|H P Lovecraft|
Can't you tell just to look at him
he writes creepy stories?
I first came across Lovecraft when my mother was going to school at UGA during the summer. Del Ray Publishing (I believe it was) had re-released some of Lovecraft's book with lurid covers - green blobbish faces with shards of glass sticking through, and like that. C S Lewis once wrote that there could be faces so terrible, of such anguish and horror, that one could look at them and never be the same afterward. For me, the faces on those covers was what he was talking about. I asked my mother Mur about them, and she said, yes, they were exactly the sort of thing I'd like.
I read "The Shuttered Room," first - technically by August Derleth, but very much in the Lovecraft mode - and I was hooked. My only big exposure to horror fiction up until this time had been Edgar Allan Poe and Rod Serling. (Books of Twilight Zone stories were regularly on newsstands.) I'd read Masque of the Red Death and Other Stories by Poe. Big disappointment for a twelve-year-old. And Serling was fun, but jokey. Besides which, too many of his stories were clearly intended to teach you something. Lovecraft and his followers didn't teach you anything except the universe was incomprehensible and probably out to get you, and the less you knew about it, the better.
|This is some of the actual cover art that drew my attention|
back in Athens, Georgia all those years ago.
Lord, but I was a dumb kid.
I'm pleased to say my daughter Catherine and son-in-law Drew are also Lovecraft fans. Drew appears regularly in performances of Lovecraftian stories with the Atlanta Radio Company, and for my graduation, Catherine gave me a Cthulhu PhD plush toy.
Lovecraft's life was beset by ever-deepening poverty, accompanied by literary obscurity so thick it could've concealed a freight train. His fame was assured by other writers; in spite of personal failure - I love this part - Lovecraft was an indefatigable correspondent and generous with his time and advice with others. It was they who kept reminding the reading world of Lovecraft, Lovecraft, Lovecraft.
Thanks to them, and thanks to you, H P. I'm sorry I said your name was Bunny.
|My Cthulhu PhD Doll.|
Catherine and I once made a Miskatonic Universtity T-Shirt
(Miskatonic was a Lovecraft creation, cool name, huh?)
The University motto was, "Semper Malis," Always evil.