Was HPL really a racist?

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#61
I still do not think HP was a racist.
Also if you think about it we are all inherently racial, as it is often human's natural tendency to associate certain characteristics to various groups of people.

He was simply an artist, freely writing without being too concerned what people may think. He let his imagination, his feelings all out.

Also just a side note, people have accused the band Slayer of being anti Semitic for one of the band members collect items around the holacaust period.
Also marilyn manson can be a racist because of his song Rock n Roll Nigger.

All I'm saying is that the term racist can be quite subjective.

But whatever it is, we certainly all enjoy HP Lovecraft's work.
There is a world of difference between collecting such memorabilia (which can attract one from any number of perspectives, including an interest in history, symbolism of the twentieth century, etc.) and the sorts of comments and terms HPL used quite frequently, and used knowing that they were pejorative, derogatory terms. "Greazy chimpanzees" in reference to blacks comes to mind, let alone the ubiquitous "n-word" that he used with such unconcern. His ethnic epithets were already being frowned on in his time, as even his staid, Old American aunt Lilian rebuked him for some of his comments in his letters to her... and she was most definitely no flaming liberal when it came to such things. He also had received some rather shocked responses from friends and correspondents on the matter at times, such as Rheinhart Kleiner, James F. Morton, and the like.

I do not include such terms as "Nigger-Man" for the cat in "The Rats in the
Walls" which, though dying out at that time was still something one encountered fairly commonly for a male black cat (and, of course, it also has the positive connotations of Lovecraft's intense affection for his own childhood pet of that name); but passages which are simply vicious toward various ethnic groups abound in his letters; somewhat less so in his essays; occur here and there in his poetry (see, e.g., his poem on Pancho Villa, or "New England Fallen" or "On a New-England Village Seen by Moonlight", let alone "De Triumpho Naturae" or "On the Creation of Niggers" mentioned in previous posts); they occur much less frequently in his stories, but are still notably present.

With the evidence so abundant concerning his views on such matters, there really is no room for subjectivity on whether this was really the case with the man; one either accepts an unpleasant truth or denies it to (frankly misguidedly) "protect" the image of a dead writer to whom the person feels an attachment. My suggestion to anyone who wishes to have an accurate view of the matter is to actually read his work -- not only the stories, but the verse, essays, and most especially the letters -- with open eyes. The evidence for his racism is overwhelmingly strong. Frankly, for all my admiration -- and even strong affection -- for the man in general, and my love and support of his work, I cannot understand why on earth people feel a need to whitewash this aspect of Lovecraft. No one feels such a compulsion when it comes to, say, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Edgar Allan Poe, C. J. Cutliffe-Hyne, John Buchan, J. Sheridan Le Fanu, or any one of hundreds of other writers who nonetheless have a reasonable to sizable following, a fair degree of critical attention, and a rather secure place in literary history. Lovecraft's racism does not threaten any of that, as his strengths rise above this issue. It continues to strike me very much as "fannish" behavior rather than an informed, thoughtful examination of a favored writer and their work... and, as I have said many times before, that sort of uncritical adoration (or hero-worship) does the man's reputation no good....
 
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#63
It still comes down to a matter of opinion.
And Racism can still be quite subjective.
I wouldn't say that I am blindly worshipping Lovecraft. But i think as an artist, you write how you feel.
For instance, I have a character that i perform, that is a black faced character. Those who do not know me, are quite shocked when they see. but the show airs in NY, and strangely enough its usually the white folks that are more offended.
So essentially it does come down to what an individual defines as racism.
For instance, isn't MTV racist in that they promote music that has no artistic integrity such as people like beyonce , jay z. They never show music by talented black artists. so that is a form of racism. so again this argument can be still be subjective.
 
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#64
No, I would argue that is not racism, simply poor (= undeveloped) taste, and catering to it... the same sort of thing which popular media has always done (again, cf. the penny dreadfuls, an enormous amount of the pulps, or the bulk of what ends up on the bestseller lists; films, popular music in general, etc.). That, combined with deals struck between artists/companies/distributors/promoters....

