Any Miskatonic U. Alumni?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jorod74, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. jorod74

    jorod74 Psycholagnist (Ret.)

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Posts:
    7,559
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    176
    Likes:
    +2
    Ebay:
    I am re-entering college in January, with the goal of specializing in literature- pulps, sci-fi, horror, etc. I have spent some time reading Ellison, Matheson, Beaumont and Bradbury. Thanks to Weird Tales, i got exposed to Robert E. Howard. and...Lovecraft.

    I read "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward", but that's about it so far.

    I was hoping for input from anybody that has devoured his other work or the expanding mythos.

    Aside from gods allergic to vowels in their names, anything else that stands out to you?
    Been researching on Wikipedia, but want opinions and ideas.
    thanks
     
  2. eyeballkid

    eyeballkid Old

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Posts:
    3,754
    Trophy Points:
    202
    Likes:
    +6
    Opinions about what exactly? I love Lovecraft. His writing is a bit long winded, and he was racists. I don't like that aspect, but he did start the modern era of horror.

    In his time period, science was just beginning to understand biology at the molecular level, and that made him think that if we go to far, we might find things that would change humanity. I don't think he ever took the time to fully understand what was actually going on at the time, but I still like his stories.

    They all kind of end the same way, though...the main character either goes insane, or dies. Lovecraft had a very troubled life..
     
  3. jorod74

    jorod74 Psycholagnist (Ret.)

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Posts:
    7,559
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    176
    Likes:
    +2
    Ebay:
    I think (from what i have read) that the one line that describes H.P,'s view was:
    "Do not call up that which ye cannot put down."

    and i see how the building rate of scientific advancement during his time works with his topics.
    About opinions, just offer em- were the gods/beings great, was there any ideas that you developed from a story that stuck with you?
    Wiki said that he had believed that there are things man cannot ever comprehend, no matter how smart we get- Kinda like the idea of galaxies in Men in Black, for example- i can buy that.

    guess i am looking for fan points of view instead of online, sterile book reports.
     
  4. Katamari Prime

    Katamari Prime Hassan Chop! TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Posts:
    7,219
    Trophy Points:
    262
    Likes:
    +4
    I spend a good deal of time reading Lovecraft (And some August Derleth) last summer. Its easy to point out that this writings were skewed in terms of race, but the same can be said for most writing of the time. There's also the vocabulary building exercsies you'll get while reading the dense prose.
     
  5. QuinJester

    QuinJester T. Bison

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Posts:
    8,118
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    197
    Likes:
    +5
    [​IMG]

    Other than that, I don't have a whole lot to say. Lovecraft's stuff is neat from a thematic perspective, but I honestly find it a little too stuffy for casual reading. He's a bit like Umberto Ecco in that respect. As a result, I haven't read nearly as much of his works as I'd like, and I'm more familiar with his influences on modern horror works than his actual stuff.

    His emphasis on the unknown does make his work a little more timeless (despite its very specific time periods) as things such as the mind, the deep sea, and the creatures within are still very much a mystery to modern science. Insanity is a subject that many people can relate in some ways to, but most people don't understand, which also makes for good material.
     
  6. eyeballkid

    eyeballkid Old

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Posts:
    3,754
    Trophy Points:
    202
    Likes:
    +6
    I really liked the Rats in the Walls. The ending is really fucked up. I think he wrote that before he developed his mythology. In the Vault is really good. It is very claustrophobic.

    I like how he describes the backwoods of New England at the time. It is mostly abandoned, with old rotting houses, and old rotting families. Sometimes the families are inbred, which has obviously inspired some of the more recent horror stories, and film. I.E. Chainsaw Massacre.

    I find his later works to be sometimes convoluted. It seems that he would try to use big words just for the sake of it. Some of his paragraphs are just ridiculous. That tends to happen at the end of the stories, when the character(s) start to realize what is actually going on, and they cannot actually describe the situation, or the creatures. Maybe that was the point of all of the big words.

    For instance, in At the Mountains of Madness, the character has dreams about beings with star shaped heads. WTF? How do you describe that? I never could understand what he was imagining.

    BTW, del Toro really wants to make that movie. I hope somebody greenlights that movie...

    Also, one of the monsters at the end of the Mist is one of the old ones. It is pretty awesome to see on screen. It is quite possibly the biggest monster to ever appear in a movie. The awesome part about that scene is that the monster just walks over a highway. That's it. If you have seen the movie, it is at that point that the characters just give up. That scene just blows me away. Pun intended..
     
  7. PavingMantis

    PavingMantis I have pincers...PINCERS!

