Early October on the streets of the city. Plastic dentures with bloody fangs can already be seen behind the windows of toy stores. The most daring patisseries exhibit marzipan shaped human limbs next to the cream canes. Artificial cobwebs on the doors of shops and on the walls, posters announcing costume parties. Halloween, like many celebrations throughout the year, arrives every time before, and it is loaded with special promotions and infamous adaptations of mythical horror films.
To not end up saturated by the precocity and profusion of pastiches, it is always good to immerse yourself in a good reading, and what better than regain contact with the roots of the horror genre from the hand of one of its creators.
From a tormented childhood – apparently his mother was overprotective and quite neurotic – little Howard took refuge in books to avoid contact with a society in which he did not think he fit. Indirect disciple of Manchen, Lord Dunsany and Poe, with whom he claimed to have a spiritual kinship, did not have enough with his teachings and ended up creating his own genre that was called "cosmic horror." The greatest exponent of that new literary category were the Cthulhu myths, who wrote together with other authors belonging to the so-called Circle of Lovecraft.
With its baroque style, intentionally archaic and ornate, H.P. Lovecraft gave life to a unique mythology that drinks from fantasy and science fiction, and that puts the reader under the impassive gaze of alien gods that await in the depths the moment to dominate the Earth.
His work has shocked readers for several generations. We propose here an essay and a novel to introduce us to it.
In the mountains of madness tells the story of the failed expedition of geologist William Dyer and a group of scientists to Antarctica, where they discover a lost city of which there is no record and that hides the remains of an ancient seemingly extraterrestrial civilization. Narrated in the first person by Dyer himself, this novel represents a perfect example of the genre "cosmic horror", that of Providence illuminated and fed until the end of his days.
The terror in literature It is an essay first published in 1927, in which Lovecraft reflects on evolution and other aspects of the genre through its most emblematic authors. In it crowns Algernon Blackwood, M.R. James, Lord Dunsany and Arthur Machen, whom he calls "contemporary masters." Lovecraft goes back in this essay to the gothic novel to find the roots of literary terror and he analyzes fear, for him, "the oldest and most powerful emotion of humanity".
Reviewed and admired by writers such as Cirlot and Houllebeq, from filmmakers to philosophers, intellectuals and creators of all kinds have drunk from its source. He was little valued in his time and, like so many, died in misery. Despite this, he has managed to transcend time just like his creatures.
Who was going to tell him that one day they could buy keychains and stuffed animals from Cthulhu or board games based on his work? In short, we can affirm without fear of being wrong that Lovecraft, like Halloween, is fashionable.