Racism, on the other hand, is defined as:

1. A belief of doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others. 2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon fostering such doctrine; dissemination. 3. hatred or intolerance of another race or races.
While obviously HPL was not a government or policy, he did support and even promote such policies in his letters and occasional essays. As for his own comments, you will find numerous examples of his belief in the inherent superiority of the white races over all others; the inherent inferiority of blacks and Australian aborigines (to the degree that he indicated he viewed them as very primitive forms of humanity on the evolutionary scale); that the white (specifically Anglo-Saxon) population had both a right and a duty to hold sway over the other "races"; and, when members of such a group impinged on him or were in reasonably close physical proximity (and often when they weren't, but were simply drawn to his attention), not infrequently voiced comments indicating both hatred and intolerance of these groups and/or individuals.

The idea that such behavior is not indicative of racism is, frankly, nonsense. I don't mean to be insulting here; I am not bashing you as a person. But such an idea, which flies entirely in the face of all the evidence, is simply an indication of how ridiculously far the concept of "relativistic values" and "everything is subjective" is taken these days. It is as reasonable to claim that slavery -- which Lovecraft continued to strongly feel should not have been ended! -- was only harmful to the slaves "in some cases" and that it all depends on your point of view. It is a total abandonment of any standard of judgment or comparison, despite the evidence of the very real consequences of such beliefs and/or actions.

As for performing in blackface... I must admit that I am surprised you haven't received a lot of trouble over this, given the tenor of the times; but that is a somewhat different matter. If the character is black, and the actor is white (or of a paler hue), then an artificial darkening of the skin is going to be necessary for such a role. The problem with blackface performances, originally, were twofold: the hiring of white actors to perform as blacks when there were plenty of black actors who could have taken the part; and the fact that many venues using blackface depicted such characters in an invidious, insulting, degrading, and derogatory style; not only degrading a particular character, but following stereotypes which degraded an entire ethnos, and building these well-known stereotypes into the characterization, helping to reinforce negative images of that ethnic group.

If one is performing their own show, rather than with a group of people, then blackface may be a requirement; and, as long as the second factor is not part of the performance, it may be in questionable taste (given the history of the practice), but it is not necessarily racist in any way.

What Lovecraft did, on the other hand, was overtly racist. His comments were quite often amazingly offensive and vile; enough, as I noted, to receive reprimands from those around him who were themselves very much of the racial views of the time. As for him being an artist who just expressed his feelings... even if one assumes that is entirely true, in what way does that exonerate a person from charges of holding or expressing racist views or being a racist? Isn't this precisely what constitutes such?

Again, I strongly urge you to actually read his own views on the subject before making any claims to the contrary. From the perspective of someone who had a tendency to dismiss such claims early on, and whose exposure to the facts regarding HPL and his own quite lucidly expressed opinions on such matters left with no choice but to come to the conclusion I have expressed several times above, I think that you will find little actual ground to support your claim.

Nor (as I have also repeatedly said) do I think such a defense of the man is either necessary or helpful in any way. He doesn't need it in order to maintain his status as one of the greatest writers in this field, and certainly one of the most influential; nor was he ever ashamed of his views, and would quite likely not have appreciated the contorted approaches necessary to exculpate him from the obvious conclusions of his own words.
 

dask

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#67
Quick question about one thing you said:

"As for him being an artist who just expressed his feelings... even if one assumes that is entirely true, in what way does that exonerate a person from charges of holding or expressing racist views or being a racist?"

I admit I'm a little confused. Isn't this like saying a person who writes murder mysteries is pro-crime?
 

pablo

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#68
I haven't yet delved deep into it, but I wonder if I Am Providence discusses this trait of Lovecraft's in any detail.
 
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#69
Quick question about one thing you said:

"As for him being an artist who just expressed his feelings... even if one assumes that is entirely true, in what way does that exonerate a person from charges of holding or expressing racist views or being a racist?"

I admit I'm a little confused. Isn't this like saying a person who writes murder mysteries is pro-crime?
By no means. To write about something may indicate an interest in it (it may also be done for many other motives, including anticipated financial rewards), but it in no way shows a person is in favor of such an activity, opinion, or policy. However, when one expresses one's feelings about a thing, and those expressions are favorable... that says something quite definite about their views on the matter. What Lovecraft did was very much the latter.

