Storybites
 a taste of the world's best short stories

 

H.P. Lovecraft - Biography

H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937)

Most of us have, at one time or another, wrenched ourselves out of the grip of a nightmare, only to reflect back upon the dream's details and wonder what was so scary about that. In retrospect, you're not even sure what you dreamed. All you know for sure is that your heart is pounding, you're drenched with sweat, and you're more than a little reluctant to go back to sleep in case it might happen again. That pretty much describes the effect of reading an H.P. Lovecraft story. Except for one thing -- you want it to happen again. And again, and again.

H.P. Lovecraft, in addition to being the author of some excellent pieces of literary criticism, was one of the masters of the pulp horror fiction that sent shivers up the spines of readers in the 1920s and 30s. Many of his short stories were published in periodicals such as Weird Tales, and longer works were published as paperback novels. Due to the nature of the markets for which he wrote, however, Lovecraft missed out on serious critical acclaim during his lifetime. However, he ranks with Edgar Allan Poe and Henry James in terms of his ability to convey the intangibly awful without ever saying exactly what that awful thing is. This, of course, makes it feel even more terrifying because the precise nature of the horror is left up to the individual reader's imagination; all Lovecraft has done is convey the mood of the macabre, and we supply our own terror. His talent is at its best in the two stories reviewed this week, "The Shadow Out of Time" and "The Colour Out of Space."

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Best of H.P. Lovecraft : Bloodcurdling...

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