Authors you should know: H.P. Lovecraft

H.P. Lovecraft      H.P. Lovecraft may just be the greatest horror writer of all time, even more so than Edgar Allen Poe. Although Poe is very good at what he does and I’m not putting down his work in anyway. There is just something about his style of writing that draws you in and at the same time makes you very uncomfortable. Nowadays its very rare to find an author like that.

      I first read about H.P. Lovecraft in an article of Famous Monsters. I honestly didn’t know much about him, other than everyone in the genre has said what an influence he was. Well, I figured it was about time I do my research. The first story I read was probably the most horrific one, The Shadow over Innsmouth. I have never, while reading a book, had an actual fear of dread come over me. His writing style is such that, everything he talks about could very well possibly happen. It’s a sense of true possibility that the world which you are reading about could very well exist, if it doesn’t already.

      Cosmic horror is something LoveCraft invented. His thought was the brain wouldn’t understand the universal terror that a wait’s outside the earth. So much in his short story The Wall of Sleep, which talks about what really happens when we sleep and our true self’s take over. The idea that dreams and nightmares are really memories from when our cosmic self’s take over our bodies.

     Lovecraft’s readership was very limited while he was alive, it wasn’t until his demise that his readership took off. His reputation has grown so much that now, just saying his name brings up true horror in the minds of his fans. His influence has gone from literature to film. His stories Dagon and The Wall of Sleep have become films with a couple of others ready at the helm for production. cthulhu

      Lovecraft’s work had not only a profound influence on modern cinema, but also on the work of many of today’s writers. Stephen King, Brian Lumley, and Ramsey Campbell will all agree that Lovecraft influenced them heavily. H.R. Giger has stated on many occasions that much of his horrific art was inspired by the words and writings of Lovecraft. You can very much tell that buy watching the movie Aliens.

       Film Directors like Sam Rami, John Carpenter and Stuart Gordan will be the first to admit that if it were not for Lovecraft then some of their best work would have never gotten off of the ground. In fact, Sam Rami’s the Evil Dead series was taken from Lovecrafts idea of the Necronomicon, which played a huge part in the film series.

       Musical groups such as Metallica, Clue Oyster Cult, and Black Sabbath have all quoted Lovecraft in their work at one time or another. The cover for the, “Life After Death,” album by Iron Maiden even bears a quote from Lovecraft’s work.

      Shadow over InnsmouthIn all, there really isn’t anything in the horror genre not touched in someway by Lovecraft. His unique vision of the stranded, cosmic and strange has led to a whole new way people write, direct, draw, paint and create. It’s funny to think how people like him, who come along once in a lifetime will forever change the way a genre or lifestyle can be seen. Check out the website http://www.cthulhulives.org/toc.html just to get a small glimpse of what I mean.

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