History YMMV / HPLovecraft

16th Jan '18 5:57:51 AM Morgenthaler
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* AllGermansAreNazis: The U-boat captain in "The Temple" is portrayed as a heartless racist monster, so extreme he considers Rhinelanders too soft to serve the Fatherland properly, and he violates the Law of War just as any caricaturish movie Nazi would do. (He is also well punished for his heartless killing of a Greek ''untermensch''; those who read Lovecraft as a simple crude Nazi-type himself would do well to read this story. It should also be noted that "The Temple" was written in 1920, before anyone knew who UsefiulNotes/AdolfHitler was, and that Lovecraft died in 1937, only four years after Hitler came to power.)
15th Nov '17 12:00:50 AM Psychadelico
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** It doesn't help that, probably due to ValuesDissonance, many of Lovecraft's characters come across as having [[TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu SAN-scores]] made of tissue paper. For every instance of out-and-out [[TheCorruption Corruption]] or BrownNote in Lovecraft's works, there's another "horror" that's perturbing or squicky at worst, but the characters still barely manage to survive. The protagonist of ''Literature/AtTheMountainsOfMadness'' almost [[GoMadFromTheRevelation Goes Mad From The Revelation]] at the mere idea of aliens existing, for instance.
14th Nov '17 11:40:46 PM Psychadelico
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** An austere description of some of Lovecraft's monsters: [[Literature/TheWhispererInDarkness flying fungus-beetles from Pluto]], a [[Literature/TheCallOfCthulhu squid-faced dragon-man]], [[Literature/AtTheMountainsOfMadness giant albino penguins]], and [[Literature/TheShadowOverInnsmouth frog men]].
* NarmCharm: Sometimes even in spite of himself, Lovecraft's writing hits a nerve.
3rd Sep '17 12:35:35 AM KingClark
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* AccidentalAesop: Considering Creator/HPLovecraft's general xenophobia and racism, it's likely he intended the final revelation in "Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family" -- that one of the title character's great-great-great grandparents was some sort of pre-human 'ape-goddess' -- to be legitimately horrifying enough to justify his fatal HeroicBSOD. Ninety-odd years later, when what amounts to almost literally the exact same revelation about a huge swath of the current population is met with a profound 'meh' outside of the scientific community, the really disturbing thing about the story seems more to be how truly fragile poor Arthur's sense of proportion and grip on reality are.

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* AccidentalAesop: AccidentalAesop:
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Considering Creator/HPLovecraft's general xenophobia and racism, it's likely he intended the final revelation in "Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family" -- that one of the title character's great-great-great grandparents was some sort of pre-human 'ape-goddess' -- to be legitimately horrifying enough to justify his fatal HeroicBSOD. Ninety-odd years later, when what amounts to almost literally the exact same revelation about a huge swath of the current population is met with a profound 'meh' outside of the scientific community, the really disturbing thing about the story seems more to be how truly fragile poor Arthur's sense of proportion and grip on reality are.



* 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 and interviews by minority Creators who say they are inspired and influenced by his work but detest his virulent bigotry.

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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 and interviews by minority Creators creators who say they are inspired and influenced by his work but detest his virulent bigotry.




13th Aug '17 4:38:55 PM CaptEquinox
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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.
* FairForItsDay: {{Averted|Trope}} with Lovecraft. Even if his xenophobia did come from [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation a pathological fear of the unknown]], and even if he was briefly married to Sonia Greene (who was half Jewish), he was a racist and white supremacist, ''even'' by the standards of the 1930s.

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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 and interviews by minority writers Creators who say they are inspired and influenced by his work despite but detest his virulent bigotry.
* FairForItsDay: {{Averted|Trope}} with Lovecraft. Even if his xenophobia did come from [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation a pathological fear of the unknown]], and even if he was briefly married to Sonia Greene (who was half Jewish), Jewish) and had Jewish friends, he was a racist and white supremacist, ''even'' by the standards of the 1930s.



* FandomHeresy: Bringing up Lovecraft's racism is a surefire way to raise the ire of diehard 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.

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* FandomHeresy: Bringing up Lovecraft's racism is a surefire way to raise the ire of diehard 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. (Creator/AugustDerleth can be a real BerserkButton for a lot of fans given what he did with HPL's material, and how he treated HPL's literary executor Robert Barlow.)



** He was also profoundly concerned that the then newly arrived Irish, Italian, and Portuguese communities would irreversibly change the face of the then very [[WhiteAngloSaxonProtestant WASPy]] New England, today those groups are considered to be an integral part of New England states like Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
* MainstreamObscurity: Lovecraft is a known and familiar by PopCulturalOsmosis (and even then only belatedly and in certain genres) than he is read, and in the global Anglophone, Lovecraft is still far less famous than Creator/EdgarAllanPoe (who benefits by being SchoolStudyMedia) and other Victorian horror (Stevenson, Stoker, Shelley) who benefited from sundry LostInImitation adaptations.
** 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. 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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** He was also profoundly concerned that the then newly arrived Irish, Italian, and Portuguese communities would irreversibly change the face of the then very [[WhiteAngloSaxonProtestant WASPy]] New England, England; today those groups are considered to be an integral part of New England states like Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Island, contributing very positively to their culture.
* MainstreamObscurity: Lovecraft is a known and familiar by PopCulturalOsmosis (and even then only belatedly and in certain genres) than he is read, and in the global Anglophone, Lovecraft is still far less famous than Creator/EdgarAllanPoe (who benefits by being SchoolStudyMedia) and other Victorian horror (Stevenson, Stoker, Shelley) (Creator/RobertLouisStevenson, Creator/BramStoker, Creator/MaryShelley) who benefited from sundry LostInImitation adaptations.
** Not one of his works has resulted in a successful theatrical film adaptation or a successful TV series or even a [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Treehouse of Horror]] adaptation. 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.



** 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]]. 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, and Lovecraft lived in "genteel poverty" largely as a result of his inability to get over his New England pseudo-aristocratic hangover.

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** 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]]. 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, and asylum; his traveling-salesman father, of insanity due to syphilis; his mother's story is more complex, but she had severe anxiety. Lovecraft lived in "genteel poverty" largely as a result of his never having been prepared for any kind of ordinary employment just as a backup to bring money in, as well as his inability to get over his New England pseudo-aristocratic hangover.
31st Jul '17 8:22:37 PM rjd1922
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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.

to:

** 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 [[WhiteAngloSaxonProtestant WASPy]] New England, today those groups are considered to be an integral part of New England states like Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
31st Jul '17 8:21:35 PM rjd1922
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* AuthorPhobia: Much of what Lovecraft wrote was motivated by his own nightmares and personal phobias. Among the ones less likely to evoke similar feelings in readers nowadays were his fears of [[ValuesDissonance non-white Anglo-Saxon people and miscegenation]]. [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking And fish.]]
* BasedOnADream: Not only were many of Lovecraft's stories based on dreams he had, but the characters within his works often created art or writing based on ''their'' dreams.



* FairForItsDay: [[AvertedTrope Averted]] with Lovecraft. Even if his xenophobia did come from [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation a pathological fear of the unknown]], and even if he was briefly married to Sonia Greene (who was half Jewish), he was a racist and white supremacist, ''even'' by the standards of the 1930s.

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* FairForItsDay: [[AvertedTrope Averted]] {{Averted|Trope}} with Lovecraft. Even if his xenophobia did come from [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation a pathological fear of the unknown]], and even if he was briefly married to Sonia Greene (who was half Jewish), he was a racist and white supremacist, ''even'' by the standards of the 1930s.
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.

to:

** 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.
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