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Posts:
    40
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Likes:
    +0
    Yeah, Lovecraft is great. One of my favs is "The Colour Out of Space."

    What I love about his stories is how there is this civilized world that we rely on to be the same tolerable place every day and then right below the surface there is a plane of existence that is nothing but teeth, claws, hunger, and madness. And sometimes when something terrible happens or people fiddle with things they shouldn't some poor soul takes in the brunt of that reality and that's about it for them.

    It's similar to how Stephen King described the world behind the world in the Dark Tower series. It's not something I believe, or would want to believe, but makes for a fun world to read about.

    I've just started reading Arthur Machen, who is considered to be a major influence on Lovecraft, and his stuff is great. It's amazing how stories written in the late 1800's can hold up so well and not be a chore to get through.

    You mentioned Howard as well... definitely try to read as much Conan as you can. I hate it when I bring up some awesome Conan story and people say "Yeah, I've seen those movies." These stories are so much better than the movie, and the character is so much deeper than the dumb barbarian "Ahnold" played. Some of those later stories where he loses his crown, or fights the Picts are tremendous.
     
  8. ginrai

    ginrai lost with no way home.

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    Posts:
    1,026
    Trophy Points:
    161
    Likes:
    +0
    read " Supernatural Horror in literature " by HP lovecraft.. in fact.. now is a good time for this.. go to Barnes and Noble.. you can get a volume of his stuff with the corrected texts for like 13$..
     
  9. Nez Pierce

    Nez Pierce @evildanish

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2007
    Posts:
    1,922
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    137
    Likes:
    +9
    check out some of the tales in his dream cycle...they culminate in the Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath. The Cats of Ulthar, Nyarlathotep, Pickman's Model (probably overrepresented in the anthologies, but for good reason), and The Statement of Randolph Carter are pretty good. The Case of Charles Dexter Ward is my favorite as one might tell from my title.
     
  10. Rumble02

    Rumble02 Radicon of Obliticons

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Posts:
    10,201
    Trophy Points:
    262
    Likes:
    +24
    i too like lovecraft. his work gives me chills
     
  11. awful_gollum

    awful_gollum Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Posts:
    826
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Likes:
    +0
    Ebay:
    Nice to see some fellow Lovecraft fans on this Transformers message board. :) 

    I was first introduce to Lovecraft when I was about six years old through playing the hit 3DO video game, Alone in the Dark (which is an excellent adaptation of the Lovecraft Mythos). I didn't totally understand the game's story, nor did I know how to read. However, I was re-introduced to Lovecraft during my teen years. I then found out about Cthulhu during the speculative hype for Cloverfield.

    Anyway, Lovecraft is my all-time favorite author, with his legendary monster being my all-time favorite kaiju.:D  (surpassing even Kong and Godzilla!:eek: )

    The stories I reccommend by him most are The Call of Cthulhu, The Dunwich Horror, Pickman's Model, The Music of Erich Zann, and The Re-Animator.
     
  12. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    Posts:
    23,505
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    347
    Likes:
    +130
    Dreams in the Witch House, Haunter in Darkness, and Shadow over Innsmouth are some of his finest works, in my opinion.

    Like many people said, Lovecraft's expression that mankind might be impotent and insignificant in terms of the universe at large, that for all our advancement and technology, we are as insects to beings we cannot even properly comprehend. And I think that feeling of helplessness and insignificance is a pretty unique form of terror, at least for that time.

    Also, Lovecraft was a master at creating a mythos, rather than single stories. His works intertwine with eachother, all occupying the same world and in some cases interacting with eachother. Its something not a lot of authors can pull off, but he does it somehow.
     
  13. jorod74

    jorod74 Psycholagnist (Ret.)

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Posts:
    7,559
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    176
    Likes:
    +2
    Ebay:
    I have a Anthology of "Weird Tales" stories, with a pre- Conan story in it. it was a Kull story and it was nothing more than brutal, monosyllabic, man/monster grunting fun. it was awesome.
    and I can see how Lovecraft abd Howard were friends.

    Did anybody see the Night Gallery episode "Pickman's Model"? I loved it, but never knew till now that it was a lovecraft story.

    thanks ginrai for the heads up on that!

    One last thing about the "Weird Tales" stories. i like that you can see as the years go by- except for lovecraft's work- that the prose matures from that rough victorian stuff (dracula, for one) to the modern easy to digest style. Having said that, this move doesn't take away from his work one iota.
    in fact, i am appreciating it more and more now.
    it is like a trippy version of literary film noir. if that makes sense.
    I use a batman comic to describe the atmosphere i get from it- Gotham By Gaslight. Modern creeping in, but never conquering the old and dark, the shadows...
     

Share This Page