After coming at the thing from the wrong direction, like looking through binoculars backwards, I have finally digested a few of Lovecraft’s stories. I can think of no other single author who has exerted such profound influence on so many works of film and literature that I hold dear.
So now I finally have an appropriate anthology at my bedside (paper, not electronic), and I begin to understand why Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, John Carpenter and so many others hold this obscure author from Providence, RI in such high esteem. And it would please me to discuss with each of you the infinite dread this man contemplated, the way in which he saw human existence as among the most insignificant phenomena in the universe, and the way we are all saved by our inability to conceive of the greater chaos and darkness that lurks just out of sight, waiting to swallow us whole for no reason whatsoever. It is truly chilling.
But even after the briefest examination of Lovecraft’s few published works, there is another, equally nauseating aspect of his writing which all to readily asserts itself. It is one thing for an author to possess certain traits that I find disagreeable. I need not share identical political, social or religious views with any artist whose work I admire. But here, the problem is that the ignorance, the hatred, the racism, the anti-semitism is all right there in the work. And it too is horrifying.
What do we make if all this? How much can we ignore or forgive or explain away? I look forward to delving into the learned discussions to see what the scholars suggest. But, for now, I am baffled.