Although it has been more than a century since HP Lovecraft was born, the writer’s strange fiction and cosmic horror remain both influential and problematic. Lovecraft’s terrifying stories of alien gods, blood guilty families, and collapsing civilizations have influenced writers like Stephen King and Ramsey Campbell. The new HBO horror series Lovecraft Land– those of Misha Green and Executive of Jordan Peele (Go out) and JJ Abrams (war of stars) – Explores 1950s racism through dramatic encounters with Lovecraftian monsters. Check out some facts about this twisted soul from Providence, Rhode Island. (Warning: Some of the sources linked therein contain offensive and racist language.)
. HP Lovecraft had a difficult childhood.
Howard Phillips Lovecraft was born on August 20, 1890 and grew up under tragic, bizarre circumstances. His father, who suffered from psychosis probably caused by syphilis, entered Butler Hospital in Providence in 1893 and died there in 1898. (His mother went to the same mental hospital after World War I.) Lovecraft’s grandfather told him horror stories, and Lovecraft sharpened his Flash Fantasy by Devouring Edgar Allan Poe and Grimm’s Fairytales. After his grandfather’s death, his family fell into poverty and he had a nervous breakdown before graduating from high school.
2. The legendary monsters of HP Lovecraft have a murky origin.
When Lovecraft lost his grandmother at age 5, his mother and aunts wore eerie black mourning gowns. His subsequent nightmares may have inspired his black-winged, demonic night gangs. Another of his monsters, Dagon, is a water dweller with a “hideous head” and “scaly arms,” and the name Lovecraft first used in a short story in 1919 corresponds to that of the biblical god the Philistines. And the infamous Cthulhu, a gigantic octopus-dragon hybrid, may reflect Lovecraft’s hatred of seafood.
3. HP Lovecraft wrote a short story about Egypt with Harry Houdini.
In 1924 became the editor of Strange stories paid Lovecraft $ 100 to write “Imprisoned With the Pharaohs,” based on Houdini’s allegation that he was once abducted and trapped underground near the Great Pyramid of Giza. Lovecraft suspected this was a hoax, but carried out extensive Egyptological research. The legendary magician offered Lovecraft other projects but died in 1926 before they could continue working together.
4. HP Lovecraft went out of its way to support itself.
Retired and socially incompetent, Lovecraft scratched financially, sometimes from living with his family, sometimes from the support of his wife, Sonia Greene. He wrote more than 60 short stories as well as some novels and short stories, but also wrote an estimated 100,000 letters to friends and fans. Sometimes he skipped meals to pay for postage.
5. Metal bands are obsessed with HP Lovecraft.
Metallica’s “The Call of Ktulu” and “The Thing That Not Be” evoke Lovecraft’s greatest monster, as does Cradle of Filth’s “Cthulhu Dawn”. Black Sabbath’s “Behind The Wall of Sleep” is inspired by a 1919 Lovecraft story. Morbid Angel guitarist Trey Azagthoth got his stage name from Azathoth, one of the gods of Lovecraft. The list goes on.
6. HP Lovecrafts In the mountains of madness influenced the movie extraterrestrial.
extraterrestrial Writer Dan O’Bannon was influenced by Lovecraft’s 1936 novel about an unfortunate Antarctic expedition. In both stories, explorers are attacked by mysterious creatures in an unfamiliar environment extraterrestrial somewhat physically resembles Cthulhu. Swiss artist HR Giger, who designed the facehuggers and chestbursters in Ridley Scott’s 1979 science fiction classic, published a surreal art book called Necronomicon, named after Lovecraft’s often cited book of magic.
7. Providence, Rhode Island is abundant in HP Lovecraft-related tourist attractions.
The city includes the Lovecraft Arts & Sciences Store and the Lovecraft Tomb, among others. Brown University is also home to the world’s largest collection of Lovecraft papers.
8. HP Lovecraft had a love-hate relationship with New York.
While in Brooklyn, Lovecraft loved touring the Big Apple, brainstorming and engaging with other literary guys at the Kalem Club. However, his xenophobia was revealed in 1927 “Horror at Red Hook,” a neighborhood story involving occult victims.
9. HP Lovecraft loved cats.
In a pompous essay entitled “Cats and Dogs” he wrote: “The cat is such a perfect symbol of beauty and superiority that it hardly seems possible for a true esthete and civilized cynic to do anything other than worship it.” Horror stories like “The Cats of Ulthar” and “The Rats in the Walls” also reflect his fondness for cats. As a boy, Lovecraft owned a black cat whose name was a racial fraud.
10. HP Lovecraft was extremely racist.
There is no getting around it: Lovecraft’s fiction, poetry and correspondence contain, among other things, bigoted statements about blacks, Jews and Irish. He admired Hitler and supported white supremacy. Recently, its troubling legacy has come under scrutiny.
11. HP Lovecraft statuettes were no longer used in the World Fantasy Awards after the 2015 Awards.
Held annually since 1975, these awards honor the best fantasy fiction published the year before. The winners received a small bust of Lovecraft. This tradition ended because of its racist history. YA author Daniel José Older (Shadow shaper) requested that it be replaced with an Octavia Butler statuette. In 2017, however, the organizers introduced a new design with a tree in front of a full moon.
12. A Wisconsin publisher made HP Lovecraft famous after his death.
If August Derleth and Donald Wandrei hadn’t co-founded Arkham House in Sauk City, Wisconsin, Lovecraft’s work might have remained in the dark. After Lovecraft died of cancer in 1937 at the age of 46, Derleth and Wandrei set out to publish a hardcover anthology of his fiction. If there isn’t an established publisher bit, then they published The outsider and others More buses followed in 1939, and Lovecraft became a household name over the decades.
13. HP Lovecraft continues to influence popular culture.
also Lovecraft LandThere are lots of new ideas to choose from. South Park faked Cthulhu in 2010. Lovecraft’s influence on the 2016 Netflix series Strange things is well documented. Between 2016 and 2018, Mark Hamill and Christopher Plummer voiced the Howard Lovecraft animated film trilogy by Arcana Studio. Nicolas Cage also stars in the 2019 film Color Out of Space, based on the Lovecraft story of the same name.