I haven't yet delved deep into it, but I wonder if I Am Providence discusses this trait of Lovecraft's in any detail.
As it played a fairly reasonably-sized part in the original, abridged version of the biography (inevitably, given its pervasiveness in Lovecraft's views on life and human interaction), I don't see how it could be any less present in the full version....

L. Sprague de Camp, for a long time, received criticism for how he handled this aspect of Lovecraft's thought, many saying he overemphasized or took things out of context. While de Camp's biography certainly has many faults (though it also has some seldom-mentioned virtues as well), having read HPL as thoroughly as I have over the years, I have to say that, in the main at least, this is an accusation Sprague did not deserve. In fact, de Camp often attempted to either explain or (in a sense) defend Lovecraft's views, given the latter's background, the views on such matters in that period, etc. In fact, Barry L. Bender, in his essay on Lovecraft's xenophobia, lumped de Camp in with those who were defenders of Lovecraft on this issue... which I also feel was taking Sprague's statements in that direction too far. Given the degree to which these views recur in Lovecraft's correspondence (as well as his other writings), I'd say that Sprague was attempting to deal honestly and in a balanced fashion with the matter, coming down slightly on the favorable side, as he certainly did not include some of Lovecraft's more blistering statements on the matter; many of which Derleth, Wandrei, & Co. left out of the Arkham Selected Letters, and which have only seen unexpurgated publication within the last 10-15 years....
 

Ningauble

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#70
What De Camp did what devote lots and lots of space to discussing Gobineau's theories, from which he claimed HPL got his racism -- something for which he presented no evidence.
 
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#71
What De Camp did what devote lots and lots of space to discussing Gobineau's theories, from which he claimed HPL got his racism -- something for which he presented no evidence.
True; that aspect of it was one of the major errors. But his discussion of HPL's racism itself (rather than its origins) was a bit more balanced than anything I recall seeing to that point. Dirk Mosig was, on this, a bit more of an apologist; while others had gone too far the other way. Unfortunately, this is a tendency which still exists far too often, with two divided camps each passionately arguing for their position, but not with too much emotional investment to argue from the facts, or apply an historical (or literary historical) perspective. Most Lovecraftian scholars these days have got past that, thankfully, and are able to take the facts in stride; but aside from this group, I'm afraid that division is still alive and kicking....
 

nigourath

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#72
J.D...you trully insist ,very stubornly ,that, the man was a racist.Listen,there is no naive "hero"-like defensive tendencies ,to many that defend him ,at that part of his cosmotheory-while,such readers exist,and i wouldn"t condemn them for that.

Have you met a racist ,ever in your life or considered and regard his arguments?a real racist ,j.d.,not a xenophobic,for examble.Well,let me say to you ,what is the single thing ,that is uniquely common to all racists and only to them:
it is the disregard of individuality ,the cancelling of a personality.A true racist ,j.d ,believes ,that an origin of an inferior content,shadows every other quality ,the race subjects possess.Every personal quality,or trait is completely unimportant,as to differentiate him/her,from his simblings.For examble,it is known,that germans during world war 2 ,and under the fascist regime ,did not send away ,to camps or exterminate readily,individuals ,that possesed certain talents,musical,scientific ,technical skills ,but manipulated these very gifted people,that they found ,during their expansion.But ,at the same time ,mocking at their origin,considering their skills ,a rare mishappen of nature,and when finally not having any more need of their skills,disposing them in their own classic,stereotypical way.Now,j.d,That was true racism,not the fear of someone changing the characters of your culture or determining your own fate,through unemployment.That is the core of racism,the absolute attack against individuality-and it doesn"t strike me as odd,that communistic regimes too,and ofcourse stalinism ,exterminated many ethnic subgroups or forced them to slavic conversion,...for the sake of the grand thing called ....equality.So, i am telling you to reconsider this thesis of yours ,about HPL, if you very firmly,believe you are doing justice to him............Because the man i described above in those lines,a relic in history-even if he breathes today-,certainly was not Lovecraft.....
 
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#73
nigourath: I enjoy your posts, and I have no problems with much of what you tend to say, however I may disagree with some of it. Over time I have seen some very thought-provoking ideas come from your direction, and I hope to see more. However, on this one I really to have to take issue with you.

