Providence, Rhode Island - Stop 4: Howard Phillips Lovecraft, Horror and HatredI am Providence
~ Howard Phillips Lovecraft, 1890 - 1937, Headstone EpitaphYog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again.
~ H.P. Lovecraft, The Dunwich Horror
, 1928The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.
~ H.P. Lovecraft: http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/essays/shil.aspx
Howard Phillips Lovecraft (H.P. Lovecraft) was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1890. Both of his parents suffered with mental illness; his father was institutionalized when Lovecraft was 3, and his mother spent her last years in the same institution, dying there when Lovecraft was 31. Lovecraft himself was reclusive, moody, suffered from "nervous breakdowns," and secluded himself, rarely going out until after dark. Indeed, his greatest outlet to the outside world was writing, a gift to which he turned his unusual mind writing prolifically in the genres of dark fantasy, horror, and science fiction.
And if you are looking for a shivery read, full of unspeakable and supernatural forces anathema to the human psyche, undead and brutal, loathsome and nightmarish inhabitants of twilight worlds of dank mists and shadows, look no further than Lovecraft. Lovecraft created the Cthuthlu Mythos; a cosmogony of tentacled unimaginable horrors; the "Great Old Ones," or "Ancient Ones" who once ruled the Earth but lie imprisoned in the depths of Earth not to be loosed less their inhuman ravenings consume the world. Lovecraft also wrote hundreds of short stories with themes of man's helplessness against paranormal forces and of those who even attempted to contemplate and stop these horrors would be robbed of their sanity. Lovecraft single handedly created a new subgenre and a new adjective; Lovecraftian.
But sadly the truth also is that Lovecraft was a blatant racist and a homophobic, anti semitic, misogynistic, and twisted sad man full of fear and hatred. I won't go into the details; many voices on Google Plus, such as +Damien Walter
and +Cod Codliness
present their views on this much better than I could, and the links to their thoughts are below.
Lovecraft died of cancer, penniless and in constant pain at the age of 46 never to see the near mythic fame he has today. But as truth of his personal failings have come to the forefront, his reputation has become tarnished. The World Fantasy Award trophy presented for the best fantasy works used to be symbolized by the cartoon representation of the bust of Lovecraft. In 2016 that trophy will be replaced with another symbol to honor the diversity present in today's writer's of fantasy.
And Providence's most famous son, Lovecraft? As he writes in The Nameless City
“That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die.”https://damiengwalter.com/2012/08/23/what-do-we-do-about-lovecraft/https://plus.google.com/+CodCodliness/posts/AvigcSda1fv
Image by Sean Phillips: http://theartofseanphillips.blogspot.com/2011/11/h-p-lovecraft.html
This post is inspired by the 1886 children's geographic game, Rambles Through Our Country
. At the time that the game was published, Howard Phillips Lovecraft would not be born for another 4 years, however the seeds of his genius and madness were already rooting in the DNA of his parents.
The RTOC game involves a gameboard, a book or key to the stops, and some kind of spinner. Find the gameboard here: http://goo.gl/7ORK1E
and the book here: https://goo.gl/u96JE3
To spin, use the random number generator at: https://www.random.org/
and set the maximum number to 4.
I rolled a 1 on the makeshift teetotum, and moved from New Haven, Connecticut - Stop 3: Dr. Edward Alexander Bouchet, Physicist and Barrier Breaker to Providence, Rhode Island - Stop 4: Howard Phillips Lovecraft, Horror and Hatred. #ramblesthroughourcountry #hplovecraft #horror