiler:and actually [[BodySnatcher inhabited by the spirit of her father]], Ephraim Waite, well before the story begins]]. Another rare exception is Keziah Mason, the antagonist from "Dreams in the Witch House".
*** This was more likely because Lovecraft was himself rather shy towards the opposite sex and didn't feel he could write up a convincing female character. In fact, he wrote in one letter that discrimination against women is an "oriental" (referring to Middle-Eastern religious traditions) superstition from which "aryans" ought to free.
** His protagonists tend to lose their grip on sanity from being confronted with just the idea that there are things they don't know as much as the actual new knowledge, or that they aren't somehow naturally superior to all of creation by merit of birth. To a modern reader it seems like none of them are all there to begin with.
*** Which, in many cases, the text explicitly says they're not. You WriteWhatYouKnow, after all, and both of Lovecraft's parents died in an asylum.
** The narrator of "Pickman's Model" is ''floored'' by how the weird artist's ghoul-paintings depict the creatures with the aesthetics of realism. To modern SpeculativeFiction fans, who grew up reading scifi, fantasy, and horror novels with more realistically-styled artwork on the covers, his sheer amazement is more puzzling than Pickman's aesthetics.

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** While it's impossible to dissociate Lovecraft from his racism, it is frequently misunderstood. Which isn't one can point out that his prejudice extended to defend him. His prejudice, if anything, ran deeper than race, and he took almost taking as dim a view of rural whites as blacks. It's arguably easier to find an example of a sympathetic minority in his writing (like Dr. Muñoz in "Cool Air," who was "of superior blood and breeding") than a sympathetic white country-dweller (the entire town of Dunwich, for instance). His In general, his attitudes towards race also change over time, though they never approach anything race, much like many historical racists, coexisted with his attitudes towards class, but then racism is nonsense to start with, so the argument that would be acceptable to modern readers (or even many contemporary ones).
*** It should also be noted that
it [[InsaneTrollLogic must have consistency]] or seem rational is besides the point.
**
Lovecraft's stories were primarily written during the heyday of Eugenics Eugenics, during the "nadir of race relations" in the United States of America. In a real world that outlawed USA where interracial marriage was allowed and forcibly sterilized those declared "feeble-minded", forced sterilization of "feeble-minded" was mainstream. Supporters argue that Lovecraft should be seen in the values in context of his stories weren't so horribly dissonant as they are now.
time, but critics note that since Lovecraft often expressed a decadent worldview and despised the modern world, it makes no sense to defend him by putting him in the context of his time, since that was not a defense he would have used.
** Slightly less noticeable than his racism, but Lovecraft also tended to shy away from female characters entirely. For the most part, they're not present at all, or are only present in background roles. One of the few exceptions is Asenath Waite Derby from "Literature/TheThingOnTheDoorstep," the villain of the story [[spoiler:and actually [[BodySnatcher inhabited by the spirit of her father]], Ephraim Waite, well before the story begins]]. Another rare exception is Keziah Mason, the antagonist from "Dreams in the Witch House".
***
House". This was more likely because Lovecraft was himself rather shy towards the opposite sex and didn't feel he could write up a convincing female character. In fact, he wrote in one letter that discrimination against women is an "oriental" (referring to Middle-Eastern religious traditions) "[[{{Orientalism}} oriental]]" superstition from which "aryans" ought to free.
** His protagonists tend to lose their grip on sanity from being confronted with just the idea that there are things they don't know as much as the actual new knowledge, or that they aren't somehow naturally superior to all of creation [[FirstWorldProblems by merit of birth. birth]]. To a modern reader it seems like none of them are all there to begin with.
***
with. Which, in many cases, the text explicitly says they're not. You WriteWhatYouKnow, after all, and both of Lovecraft's parents died in an asylum.
asylum, and Lovecraft lived in "genteel poverty" largely as a result of his inability to get over his New England pseudo-aristocratic hangover.
** The narrator of "Pickman's Model" is ''floored'' by how the weird artist's ghoul-paintings depict the creatures with the aesthetics of realism. To modern SpeculativeFiction fans, who grew up reading scifi, fantasy, and horror novels with more realistically-styled artwork on the covers, his sheer amazement is more puzzling than Pickman's aesthetics. Of course to general readers or people unfamiliar with visual arts (which is most people), it works as a portrait of the layman.
13th Jul '17 1:27:48 AM Wanderwolf
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*** It should also be noted that Lovecraft's stories were primarily written during the heyday of Eugenics in the United States of America. In a real world that outlawed interracial marriage and forcibly sterilized those declared "feeble-minded", the values in his stories weren't so horribly dissonant as they are now.
3rd Jul '17 11:08:57 PM Skagit
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* ComplainingAboutShowsYouDontWatch: Any online discussion of his racism will have commenters decrying his racism and proudly proclaiming they have never read him because of that, often insisting that he should be forgotten. This will happen even on blog posts written by minority writers who say they are inspired and influenced by his work despite his virulent bigotry.


