H. P. Lovecraft

Against the World, Against Life

H. P. Lovecraft

Best-selling French novelist Michel Houellebecq pays tribute to the master of horror, H. P. Lovecraft Part biographical sketch, part pronouncement on existence and literature, the best-selling French novelist Michel Houellebecq's H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life, was published in France in 1991 and is the first non-fiction text ever published by the author. Here, France's most famous contemporary author praises his prewar American alter ego’s style, which couldn't be less like his own. With a foreword by Lovecraft admirer Stephen King, this eloquently translated edition is an insightful introduction to both Lovecraft’s dark mythology and Houellebecq’s deadpan prose.

The call of Cthulhu

The call of Cthulhu

Lovecraft regarded the short story as "rather middling—not as bad as the worst, but full of cheap and cumbrous touches". Weird Tales editor Farnsworth Wright first rejected the story, and only accepted it after writer Donald Wandrei, a friend of Lovecraft's, falsely claimed that Lovecraft was thinking of submitting it elsewhere. The published story was regarded by Robert E. Howard (the creator of Conan) as "a masterpiece, which I am sure will live as one of the highest achievements of literature.... Mr. Lovecraft holds a unique position in the literary world; he has grasped, to all intents, the worlds outside our paltry ken." Lovecraft scholar Peter Cannon regarded the story as "ambitious and complex...a dense and subtle narrative in which the horror gradually builds to cosmic proportions", adding "one of [Lovecraft's] bleakest fictional expressions of man's insignificant place in the universe." French novelist Michel Houellebecq, in his book H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life, described the story as the first of Lovecraft's "great texts". Canadian mathematician Benjamin K. Tippett noted that the phenomena described in Johansen's journal may be interpreted as "observable consequences of a localized bubble of spacetime curvature", and proposed a suitable mathematical model. E. F. Bleiler has referred to "The Call of Cthulhu" as "a fragmented essay with narrative inclusions".

Nightmare

From Literary Experiments to Cultural Project

Nightmare

An analysis of the novels of Maturin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Mann, Lovecraft and Pelevin through the prism of their interest in investigating the nature of the nightmare reveals the unstudied features of the nightmare as a mental state and traces the mosaic of coincidences leading from literary experiments to today’s culture of nightmare consumption.

Weird Realism

Lovecraft and Philosophy

Weird Realism

As Holderlin was to Martin Heidegger and Mallarme to Jacques Derrida, so is H.P. Lovecraft to the Speculative Realist philosophers. Lovecraft was one of the brightest stars of the horror and science fiction magazines, but died in poverty and relative obscurity in the 1930s. In 2005 he was finally elevated from pulp status to the classical literary canon with the release of a Library of America volume dedicated to his work. The impact of Lovecraft on philosophy has been building for more than a decade. Initially championed by shadowy guru Nick Land at Warwick during the 1990s, he was later discovered to be an object of private fascination for all four original members of the twenty-first century Speculative Realist movement. In this book, Graham Harman extracts the basic philosophical concepts underlying the work of Lovecraft, yielding a weird realism capable of freeing continental philosophy from its current soul-crushing impasse. Abandoning pious references by Heidegger to Holderlin and the Greeks, Harman develops a new philosophical mythology centered in such Lovecraftian figures as Cthulhu, Wilbur Whately, and the rat-like monstrosity Brown Jenkin. The Miskatonic River replaces the Rhine and the Ister, while Holderlin's Caucasus gives way to Lovecraft's Antarctic mountains of madness.

H. P. Lovecraft’s Dark Arcadia

The Satire, Symbology and Contradiction

H. P. Lovecraft’s Dark Arcadia

This volume attempts an objective reassessment of the controversial works and life of American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. Ignoring secondary accounts and various received truths, Gavin Callaghan goes back to the weird texts themselves, and follows where Lovecraft leads him: into an arcane world of parental giganticism and inverted classicism, in which Lovecraft’s parental obsessions were twisted into the all-powerful cosmic monsters of his imaginary cosmology.

A Companion to American Gothic

A Companion to American Gothic

A Companion to American Gothic features a collection of original essays that explore America’s gothic literary tradition. The largest collection of essays in the field of American Gothic Contributions from a wide variety of scholars from around the world The most complete coverage of theory, major authors, popular culture and non-print media available

The Horror in the Museum

The Horror in the Museum

Every tale in this engrossing collection bears the unmistakable mark of the genius who inspired it--the creator of the Cthulhu Mythos, H.P. Lovecraft.

As If

Modern Enchantment and the Literary Prehistory of Virtual Reality

As If

Many people throughout the world "inhabit" imaginary worlds communally and persistently, parsing Harry Potter and exploring online universes. These activities might seem irresponsibly escapist, but history tells another story. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, when Sherlock Holmes became the world's first "virtual reality" character, readers began to colonize imaginary worlds, debating serious issues and viewing reality in provisional, "as if" terms rather than through essentialist, "just so" perspectives. From Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos and Tolkien's Middle-earth to the World of Warcraft and Second Life, As If provides a cultural history that reveals how we can remain enchanted but not deluded in an age where fantasy and reality increasingly intertwine.

Ramsey Campbell

Critical Essays on the Modern Master of Horror

Ramsey Campbell

This is a collection of critical essays on Ramsey Campbell, author of several award-winning stories and novels in the fields of fantasy and horror, including To Wake the Dead, Incarnate, and Grin of the Dark.