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H.P. Lovecraft, Author, Is Dead

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Author Topic: H.P. Lovecraft, Author, Is Dead  (Read 163 times)
Blood on the Mors
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« on: May 03, 2015, 01:33:11 am »

    Besides his interest in the supernatural, he was a constant student of geneology and astronomy, and at one time, wrote a newspaper column on the latter subject.

Now, 30 years after the Lovecraftian boom, the cult of Cthulhu continues to propagate thanks to the web’s fertile ground.

“The internet has been a tremendous vehicle for people to be exposed to artists like Lovecraft whose works might otherwise have not reached them,” says Sean Branney, of the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society. “The bleak nihilism that runs thematically through his works seem more relevant than ever. As institutions which were once monolithic in society such as the church crumble around us, even capitalist bastions such as corporations are not enduring institutions that outlive man—rather, they’re transitory, vulnerable, and fragile. When our practical life has little in it that’s more enduring than ourselves, the notion of us inhabiting a speck of dust swirling in an inconceivable vast universe rings especially true. This makes Lovecraft’s themes of man’s utter insignificance in the face of the cosmos ring more true than it ever has.”

And then there is the subtext of so many of Lovecraft’s stories: that the quest for knowledge invariably leads to remorse. The sense among many that technology is spinning out of control, that bioengineering and medical science will lead to grotesques, feels as if we as a society are routinely uncovering That Which Man Was Not Mean to Know. “We hunger for more information and a deeper understanding of the world we live in,” says Branney. “But I think there’s something perversely titillating about the notion that learning too much is the gateway to madness. What better bogeyman can there be in an information-driven society than the notion that genuine understanding of the universe and the forces at work in it are will push our petty human minds over the brink?”

S.T. Joshi expresses the sentiment similarly. “Lovecraft didn’t get bogged down in the minutiae of the daily life of his characters. The people in his stories face ‘big’ issues of identity, humanity’s place in the universe, and the psychological effects of knowledge in ways that are not tied to the time period in which the stories written, so that they can speak across the generations.”

Even the manner in which the Cthulhu Mythos was created mirrors the ethos of the internet. Lovecraft and his contemporaries freely appropriated characters, settings, gods, and ideas from one another, in much the same way that creating remixes and mashups is so common on the web.

Adds Branney. “The internet makes it quite easy to create a community for people with similar interests and have them find each other. Because the bar for sharing information is quite low, lots of people easily can create sites, share information and creations such as artwork, music and films. People who find such things interesting can get involved without regard to geography or cost.

“Back in the ’80s, the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society counted itself lucky to have a couple of hundred members worldwide. In the current era, our website will see that many visitors in an hour. They find us, we find them. Everyone is happy, well, as happy as one can be in this dark Lovecraftian universe.”

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