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** He was also profoundly concerned that the then newly arrived Irish, Italian, and Portuguese communities would irreversibly change the face of the then very WASPy New England, today those groups are considered to be an integral part of New England states like Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
3rd Jul '17 10:56:15 PM Skagit
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* FandomHeresy: Bringing up Lovecraft's racism is a surefire way to raise the ire of diehard Lovecraftians. To a lesser extent, liking (or, Nodens forbid, ''preferring'') Mythos stories by other authors can still get this reaction.

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* FandomHeresy: Bringing up Lovecraft's racism is a surefire way to raise the ire of diehard Lovecraftians.Lovecraftians, though more sensible fans will admit he was a huge bigot. To a lesser extent, liking (or, Nodens forbid, ''preferring'') Mythos stories by other authors can still get this reaction.
28th May '17 3:15:16 PM SantosLHalper
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* FamilyUnfriendlyAesop: "The universe is a fundamentally indifferent and horrifying place, full of {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, StarfishAliens, [[UnfortunateImplications minorities]] and [[MyFriendsAndZoidberg seafood]], and ignorance of its true nature is the only thing keeping us from madness."

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* FamilyUnfriendlyAesop: "The universe is a fundamentally indifferent and horrifying place, full of {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, StarfishAliens, [[UnfortunateImplications minorities]] and [[MyFriendsAndZoidberg [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking seafood]], and ignorance of its true nature is the only thing keeping us from madness."
17th May '17 2:25:54 PM 64SuperNintendo
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* RealitySubtext: Many of the stories have hidden dimensions if you know something about the author's life, but most disturbingly in "Literature/TheDunwichHorror".
* ScienceMarchesOn: At the time Lovecraft was writing based on the latest science of the day, and strove for accuracy. Nevertheless, scientific progress has since overtaken him:
** Lovecraft identified the Semitic god Dagon with his Deep Ones, based on a then-widely-accepted etymological link to the Hebrew word for "fish". Modern anthropologists consider this a coincidence, and the historical Dagon is now believed to have been a god of agriculture.
** The stories "The Colour Out of Space" and ''Literature/AtTheMountainsOfMadness'' are also heavily affected by eighty years or so of progress since they focus on scientific investigations of strange phenomena. Most notably the fact that there are no AlienGeometries mountains or giant, albino penguins in Antarctica - darn it.
** Whenever referring to human evolution, one of the first hominids to be mentioned is Piltdown man, which, of course, turned out to be a hoax.
** On the other hand, progress has sometimes backed Lovecraft up on matters that were mere speculation in his day: For example he supported and included the Continental Drift Theory in his stories, which is of course widely accepted nowadays but was then rejected by most scientists. Also, he wrote about a ninth planet in our solar system mere months before Pluto was discovered.



