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H.P. Lovecraft, Author, Is Dead

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Blood on the Mors
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« on: May 03, 2015, 01:31:40 am »

 The 90-minute film “Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown” documents the writer and his lasting legacy.

 

    His early recourse to the library of his grandfather, Whipple V. Phillips, at 454 Angell street in which he has turned loose to browse at will gave him the bend toward weird writing which was his hobby.

In “The Call of Cthulhu,” Lovecraft’s signature story, the narrator discovers a statuette of a grotesque entity:

It seemed to be a sort of monster, or symbol representing a monster, of a form which only a diseased fancy could conceive. If I say that my somewhat extravagant imagination yielded simultaneous pictures of an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature, I shall not be unfaithful to the spirit of the thing. A pulpy, tentacled head surmounted a grotesque and scaly body with rudimentary wings; but it was the general outline of the whole which made it most shockingly frightful.

The narrator soon learns of an unthinkable horror dwelling on the ocean floor inside a city of “Cyclopean masonry.” Further research unearths a manuscript, written by a ship captain who had the great misfortune to see this Great Cthulhu, with its “shining eyes and a mountainous white bulk,” as it rose from the sea. Although the captain escaped the encounter with his life, he is left a broken man, unable to comprehend a world in which such terrors reside. (The captain’s more fortunate shipmate goes insane the moment he beholds the horror.) Having unearthed the full story, the narrator laments his investigation, as he agonizes over his ill-begotten knowledge of Cthulhu. “Loathsomeness waits and dreams in the deep, and decay spreads over the tottering cities of men,” he says. “A time will come—but I must not and cannot think!”

The Lovecraft universe is a drear and inhospitable place. Eschewing the vampires and other supernatural horrors that were standard villains in the pulps of his age, HPL instead created his own brand of horror, a genre that has come to be known as “Cosmicism.”
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