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Lovecraft: A Study in the Fantastic
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By Maurice Levy
Translated by S.T. Joshi

[Cover]

Back Cover Text

Maurice Levy’s book is a penetrating analysis of the themes running through the works of H.P. Lovecraft, the writer of horror and supernatural fiction. Broader than a thematic study, however, Levy’s analysis is unique in his use of Lovecraft’s work as a model for fantastic writing in general and in his provocative theory as to why Lovecraft wrote the sort of works he did.
     For Levy, Lovecraft’s fiction is a prototype for the fantastic, whose central concern is the intrusion of the unreal into the real. Lovecraft was a master of the realistic setting which makes the eruption of the irrational that much more unnerving. It is precisely because Lovecraft is a realist in every phase of writing – except for the fantastic element – that his work is so powerful.
     Additionally, Levy finds more in Lovecraft than a skilled craftsman. At an early age, Lovecraft sloughed off all religious belief and came to adopt a bleak and nihilistic philosophy where humans have no importance in the cosmos but to serve as the playthings of incomprehensible and uncaring forces. Levy sees Lovecraft’s works as an attempt to purge himself of these feelings and to give himself a reason to live in a universe that cares nothing for him or for human beings in general.
     It is this view of Lovecraft the writer, the thinker, and the man that sets Levy’s work apart from any Lovecraft criticism.

Bibliographic Information

Lovecraft: A Study in the Fantastic. By Maurice Levy, Translated by S.T. Joshi. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press; 1988; ISBN 0-8143-1955-6 (hardback) 0-8143-1956-4 (paperback).

Purchasing This Book

This book may be purchased in hardback from Barnes & Noble or Half.com or in paperback from Barnes & Noble or Half.com.

 
 
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