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Adalbert is a forum for me, to post ephemera, photography, poetry, occasional travel notes, and various spontaneous motions. Cover photo: Parsonage where my great-grandfather spent his early years. Taken near Liegnitz, Silesia, ca. 1870.


Monday, June 1, 2015

Houellebecq's Non-Cosmic Lovecraft

College Hill, Providence, Rhode Island

Photos by JF, 1986

A couple days ago I read, in translation, H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life, by Michel Houllebecq. A friend lent the book to me. Among the most insightful works of literary criticism I have absorbed on the Providence visionary, with its view of Lovecraft's fiction as an assault, as uniquely non-compromising, non-literature, as architectural, as channeled by its indifference to realism, to sex and money, the essay also possessed weak points. Some of the quotations were garbled or apocryphal, and the author incorrectly attributed a view of the cosmos as evil to Lovecraft. Houellebecq referenced Lovecraft's cosmicism only indirectly, a curious oversight. But in general, the book was an enthralling read and study. 

Stephen King's Introduction was serviceable, although it contained at least one or two errors. He cited William Hope Hodgson as someone who was influenced by Lovecraft. The timeline does not support this notion.

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