The Complete Fiction of
H. P. Lovecraft
H. P. (Howard Phillips) Lovecraft (1890–1937) was a prolific American writer who specialized in tales in the gothic, horror, and science-fiction genres. He wrote his first story at the age of fourteen, and as a young man, he was a contributor to the pulp magazine Weird Tales. After a brief marriage and a stint living in New York City, Lovecraft returned to Providence, Rhode Island, where he lived most of his life and wrote some of his best works.
The commercial success of Lovecraft’s fiction and his subsequent literary fame came after his death, and has influenced some of today’s greatest writers and filmmakers, including Stephen King, Alan Moore, F. Paul Wilson, Guillermo del Toro, and Neil Gaiman.
According to Lovecraft, tales of supernatural horror connect with some primal emotions at the very core of human natuer: “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” This imbues the weird tale with inherent value as a literary form. Despite the authenticity and dignity of the weird tale, Lovecraft recognizes that the “appeal of the spectrally macabre is generally narrow because it demands from the reader a certain degree of imagination and a capacity of detachment from everyday life. Relatively few are free enough from the spell of the daily routine to respond to rappings from outside.” Nevertheless, the weird tale will never fall completely out of favor with the reading public because fear of the unknown is genetically hard-wired into human nature. Even if the conscious mind were “purged of all sources of wonder,” the instinctual, genetic drives written into our nervous systems would still compel us to shiver with dread at the dark and shadowy mysteries at the heart of all weird tales. —From the introduction by Eric Carl Link
The Complete Fiction of H. P. Lovecraft. By H. P. Lovecraft. New York, NY: Chartwell Books; 2016; ISBN 978-0-78583-420-5; 1120 pages; hardcover.
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