Lovecraft Virgin

10 things I’ve learnt about HP Lovecraft having never read his work before:

1. His stories are mostly told using the apostle perspective, by that I mean the main character is never the narrator, and as such gains a mysterious quality that adds to the whole myth/supernatural-ness.

2. Save for the Cthulhu, narrators can rarely articulate the horror or creatures they behold. Often things like, “words cannot explain what I saw or smelt”, is used, as if the eyes and olfactory senses have yet to comprehend whatever it is they see, smell or have witnessed.

3. His stories blur then edge between horror and science fiction. Lovecraft seems to enjoy exploring alien life forms and where they reside (outsiders – or the outside world).

4. His vocabulary is extensive, and will leave you reaching for the dictionary.

5. He’s obsessed with the occult, witchcraft, ancient rituals and magic, either black or not.

6. Mostly ambiguous is the horror, explanation to what that horror is, or indeed, what is truly happening, is left until the very last few sentences.

7. He likes detail, in particular the architecture of buildings and their location, as well as the genealogy of a family.

8. Arkham isn’t just a setting in DC comics.

9. He’s lazy when it comes to the titles of his short stories.

10. He wrote in a time when you could name your cat a very racist term and think nothing of it.

Published by craigwallwork

Craig Wallwork is the author of the novels, Bad People, Labyrinth of the Dolls, The Sound of Loneliness, To Die Upon a Kiss, and the short story collections, Quintessence of Dust, and Gory Hole. His short stories have been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize and feature in many anthologies and magazines both in the U.K. and U.S. He currently lives in West Yorkshire.

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