Have I ever seen or known a racist? A "real" racist? I live in bleedin' Texas!!! I grew up just a few blocks from a KKK headquarters. The police in my home town largely belonged to the KKK. I saw race riots first-hand. While I personally didn't see any burning crosses, they weren't extinct in my neck-o'-the-woods. Lynchings didn't tend to happen, but sometimes things got pretty damn' close. And it was only in my senior year that we had any black students in my high school, a total of three... and those poor kids were scared out of their minds they were about to get jumped at any time... and they were given a lot of trouble, though so far as I know it never got to outright physical violence.

Have I ever known any true racists? Yes. More than I can count. I'm related to some of them, in fact. I know the syndrome quite well, thank you; and frankly the description you put out there as to what constitutes a racist is extremely reductionist and not accepted as the totality of what constitutes such in any venue I've ever encountered.

However, since you have given that description, let me take a moment to deal with it:

it is the disregard of individuality ,the cancelling of a personality.A true racist ,j.d ,believes ,that an origin of an inferior content,shadows every other quality ,the race subjects possess.Every personal quality,or trait is completely unimportant,as to differentiate him/her,from his simblings. it is the disregard of individuality ,the cancelling of a personality.A true racist ,j.d ,believes ,that an origin of an inferior content,shadows every other quality ,the race subjects possess.Every personal quality,or trait is completely unimportant,as to differentiate him/her,from his simblings.For examble,it is known,that germans during world war 2 ,and under the fascist regime ,did not send away ,to camps or exterminate readily,individuals ,that possesed certain talents,musical,scientific ,technical skills ,but manipulated these very gifted people,that they found ,during their expansion.But ,at the same time ,mocking at their origin,considering their skills ,a rare mishappen of nature,and when finally not having any more need of their skills,disposing them in their own classic,stereotypical way.Now,j.d,That was true racism,not the fear of someone changing the characters of your culture or determining your own fate,through unemployment.That is the core of racism,the absolute attack against individuality-and it doesn"t strike me as odd,that communistic regimes too,and ofcourse stalinism ,exterminated many ethnic subgroups or forced them to slavic conversion,...for the sake of the grand thing called ....equality.
Everything you describe here, Lovecraft supported at different points in his letters, and even to some degree in some of his essays. He made it quite clear in his letters to Kleiner, for one example, that an individual of any race who showed qualities which went against the stereotypes he held was, essentially, a statistical anomaly; individuals (such as William Stanley Braithwaite) would crop up from time to time which did not fit, but this was nothing more than a quirk of genetics. It did not alter the fact that, for example, blacks and Australian aborigines were, in his view, biologically inferior to all other portions of the species, almost a separate species in themselves. He repeatedly refers to them as something between the ape and human. Repeatedly. His view of the populace of India was not much better. ("The more one learns of India, the more one feels a desire to vomit.") He saw them as truly doomed if they ever got rid of the yoke of British colonialism. His view of Jews is, frankly, appalling; even with Samual Loveman, this was something he struggled with continually; he simply could not understand how someone like Loveman could be a Jew, and he frequently raised that query in his correspondence.

All this went far beyond the problems of acculturation or an adulteration of the culture he held dear. He made no bones about the fact he saw this as biological. True, he did use the cultural argument, but he almost always inevitably fell back on the issue of race as the root cause. The concept that his concern was just because of the clash of cultures has been exploded for more than a quarter of a century with those who have read his own words on the subject.

While he was unlikely to have ever voted for such measures, he did express that sort of hateful sentiment on various occasions. It took some serious jolts to get him to actually think about the cruelty and inhumanity of what was coming out of such sentiments, before he even began to let go of them... something he never managed to do entirely (though it is to his credit that he was modifying them toward the end of his life).

I repeat: if you're going to try to defend Lovecraft against this "charge", for pity's sake, read his own comments on this first! Read them carefully, without blinders on, without going into a knee-jerk defensiveness of an idolized figure (which really is the tone I'm seeing here). I am not insisting Lovecraft was a bad person. Anyone who has read my comments, or has followed my numerous posts around this place (let alone seen any of the things I've written on the man's work) knows how much of a fan I am of not only his work but the man himself. But... denying he was strongly racist is denying an entire range of Everests of evidence, not just a single mountain. No one I have ever met or read who has read his correspondence has ever come away with a different impression, no matter how much they dismissed it going in. This includes me, as I was one who originally defended him against this very thing... until I actually sat down and read what the man himself had to say on the topic.

