I have taken S. T. Joshi to task in many places for his insistence that "The Dunwich Horror" is one of H. P. Lovecraft's "artistic failures." In his wonderful and definitive study, The Rise and Fall of the Cthulhu Mythos, S. T. spends many pages discussing the story and stressing his viewpoint -- with which I entirely disagree. The bone of S. T.'s contention is that, at this stage in his writing, Lovecraft had expressed disdain for weird fiction that was rooted in human interest, that expressed ideas of good vs. evil, and that was what Lovecraft claimed was his soul artistic goal -- the creation of non-supernatural cosmic art. S. T. likes to quote Lovecraft's statement, "To achieve the essence of real externality, whether of time or space or dimension, one must forget that such things as organic life, good and evil, love and hate, and all such local attributes of a negligible and temporary race called mankind, have any existence at all." To my way of thinking, such a philosophy would lead to very little weird fiction being written. And I do not want to judge Lovecraft's work by what he claimed it should be, but what it is. And it is among the finest that we have. That said, the supernatural aspect of "The Dunwich Horror" raises many questions in my mind that are not easily answered. One of my dilemmas is the relationship between these unearthly creatures from Outside and alternative dimensions with mortal blood, human or otherwise. How can cosmic creatures, whose origin must pre-date earth life, require blood? Not cow blood, either. From Wilbur's diary, in Dr. Armitage's translation: "They from outside will help, but they cannot take body without human blood." It is strange for find Lovecraft the devoted atheist writing about "the soul." What is the supernatural connection between the human soul and the whippoorwills of Dunwich? "'They whistle jest in tune with my breathin' naow,' he said, 'an' I guess they're gittin' ready to ketch my soul. They know it's a-goin' aout, and dun't calc'late to miss it. Yew'll know, boys, arter I'm gone, whether they git me er not. Ef they dew, they'll keep up a-singin' an' laffin' till break o' day. Ef they dun't they'll kinder quiet daown like. I expeck them an' the souls they hunts fer have some pretty tough tussles sometimes." This is utterly supernatural. It is also splendid story-telling; and H. P. Lovecraft was, before he was a rationalist, an expert story-teller in regards to his fiction. The aspect of good and evil seems refuted by the hints that Lovecraft gives concerning the Old Ones. They were, they are, they will be. Time is on their side. Either we human pygmies will be "cleared off" or we will extinguish of our own accord. Supernatural phantasy is beyond rational thought. It is in no way beneath the fiction of cosmic indifference that one finds in At the Mountains of Madness or "The Shadow out of Time." The first fiction of Literature is that is tell a story and has an effect -- and Lovecraft often emphasized that one of the most important functions of weird fiction is its creation of mood. With "The Dunwich Horror," Lovecraft evokes, forcefully, powerfully, They from Outside, ideas that are beyond good and evil, mundane reality or the Supernatural. To-night, after recording my vlog concerning the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society, I went to my bedroom and listened to their dramatic rendition of "The Dunwich Horror" in their Dark Advbenture Radio Theatre series. It was absolutely effective. True, much of that effectiveness was conjured by the sheer genius of talent that is evident in every aspect of The HPLHS and their wondrous products. But the core of the magick comes from Lovecraft's story, one of the strangest tales ever told, and told so effectively, so brilliantly. An artistic failure? Nay, my dear S. T. -- a masterpiece.