H.P. Lovecraft

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Name: Howard Phillips Lovecraft
Also Known As: H.P. Lovecraft, Lewis Theobald, Humphrey Littlewit, Ward Phillips, Edward Softly, Percy Simple
Occupation: Author
Medium: Short stories, novels
Works: "The Call of Cthulhu", At the Mountains of Madness, The Rats in the Walls,
Official Website(s):
Fan Website(s): The H.P. Lovecraft Archive, H.P. Lovecraft works at AO3
On Fanlore: Related pages

H.P. Lovecraft was an American writer of weird fiction and horror fiction. His work was primarily set in New England, and deals with themes of humanity faced with forces beyond its control. During his lifetime, Lovecraft found little success and could not support himself writing, but posthumously has had an enormous influence on horror, especially supernatural horror. His work, though initially published in serial pulp magazines, can today be found collected in anthologies. His work is considered to be part of the public domain, and as such has spawned numerous works inspired by it.

Impact on Popular Culture

There are numerous professional works inspired by Lovecraft, directly and indirectly. Creators such as Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, and to some extent Stephen King have been directly influenced by his work. In addition, Cthulhu is a popular character and can be found in a variety of different merchandise including mugs, shirts, and plushies.
File:Cthulhu-t-shirt.jpeg
A Lovecraft-inspired t-shirt.

Fandom

Lovecraft is less famous for his actual writing than for what his writing has inspired. Large swathes of dark fantasy, weird fiction, and horror fiction draw inspiration from Lovecraft's work. Examples include Shoggoth's Old Peculiar, a short story by Neil Gaiman, and Dungeons and Dragons a roleplaying game created by Gary Gygax. The fanbases of these works often extend far beyond fans of Lovecraft.

Lovecraft has also found notable success in Japan, a move which started in the 1960s with the first translations of Lovecraft into Japanese. [1] His success only increased there, with many manga, games, and novels being directly inspired by Lovecraft. However, these often bear little resemblance to the source material, and include various genres including light novels and erotica. Art of Lovecraft's monsters is also common, with them usually portrayed as either eldritch abominations or cute girls.

Controversy

H.P. Lovecraft is a noted racist, even for the time he was alive. He has famously praised Hitler, referred to Jewish people with horrifyingly anti-semitic language, and referred to black people as "semi-human." His works also often show this, including The Call of Cthulhu where the narrator suspects his uncle is dead because he crossed a black person.[2] This has resulted in some creators disavowing his influence, such as Welcome to Night Vale creator Joseph Fink.[3] His racism has also resulted in controversy when his bust was used for a science fiction award, a tasteless move which was eventually rescinded.

Aside from his racism and anti-semitism, Lovecraft was also a white supremacist, supported fascism, and aristocracy.[4][2]

References

  1. Lovecraft in Japan
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lovecraft is Racist,
  3. Fink on Lovecraft,
  4. Lovecraft and Government,