HP Lovecraft: Horrible man, great writer, now collected in annotated edition
January 19, 2015
The-New-Annotated-H.-P.-LovecraftHe wrote like nobody before him, and no one since. Stephen King called him “the twentieth century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.” He was HP Lovecraft, whose works are now collected and curated by scholar Leslie Klinger in “The New Annotated HP Lovecraft,” with an introduction by Alan Moore.
“He was very much a stylist, a craftsman, and I think writers like Neil Gaiman, Robert Bloch, Clive Barker and Dean Koontz — they all absorbed that and realized that’s how you write scary stuff,” says Klinger. “You don’t start with something that has blood and gore. You write an atmosphere. You build it up.”
While he was alive, Lovecraft was unknown and made very little money from his writing. He had a few stories published before he died at the age of 46, but not much else. “He had only a single book published in his lifetime,” says Klinger. “He was clearly a commercial failure and sort of the quintessential starving artist.”
Now, Lovecraft is regarded as one of the most important horror writers of the twentieth century. Authors like Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King and Dean Koontz name him as an influence. But there’s a side to Lovecraft that’s hard for fans to ignore: he was a horrible bigot.
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