➿ [Download] ➽ Tales By H.P. Lovecraft ➵ – Uroturk.info
A Twentieth Century Successor To Edgar Allan Poe As The Master Of Weird Fiction, Howard Philips Lovecraft Once Wrote, The Oldest And Strongest Emotion Of Mankind Is Fear, And The Oldest And Strongest Kind Of Fear Is Fear Of The Unknown In The Novellas And Stories He Published In Such Pulp Magazines As Weird Tales And Astounding Stories And In The Work That Remained Unpublished Until After His Death, Including Some Of His Best Writing H P Lovecraft Adapted The Conventions Of Horror Stories And Science Fiction To Express An Intensely Personal Vision, Cosmic In Its Ramifications And Fearsome In Its Shuddering View Of Human DestinyIn This Library Of America Volume, The Best Selling Novelist Peter Straub Brings Together The Very Best Of Lovecraft S Fiction In A Treasury Guaranteed To Bring Fright And Delight Both To Longtime Fans And To Readers New To His Work Early Stories Such As The Outsider, The Music Of Erich Zann, Herbert West Reanimator, And The Lurking Fear Demonstrate Lovecraft S Uncanny Ability To Blur The Distinction Between Reality And Nightmare, Sanity And Madness, The Human And Non Human The Horror At Red Hook And He Reveal The Fascination And Revulsion Lovecraft Felt For New York City Pickman S Model Uncovers The Frightening Secret Behind An Artist S Work The Rats In The Walls Is A Terrifying Descent Into Atavistic Horror And The Colour Out Of Space Explores The Eerie Impact Of A Meteorite On A Remote Massachusetts ValleyIn Such Later Works As The Call Of Cthulhu, The Whisperer In Darkness, At The Mountains Of Madness, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, And The Shadow Out Of Time, Lovecraft Developed His Own Nightmarish Mythology In Which Encounters With Ancient, Pitiless Extraterrestrial Intelligences Wreak Havoc On Hapless Humans Who Only Gradually Begin To Glimpse Terrifying Vistas Of Reality, And Our Frightful Position Therein Moving From Old New England Towns Haunted By Occult Pasts To Antarctic Wastes That Disclose Appalling Secrets, Lovecraft S Tales Continue To Exert A Dread FascinationTable Of Contents The Statement Of Randolph CarterThe OutsiderThe Music Of Erich ZannHerbert West ReanimatorThe Lurking FearThe Rats In The WallsThe Shunned HouseThe Horror At Red HookHeCool AirThe Call Of CthulhuPickman S ModelThe Case Of Charles Dexter WardThe Colour Out Of SpaceThe Dunwich HorrorThe Whisperer In DarknessAt The Mountains Of MadnessThe Shadow Over InnsmouthThe Dreams In The Witch HouseThe Thing On The DoorstepThe Shadow Out Of TimeThe Haunter Of The Dark I think I ve read enough Lovecraft for one life I actually read several of Lovecraft s well known stories while in high school and college, so this collection allowed me to revisit many of those same stories with some distance and maturity Some of the tales were new to me, including At the Mountains of Madness, which I understand is supposed to be one of his better regarded works.Lovecraftian cosmic horror is so relied upon in various tabletop and video games that, I think, I felt I must like his tales when I read them at a younger age What can I say Everyone s impressionable to some degree But looking on these stories now, my primary reactions are revulsion and boredom Revulsion because of the deep, intractable racism and xenophobia on display in most of his stories Boredom because of the pretentious prose and over use of certain words Lovecraft, dude, tittering has never been a scary word ever in any context, and why did you ever think otherwise.I found that I still liked his shorter stories best The Music of Erich Zann, Pickman s Model, and The Colour Out of Space are stories that I could actually recommend to anyone They are bizarre, cryptic, and mysterious Rather than attempting to ratchet up tension by repetitive allusion, these stories build naturally to admittedly pulp and hackneyed revelations They don t give too much away too early on because they don t go on and on They end before they can ruin themselves Plus, the shorter form seems to have helped avoid some of the intense racist descriptions that crop up in works like Herbert West Reanimator seriously, the grotesque and bestial descriptions of black men are horrible, and merely hand waving racism as part of the times is not an adequate excuse, both due to the extremity of the obvious race hatred and the reality that never at any point in time has there been a single view on race.The stories that really define the Cthulhu Mythos, Lovecraft s fondly remembered mythological achievement, are really somewhat of a mixed bag I did like At the Mountains of Madness, which felt like pulp horror trying to do pulp adventure, and the creepy tale of infiltration and disguise that is The Whisperer in Darkness But The Call of Cthulhu, no matter how frequently invoked in geek