Mar 2, 2015

Annotated Lovecraft

Excerpt from the intro written by Alan Moore for The new annotated H.P. Lovecraft volume.

[...] it is possible to perceive Howard Lovecraft as an almost unbearably sensitive barometer of American dread. Far from outlandish eccentricities, the fears that generated Lovecraft’s stories and opinions were precisely those of the white, middle-class, heterosexual, Protestant-descended males who were most threatened by the shifting power relationships and values of the modern world. Though he may have regarded himself, in accordance with the view held of him by his readership and even those that knew him personally, as an embodiment of his most emblematic fable, “The Outsider,” in his frights and panics he reveals himself as that almost unheard-of fluke statistical phenomenon, the absolutely average man, an entrenched social insider unnerved by new and alien influences from without. This, it might be suggested, is the underlying reason for our ongoing absorption in his work, a fascination that seems only to increase as Lovecraft and his times recede into the past. In H. P. Lovecraft’s tales, we are afforded an oblique and yet unsettlingly perceptive view into the haunted origins of the fraught modern world and its attendant mind-set that we presently inhabit. Coded in an alphabet of monsters, Lovecraft’s writings offer a potential key to understanding our current dilemma, although crucial to this is that they are understood in the full context of the place and times from which they blossomed. [...]
The new annotated H.P. Lovecraft

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