Again and again, I urge anyone who wishes to debate this topic to please, please, please read the letters at least (the essays are examples of his public pronouncements on the issue, and less pervasive; but they are still there). Otherwise, you're approaching this from a position of ignorance of the facts, and that tends to mean a bias or even a "core belief" is in the driver's seat, not knowledge of the evidence; and that's no way to make a good case. And if you're really interested in thinking this through clearly, look at the critical work on the influence of this issue in his writing. The evidence is there, and it is, to put it midly, overwhelming. Any defense needs to take all that into account first, as there is one heck of a lot to explain away....
 

J Riff

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#74
I'm going to look into this, read the letters, and think about it, because in the face of the undeniable evidence that HP was racist, even for his time, the question is why?
Typically, racists are made in childhood. There's this bit of evidence and that re: HPL ...but did anything ever happen? An violent incident or conflict with any particular ethnic group? - he seemed to bash them all fairly equally- or did he just have the blinkers on, like a lot of people in them days.
We got our first black person at school in the sixties! Prior to that, the 'darkies' were little more than scary people in books about Africa.
 
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#75
I'm going to look into this, read the letters, and think about it, because in the face of the undeniable evidence that HP was racist, even for his time, the question is why?
Typically, racists are made in childhood. There's this bit of evidence and that re: HPL ...but did anything ever happen? An violent incident or conflict with any particular ethnic group? - he seemed to bash them all fairly equally- or did he just have the blinkers on, like a lot of people in them days.
We got our first black person at school in the sixties! Prior to that, the 'darkies' were little more than scary people in books about Africa.
That, it seems to me, is the more pertinent question. That he held these attitudes is undeniable if one reads his letters -- while I won't quite say they are "rife" with such statements, they crop up one heck of a lot; and some of them are quite cringe-worthy. The question is, why did HPL, an extremely intelligent, well-read man who did his best to keep up with what was going on in the sciences, absolutely refused to take on board anything which contradicted these ideas at the very time when they were being seriously called into question by the work of such as Franz Boas, and at a time when we were seeing the Harlem Renaissance?

So far as I know (though, as I am now reading the revised, expanded version of Joshi's biography, some new information may have come to light to alter this) there was no "incident" in his early life to create such a view. Nor has anyone quite come up with an explanation of where these came from, though there are clues. For one thing, if one reads the recorded statements of Lovecraft's father when he suffered the breakdown which resulted in his confinement, it is just possible that he had strongly racist views himself, and may have passed them (or the seeds of them) on to his son as early as age three. Then there is the fact that HPL did tend to latch onto ideas he came across in classical writings, or in writings of the 18th century, and hold onto them like a limpet until pried loose by overwhelming evidence. This may be such a case. But it may not have been such an old source, either; he was a supporter of Smith's The Color Line: A Brief in Behalf of the Unborn, dedicating his poem "De Triumpho Naturae" to Smith and showing the evident influence of Smith's ideas.

But for those interested, I'd suggest looking up Barry L. Bender's "Xenophobia in the Life and Work of Howard Phillips Lovecraft", for a start. While I think that, on occasion, Bender overstates the case in some ways, one of the advantages of this essay is that it culls many of the major statements from the Selected Letters volumes, which would make it easier to track them down rather than going through the 1000+ pages of the set just for this purpose. I would also suggest looking up Joshi's biography and reading it, as he deals with this issue at some length, arguing the pros and cons. I would also highly recommend reading Robert H. Waugh's The Monster in the Mirror: Looking for H. P. Lovecraft, which also (among other things) deals with the role of Lovecraft's racist views in his fiction, and how it informs some of the major tenets and recurring motifs there. One of the interesting things about this book is his tackling of the fund of "code words" HPL used -- terms and phrases which were in common usage in much writing of the time, and examining what they symbolized to the people of that time as culled from an extensive amount of reading not only of the fiction but also the social commentary and documents of that period. (It is also one of the richest examinations of the man's work to come down the pike in some time... which is saying considerable.)

