Works of Genius survive the death of the maestros that manifested them. For Howard Phillips Lovecraft, the vehicle was paper. For Patrick McGoohan, the other subject for our essay, the medium was television. McGoohan’s Magnum Opus was the TV series, THE PRISONER.
In the ever-changing landscapes of reality, H.P. Lovecraft and H.R. Giger added their own distinctive road marks, landmarks, and monsters that forever became part of the collective human psyche.
Lovecraft’s Uniqueness. That is what we want to explore in this essay, “What makes Lovecraft’s fiction trail-blazing?” Or specifically, while Lovecraft was a materialist and atheist, “What literary steps did he take to rekindle a myth-hunger in modern humanity?”
In this discussion, we will address the following questions: How did H.P. Lovecraft view man’s emerging relationship to machines? What lessons can humanity take from the Earth first proto-men, the Elder Things? How do those concepts apply to humanity’s relations with today’s shoggoths: Artificial Intelligence? What will sentient A.I. attitudes be towards its organic creators? How are society’s overlords preparing the populace for future A.I. rule? Will evolution ensure a future humanity that is superior to A.I.?
My emotional rollercoaster with the Batman movies brought to mind the difference between wish-fulfillment and reality. What I expected from such movies differed wildly from the reality I sat through with dwindling audiences of fans. At one stage, the question arose about Bob Kane (Batman’s Creator) and H.P. Lovecraft, “Did destiny unknowingly cross their paths?” Was there any substance, a link between the two men? Or was it simply a wish that a relationship existed when there was none? Did Batman lurk in the shadow out of time?
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.