In this essay, I would first like briefly to touch on how Lovecraft and Tolkien’s rigorous adherence to their literary sensibilities shaped later cultural expressions of myth and the macabre. Second, I would like to sample evidence of whether Lovecraft influenced elements of Tolkien’s grand tales.
I would like to share some thoughts about why Lovecraft’s writings have endured while other weird fiction writers of that era – with the exception of equally pioneering authors, such as Robert E. Howard – languished in anonymity.
Decades before “Forbidden Planet’”s theatrical run, Howard Phillips Lovecraft broke new imaginative grounds in “At the Mountains of Madness” (1931). Set in Antarctica, remote as the surface of the Moon in HPL’s day, he rewrote the deep history of the Earth in terms that disturbed our already crumbling anthropomorphic view of our prominence in the universe. There, he traced the irrational history of the primal world, often shrouded in religious myths and shamanic legends, in rational terms.
From the mind of one man, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, stirred the Great Old Ones. They sprang forth as primal shadows cast from the dawn of time.
Lovecraft wrote: “I expect nothing of man, and disown the race. The only folly is expecting what is never attained; man is most contemptible when compared with his own pretensions. It is better to laugh at man from outside the universe, than to weep for him within.”
Evolution has led humanity to a tipping point. Unlike other animals, there is a fundamental conflict between what human beings want from the universe (whether it be meaning, order, or reasonableness) and what they find in the universe (indifference and formless chaos).
What was it about these two non-descript men that intoxicated millions? Plus a fascinating list that details ten facets of Lovecraft’s dream life.
12 ways to prolong a human being’s life in the Lovecraftian Universe! Lovecraft portrayed a universe populated by ageless aliens — giants in comparison to human beings, who amount to little more than gnats. One means open to humanity — a way to establish parity with the Old Ones — is prolonged or eternal life.
At the heart of several Lovecraft’s stories, there exists a fictional view of the next step in human evolution. Or perhaps I should say, what a misstep in evolution might bring.
As Ishmael floats helplessly atop the ocean deep, he becomes the stuff of Cosmicism – a strikingly lonely image of humanity adrift in a universe neither good nor evil. Death ends their misunderstanding, and negates their madness. The true madness of man is that of trying to apply a reasonableness to an unreasonable cosmos.
In this article, I would like briefly to trace my steps into the World of Lovecraft. I hope during the discussion that you find some common ground with your own HPL experiences.
Both Lovecraft and Giger dredged the hereditary memories of immemorial fear. Like the Grecian god Charon, they poled the haggard ferryboat to the dark underworld. Upon their return, each man captured in his respective mediums – Lovecraft in prose and Giger in paint – hints of the demons and dreamscapes that vibrate with life beyond the prosaic world.
This post is by John A. DeLaughter, a Lovecraft eZine contributor. Is modern humanity one-step removed from hairy apedom? Have human beings crept that far from the primal ooze that […]
This post is by John A. DeLaughter, a Lovecraft eZine contributor. “Dream Weaver: I’ve just closed my eyes again Climbed aboard the dream weaver train Driver take away my worries […]
Do you recall a simpler time, when the fires of patriotism stirred you? What was it like? When I was in grade school, a music teacher came around to each […]