HP LOVECRAFT – THE 400LB GORILLA OF ICKY BUG
For those of you that write icky bug (horror), it almost goes without saying that you’re familiar with Howard Phillips Lovecraft, more commonly known as H.P. Lovecraft. His personal story is quite depressing and that probably helped lead to his prolific, if not disturbing themes. Whatever the case, unfortunately for him in life, his profound influences came long after his death. Today, he’s often quoted, written about, inspired by and out-and-out copied within the genre.
I’M NOT A PARTICULAR FAN
While I cannot say that I haven’t been indirectly influenced by his work, either through other authors or directly, I’ve never been crazy about his work. Why? I could never take his writing. Because his original writing reflected the style of the times, I couldn’t get through it. Even for the pulp writing of the depression era, which was the beginnings of what we’d call casting off the boundaries and chains of literary prose, it was still too arcane for my reading taste. If someone were to “clean it up” more or less, I might give it a shot.
Would I like the stories then? Maybe, maybe not. However…
MANY HORROR AUTHORS ARE INFLUENCED BY LOVECRAFT
Whether directly or indirectly, I’ve read numerous novels heavily influenced by some of his classic works. I know it because I’ve been slapped in the face with either hints if not direct dedications to “the master” by said authors. In some cases, that made me want to check out their influence, back in the day. I did, wasn’t impressed, and moved on.
It’s become sort of cliché to see the standard dedication to Lovecraft.
THE CULT OF LOVECRAFT
For a guy with only half a box of crayons upstairs (at least emotionally) to begin with, the guy certainly came out with a lot of great icky bug. However, the entity that gets the most attention and the monster that I see most often, the sacred cow, the one that has obtained the cult following, is…
Yup, if you’ve read anything above your ABC’s, I don’t care who you are, you’ve probably heard that name. You may not know who or what in the daylights that is, but you’ve probably heard that name. If you’re an icky bug writer worth your salt, you at least know Cthulhu.
NOT FOR EVERYONE
Folks, though I admire the man’s prolific output, and his many admirers, it’s just not my thing. You gotta’ give it to him, he’s a great influence. As I alluded to above, while I have no interest in the original, I have, however, enjoyed many of the influenced results. Some consciously and others subconsciously. On the other hand, I have no intention of jumping on the bandwagon and becoming a Lovecraft cultist. There are plenty of you out there to take up that call.
I prefer to follow my own path and have my own list of influences to call upon.
We, as writers, have many influences. I’ve cited many since I started this web site. While I admire all of these writers and give credit where credit is due, I don’t copy any of them. I create my own. While I appreciate some people want to continue writing a world created by Lovecraft, I prefer to continue creating an amalgam of my own stuff. In a way, I consider the Lovecraft influenced writers doing fan fiction. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. They’re still unique and individual stories. However, they’re from a world created by someone else. Someone else’s starting point.
In a way, we’re all starting from someone else’s creation, when you come to think of it. Just not so blatant.
I recently finished a Chtulhu novel and enjoying it a lot. It was blatant HP Lovecraft. If it were me, I’d prefer to make up my own world, my own icky bugs and my own tales, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy someone else’s take on “The Master.”