culture, is ruined by the significance of mixed race individuals as proponents of the dark cult Side note if you want to see a better version of The Call of Cthulhu, skip the short story and watch the 2005 black and white silent film by the same name, which has some fun playing with elements of 1920s cinema while removing the racist elements of the story without damaging the plot and actually deepening some of the mystery.It s than The Call of Cthulhu, though Much of Lovecraft s Cthulhu Mythos can be read as an allegory regarding the evils of race mixing Take The Shadow Over Innsmouth, which on its face is a decent mystery regarding a small town s dark secrets, punctuated by a fairly tense chase sequence The story is about a cult who has bred with sea creatures from the South Pacific It s not a very subtle allegory Similar themes are apparent in stories like The Dunwich Horror and The Thing on the Doorstep The Horror at Red Hook is basically a rant against immigrants And so on Also, women basically always take a background seat, unless they are villains or possessed I would have been surprised to see a female protagonist or hero given the times, but I think there is something to be said about the villainous appearance of basically any notable female character, aside from the occasional housekeeper.Finally, some of the remaining stories are just laughable, like The Dreams in the Witch House Obvious surprise, uninteresting prose, and absurd premise define than a few of the stories.The collection varies widely in quality, and I would not recommend it to anyone Though if you are already a Lovecraft fan, or simply looking to add a decorative touch to your bookshelf, this Library of America hardcover edition is quite lovely in appearance It also includes some notes regarding the text and a brief life chronology of Lovecraft The notes are a little sparse, but this volume seems focused on presentation and preservation rather than academics, anyway. I read this volume long ago I have since replaced it with a comprehensive collection of Lovecraft s works This seems like a cash grab by Library of America, rather than a proper treatment of this writer s stories You can find a cheaper, larger complete tales edition by Chartwell classics It s 1112 massive pages compared to the 800 here It claims completeness but contains fewer than 60 works If you re like me, and feel the need to really read all of this man s unsettling stories, you will need to look elsewhere there are many ebook editions with rare stories, letters and collaborations In truth, Lovecraft wrote many thousands of letters and too many stories to bind in one volume, though his fame increases with time, his talent can be gleaned from a few clever and disturbing examples You don t really need to worry about the clunkier, earlier tales.Examining his sentences, dialogue or character choices are not necessarily a productive or enlightening exercise But letting the stories wash over your unprepared mind, sinking into the whirling storm of imagery he conjures, and dreaming and revisiting the haunting, unimaginable dilemmas his stories continually present, is well worth the headache of trying to understand him as a writer, which very few probably ever will.Like Poe, and Blackwood, Lovecraft is occasionally genuinely frightening The uniquely thrilling aspects of his supernatural storytelling are often imitated but rarely equaled Once you have savored the wonder and elegance of his most famous works, check out Clark Ashton Smith, who was a poet through and through and Arthur Machen, who took on the same subjects, but wrote for aesthetic appreciation There are a lot of purveyors of the weird these days, but Lovecraft may forever remain the king on the mountain of madness. Let s first acknowledge that Lovecraft is a master of hooking the reader with the first sentence A few of the best I repeat to you, gentlemen, that your inquisition is fruitless The Statement of Randolph Carter Of Herbert West, who was my friend in college and in after life, I can speak only with extreme terror Herbert West Reanimator I am forced into speech because men of science have refused to follow my advice without knowing why At the Mountains of Madness It is true that I have sent six bullets through the head of my best friend, and yet I hope to shew by this statement that I am not his murderer The Thing on the Doorstep After twenty two years of nightmare and terror, saved only by desperate conviction of the mythical source of certain impressions, I am unwilling to vouch for the truth of that which I think I found in Western Australia on the night of July 17 18th, 1935 The Shadow Out of TimeLovecraft is of course a master of cosmic terror, a diabolical architect of supremely weird fiction He has mapped out a whole new realm of mood, of vast and