One of the greatest writers of weird fiction, some would the greatest, was born on August 20th, 1890. I am, of course, talking about H. P. Lovecraft. It’s also my mother-in-law’s birthday (Hi, June.), but we won’t go there. It’s just coincidence.
There will be a number of tributes posted today. I’m going to take a slightly different approach here. I first encountered Lovecraft in an anthology I read in the seventh grade. The story was “The Doom That Came to Sarnath.”* I never really took an interest in the Mythos stories in my teens and twenties. Only in my thirties and forties did I start delving into the stories Lovecraft is most known for.
I’ve had conversations with more than one person in which they said as they’ve grown older, they find Lovecraft more and more unreadable. In general, they are talking about his prose.
Curiously, I find the opposite. Maybe I’m reading different stories. There are a number of major stories I haven’t read yet, but I don’t have a problem with Lovecraft’s prose most of the time. It’s an old fashioned style, much more lush that what is standard today. Maybe I read too much Dickens in school or something, but I don’t have a huge problem with it. I appreciate his work more with each new story of his I read. Continue reading