Category Archive 'H.P. Lovecraft'
15 Feb 2019

There May Be Something In All This

, , , ,

Michael Walsh, author of the recent history of Leftist Modernism, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace, ?facetiously? contends that today’s leftists have a great deal in common with the squelching, piscine-featured inhabitants of H.P. Lovecraft’s ancient, crumbling New England towns secretly carrying on the nefarious activities of the Starry Wisdom Cult.

It seems to be the only way to account for the frequently self-contadictory unspeakable madness characteristic of the most prominent Progressive democrats.

Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!


30 Nov 2016

Ancient Ones Carol


Hat tip to Eve Tushnet.

07 Jun 2016

Why Choose the Lesser Evil?

, ,


Bill Kristol has not so far kept his promise of delivering a third party alternative to the unappetizing choices currently in the process of being nominated by the two major parties. The Washington Examiner, though, yesterday reported that there is currently at least on third party alternative better-qualified than Trump or Hillary: Cthulhu.

A group of people looking for an alternative to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are encouraging people to consider the demon god Cthulhu as a write-in candidate for president in November.

Cthulhu was created in 1928 by writer H.P. Lovecraft in a short story called Call of Cthulhu. He is essentially a god, and is commonly depicted as a giant winged beast with tentacles for a beard.

At a time when both parties are looking for alternatives to Clinton and Trump, which both have high negative ratings among voters, a human-run campaign says Cthulhu should be seen as a viable option.

“Cthulhu has been running for the presidency throughout the decades in one form or another. Most Americans think it as a joke,” said Samir al-Azrad, press secretary for Cthulhu for America, in an email interview with the Washington Examiner. “And indeed, in more ‘civilized’ times, humanity has been mostly uninterested in the glory of a Cthulhu-driven apocalypse. But 2016 is turning out to be an excellent year to bring the word of Cthulhu to the masses.”

Stay abreast of the latest developments from nation’s capital and beyond with curated News Alerts from the Washington Examiner news desk and delivered to your inbox.

The Cthulhu movement is aiming to do the same thing Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol is hoping to do with David French: launch a third-party candidate who can provide a refreshing alternative to the two traditional parties.

If picking a candidate viewed as “the lesser evil” feels like a cop-out, Cthulhu represents the greatest evil of all, and does so proudly.

“Third-party candidacies are ascendant as the two major parties put forth the most hated candidates the nation has seen,” al-Azrad said. “We see a path to victory through this wreckage that will finally bring an end to the status quo. And life as we know it.”

Cthulhu for America is an organized entity with a functioning campaign website where people can track all the latest Cthulhu news, buy Cthulhu-related merchandise, or donate to the cause. The campaign currently has 25,100 Twitter followers, and has earned at least one famous endorsement thus far.

Hollywood director Guillermo del Toro, of “Hellboy” and “Pacific Rim” fame, declared his support on Twitter this week for the demon god.

Whole thing.


15 Dec 2015

Why Settle for the Lesser Evil?

, ,


12 Nov 2015

World Fantasy Convention Removes Lovecraft from Awards

, , , ,


The Guardian reports that Social Justice Warriors have blasphemed against the Ancient Ones.

S.T. Joshi has condemned the World Fantasy awards’ decision to stop using trophies modelled on the controversial writer as ‘the worst sort of political correctness’

HP Lovecraft’s biographer S.T. Joshi has returned his two World Fantasy awards following the organisers’ decision to stop using a bust of the author for the annual trophy – a move the Lovecraft expert called “a craven yielding to the worst sort of political correctness”.

The change was announced on Sunday. It follows a year-long campaign led by the author Daniel José Older, who launched a petition calling for the awards to end their trophy’s association with “avowed racist” Lovecraft.
World Fantasy award drops HP Lovecraft as prize image

Writing on his blog, Joshi said he had returned the awards he won in previous years to the co-chairman of the World Fantasy Convention, David Hartwell. “Evidently,” Joshi added, “this move was meant to placate the shrill whining of a handful of social justice warriors who believe that a ‘vicious racist’ like Lovecraft has no business being honoured by such an award.”