nameless horror Everyone should give a chance to some of his epic works, of which I d name At the Mountains of Madness , Herbert West Reanimator , The Shadow over Innsmouth and the longest work The Case of Charles Dexter Ward , all of which were epic, weird, horrible and unforgettable I R lyeh Cthulhu fhtagn I I For some really interesting thought on Lovecraft, I d also recommend the collection of Michel Houellebecq s essays H.P Lovecraft Against the World, Against Life, which, along with this edition of Lovecraft as a new entry to the Library of America, might inadvertently bring Lovecraft out of the graveyard and parking lot where he is revered by the trench coat wearing, clove smoking, dungeon dragon playing goth crowd where I believe he should firmly remain This type of stuff is best experienced in solitude by disenfranchised outsiders because it is, as Houellebecq points out, staunchly nihilist and expresses Lovecraft s alienation from the world through his utterly fantastic and amazing creations And I mean fantastic and amazing in the original and undiluted sense in that they are both the stuff of fantasy, and that they truly inspire awe All hail the true master of weird terror, the un crowned king of cosmic, timeless horror In his house at R lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming Ph nglui mglw nafh Cthulhu R lyeh wgah nagl fhtagn I have little patience for schlock I can t enjoy bad art ironically, and I can t seem to turn my brain off when I m reading The writer needs to intrigue me, and be doing something interesting I try to read only the good stuff, even within the bounds of genre fiction like science fiction and horror, and as such, I had always avoided Lovecraft I had heard he was sub par, a bad writer, a repetitive hack, and I had no reason to waste my time, when there are so many other great writers out there and unfortunately I only live once But I was wrong And so are the people who dismiss Lovecraft out of hand He is not sub par He is not mediocre He is not a traditionally skillful prose stylist, true, but he is an extremely powerful storyteller, relying on a toolkit that is idiosyncratic and bizarre but functions spectacularly in the stories that work He creates worlds and feelings that jab into your mind s eye and stay there He is an acquired taste, indeed, but that taste can be acquired very easily within a few pages, just by reading slowly That s all it takes Settle into your chair, take a sip of your tea, and begin, and you ll soon discover you re in the hands of a master Not a self conscious master, I think, not someone who knew what he was doing intellectually, but someone with a wild and unique imagination who spurted his nightmares forth uncensored onto the page and thereby created art Not every story here hits those high marks, but when they do, there is nothing else like them.Of the early stories, The Music of Erich Zann is the best It is low key, but legitimately disturbing Soon thereafter something happens, and Lovecraft s art takes a significant leap forward with The Call of Chthulu, which is a masterpiece Lovecraft does not get the credit he deserves for his structural and formal choices Call of Chthulu, like Frankenstein, is told in a web of nested narratives that are fascinating and bewildering, with the climactic horror and it does not disappoint buried at the center of the web Then there is the absolutely splendid surprise of The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, an unfairly neglected but masterful horror novel, with its detailed focus on a man going mad and its unforgettable image of creatures buried deep in wells beneath the Earth crying for food for centuries Sometimes it doesn t work so well The Dunwich Horror and The Thing on the Doorstep both feel redundant, mere retellings of stories he already told much better before And At The Mountains of Madness, while clearly skillful and influential, to my mind takes far too long to get where it s going Dreams of the Witch House is nothing special.But the best ones are uncanny They maintain a very particular tone of dread and expectation, gradually but, in the end, violently widening our perspective, and somehow that new perspective is itself the source of the horror How does he do that I don t know But that s the most effective, the deepest kind of horror, isn t it, horror at the true nature of reality Horror at our true place within it The Colour Out of Space, The Whisperer in Darkness, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, and The Color Out of Time are all masterpieces of the genre These are fundamental tales of the smallness of humanity in the face of the universe, and they are brilliant Anyone interested in horror what Lovecraft and others have usefully called Weird Fiction needs to read at least the best of these stories.