He was a miserable racist twat ... but man, he knew how to craft some deeply disturbing fiction.
It really is one of those complex situations as a fan, isn't it? Where you have to separate the man from his work. Kind of like listening to Wagner, I guess. I once did a whole post about my struggles with this very issue.
PS, I voted for Lestat ... still my fave vampire, in spite of Tom Cruise.
"He was a miserable racist twat"Just like so many other creative types (and indeed non-creative types) in his day who don't now have to cop the same sort of flak Lovecraft does as if he were the only racist author of the early 20th century.
I think the difference here, is that HPL would have been considered a bigot even in his own far less tolerant era.
It seems to me, that most people who call H.P.L. a racist, have never read his volumes of letters, or the volumes that have been written about him by those who knew him. Everyone who knew him found him to always be a kind and helpful gentleman to everyone he met.He lived in a far more segregated world than we live in now, and he was part of that world; but no more than anyone of his time.And as time went by, and society changed, so did he. Read his letters to all of his friends, and you'll see more of the real Lovecraft than you will on most web sites and blogs.And now, the reason I stopped by here...Great 120th Birthday Presents to/from H. P. Lovecraft!Happy 120th. Birthday H.P.L.!Freebies released in celebration of H. P. Lovecraft's 120th. birthday on 20-August-2010, and to stir up excitement for the possible making of the Universal Studios 3D version of "At the Mountains of Madness" by Guillermo del Toro and James Cameron; and as a celebration by Will Hart of the 20th. anniversary of his being at Lovecraft's grave-side on his 100th. birthday. Released during the last few hours in MP3 Format on:http://cthulhuwho1.com (The audio companion to the CthulhuWho1 Flickr collections.)"Fungi from Yuggoth"H. P. Lovecraft's complete 36 sonnet set; in an all-new recording by William (Will) Hart; in single file, and multiple file versions. A dark poetry reading if there ever was one..."What If H. P. Lovecraft Had Lived Into The 1960's?"A 163 minute panel recording in six parts, of Professor Dirk W. Mosig, Professor Donald R. Burleson, J. Vernon Shea, Fritz Leiber, Jr., and S.T. Joshi at the 36th World Science Fiction Convention in Phoenix in 1978. A must-have for Lovecraftians!Plus, behind the scenes recordings including a live reading by Don Burleson of his darkly funny, "The Last Supper."And more audio goodies too!And there are now over 1200 Lovecraft, Cthulhu, and Providence related images for the taking at the CthulhuWho1 Flickr page at:http://www.flickr.com/photos/cthulhuwho1/collections/(The image companion site to the http://cthulhuwho1.com audio site.)All of the above items (and more to come) were created in honor of H. P. Lovecraft; but since he’s not here with us, it’s up to you, and everyone you can share them with to enjoy them! Will Hartaka CthulhuWho1aka California Cthulhuwillhart-at-roadrunner-dot-com
I'm sorry, my intellectual button is off today. All I have to contribute is this: LOLTHULHUYou've likely seen it, it's old, but it always causes me glee and I like to remind folks it's there.
It is true that H.P. Lovecraft held many beliefs about race and ethnicity which would not be considered proper in this day and age. However, it is not a as simple matter as to color him just a bigot, like some sheriff in the Deep South that filled his spare time lynching innocent non-whites.Lovecraft was, for his many failings, a complex and intelligent man. He was way ahead of his time when it came to the cutting edge of scientific knowledge, at least for a lay person. It is also telling that the bulk of his animus is reserved for those of the caucasian persuasion, if, fo no other reason, for their degradation and/or moral turpitude. Herbert West: Reanimator is perhaps the best example of this. The Whateley family is another.Notwithstanding his many failings as a human being, yes, "he knew how to craft some deeply disturbing fiction." Perhaps his ethnic antipathy, loathesome as we see it today, was part of what made his writing so powerful.In any event, Lovecraft is one of the most important writers of the 20th Century, and I will wish him a happy 120th, belatedly.
Briana, that website is a RIOT. Thank you.And Ray, I'm glad you were able to chime in on this very complicated issue.
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