A Centennial Anthology of Essays
in Honor of H.P. Lovecraft
Edited by David
E. Schultz and S.T. Joshi
Dust Jacket Text
The Rhode Island writer H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) has long been considered a
master of weird and horror fiction; but academic critics have shied away from his work, both
because they have not felt that horror fiction is serious literature and because Lovecraft
published much of his work in the lowly “pulp” magazines of the 1920s and 1930s.
But now a new generation of scholars is reassessing Lovecraft’s wide learning, his serious
approach to writing, and the many levels of meaning that his work reveals.
This book, compiled for the centennial of Lovecraft’s birth, contains
thirteen original essays by the leading American scholars on Lovecraft. A wide variety of
critical approaches—biographical, thematic, formalist, comparative, history of ideas,
genre study—is used to display the breadth and riches of Lovecraft’s novels and
Three biographical essays supply startling new facts and interpretations of
Lovecraft’s life and literary career, embodying much original research. Kenneth W. Faig,
Jr.’s essay on Lovecraft’s parents and Jason Eckhardt’s essay on
Lovecraft’s New England heritage supply important background information on his work. Will
Murray supplies a radical new interpretation of Lovecraft’s relations to the pulp
A series of thematic essays explores Lovecraft’s work from differing
perspectives. In an overview, Donald R. Burleson finds five dominant themes in his fiction, all
related the the fundamental notion of humanity’s insignificance in the vastness of an
indifferent universe—what Lovecraft himself termed “cosmicism.” Peter Cannon,
Stefan Dziemianowicz, Steven J. Mariconda, David E. Schultz, and Robert H. Waugh discuss various
aspects of Lovecraft’s style, imagery, and narrative method, showing both the richness and
the interconnectedness of his work.
The four final essays deal with comparative and genre studies. Robert M. Price
treats of Lovecraft’s myth cycle and of how later writers and critics have misinterpreted
this creation by failing to perceive Lovecraft’s atheistic and amoralistic philosophy. R.
Boerem, Norman R. Gayford, and Barton Levi St. Armand probe Lovecraft’s relationship to
the horror fiction tradition, to literary modernism, and to the fictive universe of Jorge Luis
The book concludes with an extensive annotated bibliography supplying information
on the best editions of Lovecraft’s work and the best scholarship devoted to him over the
last five or six decades. In sum, it is hoped that this book will both clear away many of the
misconceptions surrounding Lovecraft’s life, work, and reputation, and suggest directions
for future study. On the centennial of his birth, Lovecraft finally appears to be gaining the
academic and general recognition that eluded him in life.
- S.T. Joshi.
- The Parents of Howard Phillips Lovecraft
- Kenneth W. Faig, Jr.
- The Cosmic Yankee
- Jason C. Eckhardt
- Lovecraft and the Pulp Magazine Tradition
- Will Murray
- On Lovecraft’s Themes: Touching the Glass
- Donald R. Burleson
- Letters, Diaries, and Manuscripts: The Handwritten Word in Lovecraft
- Outsiders and Aliens: The Uses of Isolation in Lovecraft’s Fiction
- Lovecraft’s Cosmic Imagery
- Steven J. Mariconda
- From Microcosm to Macrocosm: The Growth of Lovecraft’s Cosmic Vision
- David E.
- Landscapes, Selves, and Others in Lovecraft
- Robert H. Waugh
- Lovecraft’s “Artificial Mythology”
- Robert M. Price
- Lovecraft and the Tradition of the Gentleman Narrator
- R. Boerem
- The Artist as Antaeus: Lovecraft and Modernism
- Norman R. Gayford
- Synchronistic Worlds: Lovecraft and Borges
- Barton Levi St. Armand
An Epicure in the Terrible: A Centennial Anthology of Essays in Honor of H.P. Lovecraft.
Edited by David E. Schultz and S.T. Joshi. Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press;
1991; ISBN 0-8386-3415-X (hardcover). New York, NY: Hippocampus Press; 2011; ISBN
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