HP Lovecraft: from primordial gods to terror Olympus

When I was young ST Joshi went to the public library Munciewhere the state is located India that he lived with the intention of searching for his books HP Lovecraft. He had just met the author through an anthology of horror stories and was amazed by his ability to recreate the atmosphere of life. new england.

“Lovecraft can be considered an important regional writer. William Faulkner, which intensely depicted the American South. However, little known at the time, and even for several decades after his death, his influence was limited to the realms of fantasy, horror, and science fiction,” explains Joshi, who eventually got rid of the email. ‘In the Mountains of Madness’ library.

“That wasn’t a good idea. The scientific terminology for this story was way beyond my abilities, so I saved that book for a better time and chose ‘Dunwich Horror.’ I think it should have been ‘Rats in the Walls,’ “The Color of Outer Space” and ” The Shadow Over Innsmouth “stories that made me a lifelong Lovecraft fan.”

ST Joshi does not exaggerate when describing his relationship with the author of the novel. precaution. In 1975, at the age of 17, he began researching Lovecraft and five years later published ‘HP Lovecraft: Four Decades of Criticism’, a volume in which he provided a critical analysis of the American author’s work. , but without going into the details of his life.

“I’ve read some biographies about him, like ‘Lovecraft: A Biography’ L. Sprague de Camp. He even identified some flaws. However, I always hoped there would be someone who would go to the trouble to do such a good job. When I realized in the early 1990s that no one was going to do that, I felt as well positioned as anyone else to write a book like this.”

Joshi had been working on ‘I Am Providence’ for two years. The life and times of H.P. Lovecraft, the most complete and comprehensive biography of the author of The Cthulhu Mythos, the first volume of more than eight hundred pages of the two books that make up the work, has yet to be published in Spain. most independent publisher Golden Dawn.

“Really, his life was not that interesting. The important thing is to know the social, cultural, political and intellectual currents of his time. Right now, Lovecraft’s era is so distant from ours in many ways that he is what he needs. A deep understanding of history to place us in his time. I also felt it was important to look at Lovecraft’s philosophical thinking in order to better understand his writings, so it made sense to consider both aspects in my work.”

terror renewal

Although it is part of a literary tradition that goes back to writers such as Edgar Allan Poe, Ambrose Bierce or English writers Lord Dunsany, Arthur Machen Y Algernon Blackwood, HP Lovecraft He was truly an original writer. From the beginning of his career, he realized that the usual themes of the horror genre, such as ghosts, vampires, haunted houses or werewolves, had become outdated motifs that needed to be updated in the light of scientific advances.

“Lovecraft felt the need to create new kinds of monsters and places that were not based on these old-fashioned ideas and Christian lore. atheist, rejected. To achieve this, he looked to deep space as the source of his existence. monsters and also created the ‘Cthulhu Mythos’. pseudo mythology Pinning the origins of this personal narrative universe in the author’s childhood experiences, Joshi fused traditional horror with the new genre, sci-fi.”

Lovecraft began reading at a very young age. Arabian nightsGreek mythology, the work of Poe, and he had discovered science, especially chemistry and astronomy. The combination of all these elements, including the dark dreams that he began to have at the age of five, plays a very relevant role in his atheism, which he developed in his mature writings and, as we have said, in it. in their stories, gods they are not real gods, but aliens that we humans regard as gods, because that’s the only way we can make sense of beings this big and powerful. Basically, this is what Lovecraft is trying to say: man is alone in the universethat there is no savior god, but that we are at the mercy of titanic forces beyond our understanding”.

Lovecraft wanted to create new monsters and places that were not based on outdated ideas or Christian tradition, which he rejected as an atheist.

better than poe

although in your opinion ST Joshi HP Lovecraft’s talent as a writer, Edgar Allan PoeFollowing the principles set by the author of ‘The Fall of the House of the House of Usher’ and publishing his works in cheap magazines, Cthulhu’s creator has not been adequately evaluated by critics and critics. .

“He had a significant impact on writers like Lovecraft. Fritz Leiber, Arthur C Clarke, Philip K Dick and even writers who don’t work in the horror or science fiction genre. However, one of the reasons for the disdain that critics directed at him, both during his lifetime and after his death, was that it was published in ‘pulp’ magazines. During his lifetime, Lovecraft never had a book published by a major publisher, and the magazines he published were considered cheap popular entertainment that did not contain any serious or substantial literary work. It can be said, however, that Lovecraft boasts that he did not write material specifically designed for these magazines. He just wrote the stories he wanted, and if they weren’t accepted by the magazines, he didn’t care if they didn’t get published.”

Today, Lovecraft is a cult writer whose very personal way of writing has led to the epithet “Lovecraftian”, as is the originality of the novels. Franz Kafka It gave birth to the ‘Kafkaesque’. However, the reactionary stance of the American writer, especially his racist views, has put him in a very sensitive situation before the new generation of readers.

“Lovecraft was clearly a racist. Over the last decade he has been heavily criticized by people who were unaware of the extent to which racism dominated American society in the 1920s and 1930s. In that sense it would be unfair to single out Lovecraft for this problem. While political figures, including several presidents of the United States, hold similar views,” explains ST Joshi, noting that this personality trait has little to do with his literary work.

“While there is a small element of racism in his description of some of Lovecraft’s ‘alien’ creatures, most of his beings are not related to humanity in any way. Thus he tries to draw parallels between his ‘gods’. cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, NyarlathotepBlack people or other groups Lovecraft despised never seemed very solid to me. The nature and existence of these creatures make us question our idea of ​​the universe. This is it Real terror in Lovecraft’s work“.

‘I am Providence’

Author: ST Joshi

Translator: Carlos M. Pla.

Editorial: Golden Dawn

830 pages. 32 euros.

Source: Informacion

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