Straight to the point, what's your favourite work by H.P. and why? I know I might have mentioned it somewhere else already, but 'neeeway I'd say my favourite novella of his is At the Mountains of Madness. I'm aware that many fans of the Chtulhu Mythos think of it as a first-class example of "demythology," but I think this akin to claiming that a naturalistic perspective makes reality any less beautiful and awe-inspiring. Needless to say, I don't agree :P

Tags: Chtulhu, Lovecraft, Mythos

Views: 25

Replies to This Discussion

"At the Mountains of Madness" is one of my favourites too, but to be honest I almost like "The cats of Ulthar" better. The mountains of madness story is much grander than the cats of Ulthar, but I think the horror in the cat story lies within the daily life aspect. I hope my cats likes me enough though, not to eat me alive.

My personal all-time favourite will stay forever "The Dunwich Horror". I don't know why, I just love this story and I can read it over and over again and every time it gives me the creeps.
I've been curious about Lovecraft for a while, but haven't been brave enough yet to actually read anything... so where would be a good place to start? :)
Now, that's not an easy question :P Well, he wrote mostly prose - although he began writing as a young poet - and wrote mostly novellas or short stories. Only three of his works are long enough to be usually considered novels. Scholars have identified three main mythologies or universes, the more famous Chtulhu Mythos, the Macabre Tales and the perhaps less known but equally valid Dream Cycle.

The latter one is, as the name might suggest, slightly more fantasy-oriented than the rest of his works, although dark and creepy atmospheres are definitely not uncommon. The Chtulhu Mythos are as horror as it possibly gets. The Macabre Tales...well, some say they're part of the Chtulhu Mythos, some say they're not, but what matters is that they're mostly pretty good.

A good place to start? The easy answer would be that there is really none :P most of his works are fairly disjointed so they can be enjoyed regardless of the order they're read in (although that's slightly less true for some of the works in the Dream Cycle, those featuring character Randolph Carter.) But since we all need a place to start from, my answer is, try the H.P. Lovecraft Omnibus three-book series published by HarperCollins. It's a nearly complete collection of his works with only a few missing. Definitely makes up for some quality reading. I remember buying it online on bookdepository.co.uk, but I'm sure you can find it elsewhere too.
Thanks for your thorough reply :)
My local library actually has the first two parts of that omnibus you mentioned, so I think I'll borrow the first volume and see what I think. (Before buying the whole 1,500-page giant :D) Will report back when I've gotten into it. (That'll be around Christmas or something..)
The Shadow Over Insmouth is a definite favorite of mine. I read a story in Best New Horror 17 by Brian Lumley called The Taint that coincided with Shadow. It was pretty cool story especially since I don't usually like modern contemporaries of Lovecraft.

Great topic by the way. I don't know but for some reason I thought I was the only one here that read Lovecraft.
Oh no, I think there's plenty of us out there ^^
The short story, "The Hound." I've not read tons of Lovecraft, but of the ones I've read, this is my favorite.

"In my tortured ears there sounds unceasingly a nightmare whirring and flapping, and a faint distant baying as of some gigantic hound. It is not dream - it is not, I fear, even madness - for too much has already happened to give me these merciful doubts.

St John is a mangled corpse; I alone know why, and such is my knowledge that I am about to blow out my brains for fear I shall be mangled in the same way. Down unlit and illimitable corridors of eldrith phantasy sweeps the black, shapeless Nemesis that drives me to self-annihilation.

May heaven forgive the folly and morbidity which led us both to so monstrous a fate! Wearied with the commonplaces of a prosaic world; where even the joys of romance and adventure soon grow stale, St John and I had followed enthusiastically every aesthetic and intellectual movement which promised respite from our devastating ennui. The enigmas of the symbolists and the ecstasies of the pre-Raphaelites all were ours in their time, but each new mood was drained too soon, of its diverting novelty and appeal.

Only the somber philosophy of the decadents could help us, and this we found potent only by increasing gradually the depth and diabolism of our penetrations. Baudelaire and Huysmans were soon exhausted of thrills, till finally there remained for us only the more direct stimuli of unnatural personal experiences and adventures. It was this frightful emotional need which led us eventually to that detestable course which even in my present fear I mention with shame and timidity - that hideous extremity of human outrage, the abhorred practice of grave-robbing.

I cannot reveal the details of our shocking expeditions, or catalogue even partly the worst of the trophies adorning the nameless museum we prepared in the great stone house where we jointly dwelt, alone and servantless. Our museum was a blasphemous, unthinkable place, where with the satanic taste of neurotic virtuosi we had assembled an universe of terror and decay to excite our jaded sensibilities. It was a secret room, far, far, underground; where huge winged daemons carven of basalt and onyx vomited from wide grinning mouths weird green and orange light, and hidden pneumatic pipes ruffled into kaleidoscopic dances of death the lines of red charnel things hand in hand woven in voluminous black hangings. Through these pipes came at will the odors our moods most craved; sometimes the scent of pale funeral lilies; sometimes the narcotic incense of imagined Eastern shrines of the kingly dead, and sometimes - how I shudder to recall it! - the frightful, soul-upheaving stenches of the uncovered-grave."

I love the opening paragraph of The Call of Cthulhu. the one that starts, "The most merciful thing in the world.."

Assuming I don't opt for one of his better known ones such as that or "The Mountains...", I'd pick"The Music of Erich Zann."

Although I'm getting ready to re-read much of Lovecraft, I wanted to suggest another author to those who like him: Thomas Ligotti. And, if you want to read something really interesting that is not fiction, try his "The Conspiracy Against The Human Race."  Speaking of religious believers in it he states, "They trust in anything that authenticates their importance as persons, tribes, societies and particularly as a species that will endure in this world and perhaps in an afterlife that may be uncertain in its reality and unclear in its lay-out, but sates their craving for values not of this earth- that depressing, meaningless place their consciousness must sidestep every day."

I like that opening paragraph as well. Are you in the Lovecraft group here?

 

I think I've heard of Ligotti, but not read him. I like that quote you copied here. That is also an intriguing title. I'll add it to my list. Thanks.

I looked around for a Lovecraft group. do you have a link?

RSS

Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today

Donate

 

Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon

Amazon

AJY

 

© 2014   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service