Joshi also provided the text of his letter to Hartwell, telling him that the decision “seems to me a craven yielding to the worst sort of political correctness and an explicit acceptance of the crude, ignorant and tendentious slanders against Lovecraft propagated by a small but noisy band of agitators.”

Older’s petition followed a blogpost from WFA winner Nnedi Okorafor on her “conflicted” feelings about the prize after seeing Lovecraft’s racist 1912 poem On the Creation of Niggers. (Its couplets include: “A beast they wrought, in semi-human figure,/ Filled it with vice, and called the thing a Nigger.”) …

Following Sunday’s announcement, Older told the Guardian: “Today, fantasy is a better, more inclusive, and stronger genre because of it.”

But Joshi told Hartwell that the change means the awards are now “irremediably tainted”, and requested that he no longer be nominated for any future WFA. In the past, Joshi won an award for his Unutterable Horror: A History of Supernatural Fiction, Volumes One and Two, and a special award for scholarship. His works include a biography of Lovecraft, further studies of the author, and extensive collections of the Cthulhu mythos creator’s writing and letters.

“I will never attend another World Fantasy Convention as long as I live. And I will do everything in my power to urge a boycott … among my many friends and colleagues,” wrote Joshi to Hartwell, adding on his blog that “if anyone feels that Lovecraft’s perennially ascending celebrity, reputation, and influence will suffer the slightest diminution as a result of this silly kerfuffle, they are very much mistaken”.

20 Aug 2015

H.P. Lovecraft: Too Popular to be Ignored, Too Un-PC to be Acceptible

, , ,

H.P. Lovecraft by Lee Moyer.

Philip Eil, in the Atlantic, contemplates with unease the posthumous rise to fame and pop culture ascendancy of the visionary horror pulp writer H.P. Lovecraft.

Lovecraft, you see, was not just a pulp writer. He was a passionate, nearly hydrophobic racist and anti-Semite, whose letters are absolutely filled with expressions of distaste for the presence, appearance, physiognomy, and even the odor, of Jews, Negroes, Asians, and persons of Southern European origin. The sight (and the smell), when encountered on city streets, of the result of 1900-era mass immigration could make the Mayflower-descended Lovecraft literally physically ill.

Hence, the dilemma troubling Mr. Eil: today’s American establishment culture faithfully worships at the altar of fame and success, but it simultaneously wants to cast out and obliterate anyone or anything incompatible with its own fanatically egalitarian ideology. Some pretty serious chin-stroking is in order here.

[N]o tale of posthumous success is quite as spectacular as that of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, the “cosmic horror” writer who died in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1937 at the age of 46. The circumstances of Lovecraft’s final years were as bleak as anyone’s. He ate expired canned food and wrote to a friend, “I was never closer to the bread-line.” He never saw his stories collectively published in book form, and, before succumbing to intestinal cancer, he wrote, “I have no illusions concerning the precarious status of my tales, and do not expect to become a serious competitor of my favorite weird authors.” Among the last words the author uttered were, “Sometimes the pain is unbearable.” His obituary in the Providence Evening Bulletin was “full of errors large and small,” according to his biographer.

Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine Lovecraft faced such poverty and obscurity, when regions of Pluto are named for Lovecraftian monsters, the World Fantasy Award trophy bears his likeness, his work appears in the Library of America, the New York Review of Books calls him “The King of Weird,” and his face is printed on everything from beer cans to baby books to thong underwear. The author hasn’t just escaped anonymity; he’s reached the highest levels of critical and cultural success. His is perhaps the craziest literary afterlife this country has ever seen. …

My feelings on Lovecraft—as a bibliophile, a lover of Providence history, a Jew, a fan of his writing, a teacher who assigns his stories—are complicated. At their best, his tales achieve a visceral eeriness, or fling the reader’s imagination to the furthest depths of outer space. Once you develop a taste for his maximalist style, these stories become addictive. But my admiration is always coupled with the knowledge that Lovecraft would have found my Jewish heritage repugnant, and that he saw our shared hometown as a haven from the waves of immigrants he saw as infecting other cities. (“America has lost New York to the mongrels, but the sun shines just as brightly over Providence,” he wrote to a friend in 1926.)

