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Lovecraft: The Great Tales

By John D. Haefele

Back Cover Text

Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890–1937) emerged from the American pulp magazines of the 1920s and 30s as the major writer of supernatural horror of the twentieth century. Today, his ideas permeate the culture—literature, film, graphic novels, and gaming all bear the signs of his Arkham cycle. Lovecraft’s “The Call of Cthulhu”—taken alone—one of the most influential short stories of all time.

Tracing HPL’s fictional universe, John D. Haefele ranges from childhood readings of the Arabian Nights to the seismic encounter with Edgar Allan Poe. Lord Dunsany, the Welsh mystic Arthur Machen, and Robert W. Chambers with his noxious collection The King in Yellow hone Lovecraft’s sensibilities. Dreams and nightmares over his lifetime underlie the great tales, so much so that HPL wrote, “I wonder, though, if I have a right to claim authorship of things I dream?”

In pulps such as Weird Tales and Astounding Stories he spun his dark narratives alongside Clark Ashton Smith’s cycles of Zothique and Hyperborea—Robert E. Howard and the creation of the barbaric figure of Conan of Cimmeria—and a young acolyte of Lovecraft named Robert Bloch, today famed for the novel Psycho.

Haefele’s revolutionary look at HPL’s work defies critical orthodoxy. New ideas—but when you check the stories, suddenly evident and logical. His 2013 essay “Shadow out of Hodgson” broke the news that William Hope Hodgson inspired many aspects of HPL’s major story “The Shadow out of Time” The late Hodgson expert Sam Gafford conceded, “I am inclined to agree that Lovecraft revised some of his concepts for the story after reading Hodgson. . . a masterful case. . . .”


    Weird Tales
  1. God of Fiction
  2. Azathoth
  3. Damned Things
  4. Nyarlathotep
  5. Witch-Cults
  6. West of Arkham
  7. Great Cthulhu
  8. Nodens
  9. Black Magick
  10. Yellow King
  11. Yog-Sothoth
  12. Tsathoggua
  13. Fungi
  14. Hastur
  15. Mountains of Madness
  16. Innsmouth
  17. Doorstep
  18. Borderland
  19. Haunter
  20. The Book
    Works Cited
    Notes & Acknowledgements
    A Note on the Photographs—Don Herron
    Selected Index
    About the Author

Bibliographic Information

Lovecraft: The Great Tales. By John D. Haefele. USA: The Cimmerian Press; 2021; ISBN 979-8-55308-790-6; paperback, 762 pages.

Purchasing This Book

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

  Return to Literary Criticism This page last revised 10 February 2021.
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