As most of my readers now I’m am a very large fan of Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Ever since I first saw “Dagon” sitting on the shelf of my local video store I have been entrapped by the wonder that is Lovecraft. Recently I have been reading a lot of Lovecraftian fiction. Some very good, T.E.D. Klein’s “Black Man with a Horn” for example. But a lot of what I have read just didn’t grab me like H.P. does, I find myself go back to the original stories and wondering why they seem so much better than more modern stories. It’s certainly not the writing itself, Lovecraft might of had one of the greatest creative minds of the last 150 years but he lacked in the actually technical art of writing. And let’s not think about his dialogue.
So why do I love his work so much. A few simple reasons. First if all, so much hopelessness. I get so sick of the hero always winning. Lovecraft laid it out simple. Life sucks than you die or go insane, or both. I love a good hopeless ending. I mean a truly hopeless ending not a “Bitter Sweet Ending”. I don’t want my hero to die having dented the villian’s armor and back-up comes to finish the villian off. NO, I want the hero in a cage being poked with a sharp stick.
Secondly- because of the hero failing- the stories are in a sense left unfinished. I always finish a Lovecraft story wondering what else is going on. In a story where the hero wins I’m left with a feeling of “Well that’s good, and if anything else comes up I’m should s/he will fix it.”, I’m not worried for the world. Lovecraft makes me fear for the earth