I haven’t made peace with this tension, and I’m not sure I ever will. But I have decided that perhaps he’s the literary icon our country deserves. The stories he conjured, in many ways, say as much about his bigotry as they do his genius. Or, as Moore writes, “Coded in an alphabet of monsters, Lovecraft’s writings offer a potential key to understanding our current dilemma.”

31 May 2014

Black Shoggoth to Shoggoth Four

, ,


Monsters Domesticated‘s second unique Cthulhu Mythos chess set, described thusly:

This is a complete set of thirty-two hand-sculpted chess pieces, in a Lovecraftian vein. My first set made some (lucky?) fellow a very peculiar xmas present; this one is more madly elaborate still, and will strain the sanity of the stoutest soul.

A wholly hand-made labor of lunatic love, these pieces feature indescribable forces of madness and the grotesque. This might be the only way you can manipulate these alien deities without your own destruction being inevitable. If play with these pieces does, in fact, cost you your very reason, however, Monsters Domesticated can accept no responsibility.

We consider the black pieces to be the Cthulhoid forces, with dread Cthulhu itself as king, and menacing Dagon as swift and malevolent queen, and the mouldering green pieces to be led by Yog-Sothoth as king, in all its gibbering madness, and primordial Ubbo-Sathla as queen. Of course, you’re the cultist, so you’re entitled to assign whatever mythos iconography you like. The interpretations, fortunately for all life in this dimension, are loose.

The bishops of each side are mad alien priests, the knights grotesque mounts with vile curved spines, the rooks writhe horribly within their blasted towers. The black pawns are sinister, writhing spawn of dread Cthulhu, and the green pawns mocking little tentacular skulls.

Each piece was sculpted by hand and is absolutely unique. There is no mold, and this set will never be reproduced. (Although holders of a copy of the true Necronomicon might be able to convince these atrocities to reproduce themselves.)

This chess set is the perfect abomination for the Dark Strategist in your life. Get it before it lurches into sentience and destroys its creator.

Hat tip to James Harberson.

22 May 2014

Latest Curriculum Controversy

, , , ,

Pnakotic Manuscript

The Onion:

ARKHAM, MA -— Arguing that students should return to the fundamentals taught in the Pnakotic Manuscripts and the Necronomicon in order to develop the skills they need to be driven to the very edge of sanity, Arkham school board member Charles West continued to advance his pro-madness agenda at the district’s monthly meeting Tuesday.

“Fools!” said West, his clenched fist striking the lectern before him. “We must prepare today’s youth for a world whose terrors are etched upon ancient clay tablets recounting the fever-dreams of the other gods—not fill their heads with such trivia as math and English. Our graduates need to know about those who lie beneath the earth, waiting until the stars align so they can return to their rightful place as our masters and wage war against the Elder Things and the shoggoths!”

The controversial school board member reportedly interrupted a heated discussion about adding fresh fruit to school lunches in order to bring his motion to the table. With the aid of a flip chart, West laid out his six-point plan for increased madness, which included field trips to the medieval metaphysics department at Miskatonic University, instruction in the incantations of Yog-Sothoth, and a walkathon sponsored by local businesses to raise money for the freshman basketball program.
Artist’s rendering of the Cthulhu, a hideous demon borne of pure malice that fewer than 3 percent of high school sophomores can identify.

“Our schools are orderly, sanitary places where students dwell in blissful ignorance of the chaos that awaits,” West said. “Should our facilities be repaired? No, they must be razed to the ground and rebuilt in the image of the Cyclopean dwellings of the Elder Gods, the very geometry of which will drive them to be possessed by visions of the realms beyond.”

31 Aug 2013

More Interesting than the Book of Mormon

, , ,

19 Apr 2013

H.P. Lovecraft… Philosopher??

, ,

Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937)

In Salon, Brian Kim Stefans discusses a new book by “Speculative Realist” philosopher Graham Harman (who teaches at the American University in Cairo, not at Miskatonic), which attempts to identify the early 20th century author of pulp horror stories as a literary philosophic opponent of Kantian Phenomenalism, materialism, and linguistic analysis.