* RealitySubtext: Many of the stories have hidden dimensions if you know something about the author's life, but most disturbingly in "Literature/TheDunwichHorror".
* ScienceMarchesOn: At the time Lovecraft was writing based on the latest science of the day, and strove for accuracy. Nevertheless, scientific progress has since overtaken him:
** Lovecraft identified the Semitic god Dagon with his Deep Ones, based on a then-widely-accepted etymological link to the Hebrew word for "fish". Modern anthropologists consider this a coincidence, and the historical Dagon is now believed to have been a god of agriculture.
** The stories "The Colour Out of Space" and ''Literature/AtTheMountainsOfMadness'' are also heavily affected by eighty years or so of progress since they focus on scientific investigations of strange phenomena. Most notably the fact that there are no AlienGeometries mountains or giant, albino penguins in Antarctica - darn it.
** Whenever referring to human evolution, one of the first hominids to be mentioned is Piltdown man, which, of course, turned out to be a hoax.
** On the other hand, progress has sometimes backed Lovecraft up on matters that were mere speculation in his day: For example he supported and included the Continental Drift Theory in his stories, which is of course widely accepted nowadays but was then rejected by most scientists. Also, he wrote about a ninth planet in our solar system mere months before Pluto was discovered.
17th May '17 2:22:04 PM 64SuperNintendo
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* {{Narm}}: Due to the epic, incomprehensible nature of much of the themes and creations Lovecraft dealt with, he often resorts to a storytelling style some might find... melodramatic.
** There are a few points where the racist elements are so over the top (case in point: the excerpt from "Medusa's Coils" on this page) that some readers can't help but laugh.
** In the opening sentences of "Beyond the Wall of Sleep", Lovecraft briefly shakes his fist at Freud's "[[FreudWasRight puerile symbolism]]".


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* {{Narm}}: Due to the epic, incomprehensible nature of much of the themes and creations Lovecraft dealt with, he often resorts to a storytelling style some might find... melodramatic.
** There are a few points where the racist elements are so over the top (case in point: the excerpt from "Medusa's Coils" on this page) that some readers can't help but laugh.
** In the opening sentences of "Beyond the Wall of Sleep", Lovecraft briefly shakes his fist at Freud's "[[FreudWasRight puerile symbolism]]".
5th May '17 12:56:14 AM Scabbard
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** Not one of his works has resulted in a successful film adaptation or a successful TV series or even a [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Treehouse of Horror]] adaptation. and in a large sense his popularity and readership really increased in the Internet era and resulting spread of memes, and online fandom and geek culture.

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** Not one of his works has resulted in a successful film adaptation or a successful TV series or even a [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Treehouse of Horror]] adaptation. and in In a large sense sense, his popularity and readership really increased in the Internet era and resulting spread of memes, and online fandom and geek culture.
23rd Apr '17 5:18:08 PM kazokuhouou
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** Perhaps [[http://www.goominet.com/unspeakable-vault/vault/555/ this]] ''WebComic/TheUnspeakableVaultOfDoom'' (itself a parody of the Cthulhu Mythos) sums it up: in a comic pondering what would happen if Lovecraft was alive today, all his works (in all the printed languages) fit on a tiny bookcase, whereas the bookcase containing works by ''other'' authors writing in the mythos is easily four times as big, and is outright ''dwarfed'' by the room full of 'merch'.

to:

** Perhaps [[http://www.goominet.com/unspeakable-vault/vault/555/ this]] ''WebComic/TheUnspeakableVaultOfDoom'' comic (itself a parody of the Cthulhu Mythos) sums it up: in a comic pondering what would happen if Lovecraft was alive today, all his works (in all the printed languages) fit on a tiny bookcase, whereas the bookcase containing works by ''other'' authors writing in the mythos is easily four times as big, big (and Lovecraft claims it's a small sample), and is outright ''dwarfed'' by the room full of 'merch'.
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