H.P. Lovecraft is a major writer of horror stories, in the genre of 'weird fiction'. This book brings together his core 'classic' fictions with a full contextual introduction, offering a balanced assessment of an influential cult author whose tales of metaphysical horror create a profound sense of dread and unease
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'Loathsomeness waits and dreams in the deep, and decay spreads over the tottering cities of men. A time will come - but I must not and cannot think!'
H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) was a reclusive scribbler of horror stories for the American pulp magazines that specialized in Gothic and science fiction in the interwar years. He often published in Weird Tales and has since become the key figure in the slippery genre of 'weird fiction'. Lovecraft developed an extraordinary vision of feeble men driven to the edge of sanity by glimpses of malign beings that have survived from human prehistory or by malevolent extra-terrestrial visitations.
The ornate language of his stories builds towards grotesque moments of revelation, quite unlike any other writer.
This new selection brings together nine of his classic tales, focusing on the 'Cthulhu Mythos', a cycle of stories that develops the mythology of the Old Ones, the monstrous creatures who predate human life on earth. It includes the Introduction from Lovecraft's critical essay, 'Supernatural Horror in Literature', in which he gave his own important definition of 'weird fiction'. In a fascinating contextual introduction, Roger Luckhurst gives Lovecraft the attention he deserves as a writer who
used pulp fiction to explore a remarkable philosophy that shockingly dethrones the mastery of man.
[Luckhurst] furnishes a satisfyingly wide-ranging introduction that situates Lovecraft's work in relation to his scientific materialist views and his rather chilly stance of "cosmic indifferentism".
Julian White, Times Literary Supplement||For those interested in Lovecraft but unsure of where to start, this book rolls out the welcome mat. Highly recommended for both new readers and seasoned veterans with an eye toward literary curatorship.