In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming
October 26, 2011 6:42 PM   Subscribe

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... It's the big one! Andrew Leman reads The Call of Cthulhu for the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast. Previous readings include The Haunter of the Dark (previously), From Beyond (previously), The Picture In The House, The Cats of Ulthar and Cool Air. But who is behind the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast? g33k of the w33k interviews Chris Lackey and Chad Fifer.
posted by Artw (20 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
I finally started reading Lovecraft in 2011.

Totally doesn't live up to its potential. Too long to get to the point, not enough reveal.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:47 PM on October 26, 2011

Ironmouth, you may try Brian Lumley - he writes in the same vein as Lovecraft, but much more modern.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:51 PM on October 26, 2011

Someone's cruising for a waterfront jostling...
posted by Artw at 6:58 PM on October 26, 2011 [9 favorites]

Totally doesn't live up to its potential. Too long to get to the point, not enough reveal.

Phooey to you, Charlie Brown.
posted by JHarris at 7:21 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

And Lumley... one of his "monsters" is Cthulhu's good brother, an entity called Kthinid. Some of his stories show way too much Derleth influence, which makes sense since August Derleth was his in to Mythos writing back when Arkham House still attempted to controll it all, and because of that it kind of sucks.

On the other hand, he did give us Yibb-Tstll.
posted by JHarris at 7:24 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Isn't the lack of reveal much of the point of Lovecraft?
posted by jeffburdges at 7:29 PM on October 26, 2011

Isn't the lack of reveal much of the point of Lovecraft?

Stephen King thinks so. He makes the point that every horror writer has to decide whether to open the door and reveal the monster. Lovecraft, he says, opens the door, but only a crack.
posted by tyllwin at 7:46 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Too long to get to the point, not enough reveal.

Well, if he revealed it all, you would go insane, so feel thankful.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 7:59 PM on October 26, 2011 [7 favorites]

Lots more free Lovecraft readings here.
posted by Zed at 11:25 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

I kinda sorta can't stand Joyce Carol Oates, but this was a pretty phenomenal overview of Lovecraft and why he should be taken as a "serious" member of the American canon:

"Though Poe is far more renowned than Lovecraft, indeed, and ironically, now a canonical figure in American literature—he who died penniless and scorned!—both writers have had an incalculable influence on succeeding generations of writers of horror fiction, and Lovecraft is arguably the more beloved by contemporary gothic aficionados.1 Poe is credited with the invention of the “mystery-detective” story and with the perfection of a certain species of ahistoric, claustrophobic, and boldly surreal monologue (of which “The Tell-Tale Heart” is the masterwork); Lovecraft with the fusion of the gothic tale and what would come to be defined as “science fiction,” and with the development of a species of horror fantasy set in meticulously described, historically grounded places (predominantly, in Lovecraft, Providence, Rhode Island, Salem, Massachusetts, and a region in northern central Massachusetts to which he has given the name “the Miskatonic Valley”), in which a seemingly normal, intelligent scholar or professor, usually a celibate bachelor, pursues a mystery it would wiser for him to flee. The remarkably detailed, intensely imagined “The Dreams in the Witch-House” (set in “Arkham”/Salem), “The Colour Out of Space” (set in the “blasted heath” west of “Arkham”), and “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” (set in “Innsmouth”/Newburyport, Massachusetts) are of this type, in which place itself would seem to generate horror."

Lovecraft is not someone you can get a cheap thrill from, even at his zaniest. It's really more of the gothic approach -- mood, flat characters, things happening with unclear causal logic.

This is a feature, not a bug, in Lovecraft.

Although I can see why he's not for everybody.
posted by bardic at 12:01 AM on October 27, 2011 [3 favorites]

Awesome, I've just started a unit on Horror writing with my year 8 students. I'm either gonna scare them shitless, or bore them to sleep.
posted by robotot at 3:15 AM on October 27, 2011

Lovecraft and Cthulhu-mythos stuff tends to bring out the worst of the deviantartists, but also some of the very best.
posted by jfuller at 8:00 AM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Our own defective yeti has been having an HP Lovefest on his blog.
posted by Zed at 9:21 AM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

For contemporary writers who build dread and horror in an effective and similar fashion, but entirely in their own original mythos, I recommend Caitlin R. Kieran and Laird Barron.
posted by asfuller at 9:40 AM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm rather bpartial to A Colder War by Charles Stross... but really, I'd start by listening to these rather excellent readings from HPL himself.
posted by Artw at 9:56 AM on October 27, 2011

Anyone into Thomas Ligotti? His stuff seems to carry the Lovecraftian touch.
posted by Renoroc at 4:45 PM on October 27, 2011

Renoroc - I am; Teatro Grotesco is one of my favourite books. I can definitely see the Lovecraft/Poe/"Gothic" influence all over his stuff.

And to get back to the point of the entry, I just started re-listening to HPPodcast (ep 4 of At The Mountains Of Madness), and I think that their readings are a joy. It's always good to see someone with such love for the writings take a crack at them, as I have not been let down yet.
posted by cerulgalactus at 6:36 PM on October 27, 2011

jfuller, that image is great.
posted by JHarris at 6:52 PM on October 27, 2011

robotot, I think the proper way to present Lovecraft to kids is to try to bypass all the modern approaches to horror, some of which are informed by Lovecraft, and emphasize the cosmic horror. Popular culture is saturated with monsters, and protagonists who shoot at monsters as if they were a guy stealing his car. They don't think about the implications of what they're seeing. The implications were what Lovecraft was all about.
posted by JHarris at 7:00 PM on October 27, 2011

They're saying download times have increased considerably today, FWIW.
posted by Artw at 11:40 AM on October 28, 2011

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