Evidently, Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man gibber und kreischen über von einer Band aus amorphem Flötenspieler Begleitet. What we cannot speak about, we must gibber and shriek about, accompanied by a band of amorphous flute-players.

Few movements in recent philosophy have had as startling a rise as that of the writers loosely grouped under the heading “Speculative Realists.” Attention to this movement, which includes Harman, Ray Brassier, Iain Hamilton Grant, Levi Bryant, and Quentin Meillassoux… is growing exponentially, not just in universities but also among the unaffiliated continental philosophy junkies who troll the blogosphere. The one principle that is inarguably shared by these philosophers is quite simple: they wish to retrieve philosophy from a tendency initiated, or at least made unavoidable, by the work of Immanuel Kant. Kant believed that the subject (meaning a human being) can ever know anything about the external world due to the very fact of subjectivity. For him, reality is always mediated by cognition, and the thinkable has a basic handicap: it is just thought. Nothing comes from outside into the mind, in other words, that is not turned into thought; the radical epistemologist argues that all we can know lies in the firm foundations of what is available to the senses, while the radical idealist argues that nothing remains in this thinking of whatever it was that spawned the thought, leaving one at the impasse of believing that all of reality is virtual, a bunch of mental actions. The result, according to the speculative realists, is that philosophy since Kant has been stuck with making this very mind→object relationship the locus and subject of philosophy, thus shutting down the project of metaphysics, the search for absolute laws beyond what can be established by experimental science.

Quentin Meillassoux has dubbed this mind→object relationship — the impasse that is at the heart of the Kantian tradition — “correlationism,” and the term has become a rallying cry for speculative realists. Harman’s philosophy displaces the mind→object relationship with that of object→object, the “mind” being just one object among many. Oddly, though Meillassoux names correlationism as the primary curse of the Kantian tradition, he also seems the most devoted of his peers to preserving the best part of it by making it the one place where he claims anything like an absolute exists. To Meillassoux (who, coincidentally or consequently, is also a fan of Lovecraft), the universe is not characterized by necessity (God-given or inevitable laws) but by a radical contingency, a “hyper-chaos” amidst which the only thing that could be seen as absolute is the mind→object relationship itself. ….

In Weird Realism: Lovecraft and Philosophy, Harman enlists Lovecraft in his battle with epistemology and materialism — Lovecraft himself expressed loathing for normative science, and certainly had no love for legitimate academics — but also against correlationism: the conviction that all the mind could ever know are purely mental phenomena, which ultimately led (and here we are brushing with broad strokes) to the so-called “linguistic” turn of much 20th-century philosophy (most characteristically that of Wittgenstein and Derrida). To that extent, Lovecraft’s failure to engage in the linguistic experimentation of his high Modernist contemporaries does not make him some kind of recalcitrant provincial, but rather a sensible (if xenophobic) voyager who simply did not want to make the claim that language was all there was. Lovecraft’s language “fails” only insofar as the narrators fail to get into words, to journalize, some experience that simply cannot be fully available to the meager human senses and mind. For the most part, Lovecraft is happy to use language as a simple, functional tool, rather than to insist at every moment through linguistic estrangement — like, say, a Stein or a Beckett — that language is not what you think it is (and, consequently, that language is everything). For Lovecraft, it’s the universe, not language, that is not what you think it is. So what is it then? Well, weird.

Weird Realism
opens with an idiosyncratic set of short essays that lay out the method of the book. Harman notes that there is a choice that philosophers generally make between being a “destroyer of gaps” — those who want to reduce reality to a simple principle — and “creators of gaps” — those who point to those areas to which we will possibly never have access. He deems the latter “productionists” (in contrast to reductionists) and writes: “If we apply this distinction to imaginative writers, then H.P. Lovecraft is clearly a productionist author. No other writer is so perplexed by the gap between objects and the power of language to describe them, or between objects and the qualities they possess.”

21 Mar 2013

“Hey There, Cthulhu”

, , ,

01 Dec 2011

Dr. Seuss’ s “Call of Cthulhu”

, , , , ,

Your are browsing
the Archives of Never Yet Melted in the 'H.P. Lovecraft' Category.

Entries (RSS)
Comments (RSS)
Feed Shark