1. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    Horror Lovecraftian Horror

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by TheSerpantofNar, Nov 2, 2013.

    I just started reading the best of H.P. Lovecraft. His type of horror is unique to say the least the usage of archaic words in his writing is fascinating. Also I kind of understood lovecraftian horror the use of cosmic elements and evil deity's. But still after reading a few papers on it but still it's confusing somewhat.
     
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  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    It is interesting work. You'll find references to Lovecraft's mythos in Robert E. Howard, and in Clark Ashton Smith (whose work you might enjoy in and of itself if you like Lovecraft).
     
  3. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    Well I'm reading the rats in the wall right now. His horror involves a lot of gloomy settings and there is a lot of menace. I would call it cosmic gothic horror.
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, I like that one. I like most of his work. It was an interesting reflections of the time, as man was learning more about space and the universe. Most of it centers around unnameable horrors from the depths of time and space and man's miniscule place in the cosmos.
     
  5. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    Well really to me I like the fact his horror stays known. Unless it's Cuthulu who has become very famous lol.
     
  6. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, Cthulhu has become a pop culture icon.

    You should read The Thing on the Doorstep. I always liked that one.
     
  7. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    I may pick up into the mountains of madness. I see why they don't make films based on his works as it's bleak stuff.
     
  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    A handful of years ago someone made a black and white silent version of Call of Cthulhu. It was pretty cool.
     
  9. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    Well is the call of cuthulu good? I know it's one of his most famous story.
     
  10. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, it's a good story. That one, and Shadow out of Time and At The Mountains of Madness are probably the most iconic in terms of Cthulhu mythos stories.
     
  11. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    Well reading the first few pages I can tell the main character. Has mental issues to say the least.
     
  12. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    And if a Lovecraft character doesn't have mental issues, he will by the time the story is over (assuming he lives).
     
  13. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    I like his use of fragile mental states. The monsters or beings seem to eat away at their mental instability.
     
  14. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I imagine people mostly know, but for those who don't, HP Lovecraft's works are freely accessible online.

    I'll have to read The Thing at the Doorstep. I've not read that one yet.
     
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  15. mbinks89
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    mbinks89 Active Member

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    Lovecraft's a classic. If you're serious about writing horror, I highly suggest looking him up, along with Algernon Blackwood, whose craft Lovecraft loved.
     
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  16. Sphyre
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    Sphyre New Member

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    There's a whole film festival (franchise now) devoted to Lovecraftian horror. (which is where The Call of Cthulhu short film first debuted. The Lovecraft Historical society now has another film out based on Whisperer in the Darkness. On top of everything else amazing they do) Part of the appeal is trying to capture what makes Lovecraft so unique while still giving the audience something visual to hold on to. In most cases direct adaptations fail to do this, it's usually films based on "Lovecraftian themes or elements" that get the closest (movies like In the Mouth of Madness, Prince of Darkness, Alien, something I am totally spacing on that isn't The Thing but let's include that anyway), though there are notable exceptions. (Die Farbe is a great example)

    Cosmic horror is certainly one way to describe/classify it, another is "weird horror" which encompasses his work that doesn't have such a cosmic theme. Insanity is a common theme for him because it was such a common theme in his life, as was the fear of "the other." My favorite stories are actually from his Dream Cycle stories, most of which are only tenuously horror at best, though I wear cephlapodic jewelry almost daily and have a green tentacle tattoo. Personally, while Lovecraft related endeavors have hijacked most of my life, both professionally and personally, I am much more a fan of the essence of his ideas and the thematic contribution to the modern horror genre.

    Reading some of the other mythos writers is a great idea; Robert E. Howard and Clark Ashton Smith are certainly two of the more well known participants but there are so many more. Poppy Z. Brite, August Derleth, Caitlin R. Kiernan, W. H. Pugmire, Nick Mamatas, Lois Gresh, Robert M. Price, Ramsey Campbell, Brian Lumley and so on. Plus some names you may or may not have heard of, small players like Neil Gaiman and Clive Barker ;) (I jest) I was introduced to A Night in Lonesome October last year and I strongly suggest that (Gaiman has a short story set in that world that is worth a read)

    If you're looking for some weird horror that isn't strictly Lovecraftian try The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers or anything by Algernon Blackwood.
     
  17. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    I'll check him out it looks like Algernon Blackwood speculized in gothic horror. I'm reading Lovecraft but I will pick up some Algernon Blackwood to :)
     
  18. Burlbird
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    Burlbird Contributing Member Contributor

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    Mmmmmountains of Madness... :)

    Cats of Ulthar, Dunwich Horror, Whisperer in Dark... Yeah, "cosmic gothic" is about right. And the whole enduring feeling of human irrelevance when faced with unkown and uncomprehensable...
    There are some of his work I found rather kitchy: most of his poetry, unfortunately, and some stories like "Under the Pyramids" - and I believe he didn't held most of his own work in high esteem...
     
  19. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    Well to me I do not get the need to see what causes the horror. I like Lovecraftian horror for that very reason it make you use your imagination.
     
  20. Sphyre
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    Sphyre New Member

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    Well if you notice the films I list, with the possible exception of The Thing, don't show you very much. That is precisely the balance filmmakers try to create when they go to tackle a Lovecraftian piece. They hint at something terrifying, offer glimpses and show how characters react but they don't ever throw the horror in your face. They let the audience fill in the gaps with their own fears. Though honestly? This is the mark of many good horror films, not just Lovecraft-inspired work.

    If you haven't watched any Lovecraftian films I would urge you to try some out. They are obviously going to be different than any literature due to the medium they are presented in but the HP Lovecraft Film Festival is approaching its 20 year anniversary (2015) so there are some pretty great examples out there. There is plenty of crap too but trust me, there is some stuff worth watching. The fest fosters a pretty amazing community of linked people, many of them creative types, and actively seeks out fiction writers (there's a convention aspect to the festival that most other small fests don't have) Not all of it is independent and not all of it has shown at the fest but there is a lot. It's pretty amazing what some fans can do with source material that has previously been described as "unfilmable."
     
  21. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    Algernon Blackwood seems like a writer who's work I need to read.
     
  22. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    The rats in the wall is creepy in that the protagonist is literally losing his mind. And your reading him losing his grip on reality and sanity.
     
  23. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Caitlin R. Kiernan's novel Threshold is a good book with Lovecraftian flavor.
     
  24. D-Doc
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    D-Doc Active Member

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    Del Toro was going to make a movie based on At The Mountains Of Madness. Unfortunately, the studio he was working with wouldn't allow him to film it with an R rating-they wanted PG-13. Del Toro refused and the movie was never made. Bastards, I say.
     
  25. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    of course, they weren't all that archaic back when he used them... ;)

    changes in language over the ages is one of the reasons i was hooked on reading homer, shakespeare, boccacio, stevenson, poe, et al. as a young 'un of 9-10... i did draw the line at chaucer, however, after only a couple of his tales!
     
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