Today is the anniversary of H.P. Lovecraft’s death, back in 1937.
For those in the business, it’s near impossible to conceive of modern horror without Lovecraft’s influence. Granted… giant tentacle monsters, arcane spell books, and murderous cults are all fun, but I’m talking about his style. He gave us a sense of lurking dread and impending doom that was frequently hinted at as monstrosities so far beyond human understanding that insanity was a blessed ending. And lunacy usually was the fate of many of Lovecraft’s characters, if he didn’t just outright kill everybody.
His was a complex blend of theological horror and dark science fiction. Entities roamed the stars that were so grand in comparison to us, we feeble humans would do little more than worship these creatures. He explored the burgeoning field of quantum physics as a type of magic, and although he never left the American East Coast, his characters traveled far.
Lovecraft died young, near penniless, believing himself a failure. Today, there are numerous volumes published every year by contemporary authors honoring the work he began. There are toys, clothing, games, and other types of merchandise all based off his creations. There is a literary award fashioned after his likeness. His name itself has become an adjective to describe not only a kind of story-telling, but an overall type of horror.
Thanks again, Howard…