As far as the letters... even in the early pages of the Letters to Rheinhart Kleiner, one encounters plenty of expressions of such views, sometimes with a tone which is almost smug as, for example, he recounts his reputation as an anti-Semite in high school.

But, to return to where I began with this post... the question as to why Lovecraft held these views and, more importantly, why he refused to let go of them in the face of contrary evidence, is more important, I think, than the mere fact that he held them. If this question can be answered with relative confidence, I think we'd know a great deal more about HPL than we are likely to conceive at this point....

As far as his holding such views, however, as I said many times above, I think that is much less important in the final analysis. It's a settled question among Lovecraftian scholars (and most general readers who are aware of his work) that he held such views, and held them strongly. But so did T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, H. L. Mencken, and a host of other canonical figures of literature. We can accept it with so many of them... so why the knee-jerk reaction to leap to HPL's defense here? Is his reputation really that tenuous? Is his hold on a place in literary history so fragile that it can't stand what these other figures have? I don't think so; I have more confidence in the man and his abilities than that. But I can't help but wonder if that sort of uncertainty may play a sizeable part in why there is still a controversy among readers (though not among scholars) on whether he held such views or not....
 

J Riff

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#76
It's going to take a while to find some of these- my book budget is near zero- but I have most of his writing, and I'm looking at 'At the Root' 1918 - which is fairly political to say the least.
War is normal, brute force rules. Man is a beast, thinly disguised.
Starting to think maybe he really didn't like human beings much at all.
In disillusioned diplomacy, ample armament, and universal military training alone will be found the solution of the world's difficulties.
This is a little bit heavier than simple racism, though he obviously thought Germans to be subhuman as well as most everyone else... 'The Trans-Rhenane monster.."

BTW JD I see Willie Nelson just got busted down there! Tsk.
 

Ningauble

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#77
This is a little bit heavier than simple racism, though he obviously thought Germans to be subhuman as well as most everyone else... 'The Trans-Rhenane monster.."
Only because of the Great War. Check out "The Crime of the Century", where he maintains that the Anglo-Saxons and Germans should team up against the Russkies instead of fighting each other.
 
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#78
Willie has been busted so many times none of us can keep count.... There are times I've almost felt it's part of his lifestyle......

Lovecraft had a coimplex view when it comes to humanity. He did frequently express contempt for the species as a whole, particularly when he was feeling in a sardonic or intensely satirical mood; or saw the predominance of something he viewed as idiotic, foolish, self-destructive, hypocritical, etc. (generally he was in the right concerning the particular practice or attitude, anyway).

On the other hand, he did recognize, within the human experience, the value of many aspects and issued statements supportive of humane treatment of each other, and tended to, not overlook, but attempt to understand, failings in various people when they were the subject of discussion.

However, over and above his contempt for humanity as a whole, he singled out particular groups for especial vituperation, and this was almost invariably loaded with racist epithets and/or references to their ethnicity as the basis of justification for such comments.

It would do well to recall, however, that the comments he made about the Germans there were made in the midst of tensions from the Great War, following news of some of the atrocities committed by the other side (our own took a bit longer to come out); and Lovecraft was prone to demonize the other side. His comments on other ethnic groups, however, extended beyond this; e.g., his reference to "the almost sub-human Russian rabble" in his essay "Bolshevism". This tone concerning Slavic people, of whatever origin, remained pretty much the same throughout his life, regardless of their political affiliations.

In general, he was rather supportive of Germany than otherwise, being very heavily a believer in the Aryan myth; this is one of the reasons he supported Hitler early on when it came to what HPL perceived as the intent of his policies (though he did not agree with many of those policies themselves; and in fact was, from what few indications we have, appalled when told about what was actually going on there at the end of his life).

(In this, incidentally, he resembles Hanns Heinz Ewers, who was a Nazi himself, and befriended by Hitler, yet who thoroughly disagreed with their genocidal policies, in fact aiding escapees where he could. In Ewers' case, it was a good thing for him that Hitler did like him and at least some of his writings, as otherwise he would most likely have been dead; the other high-ranking Nazi officials wanted him so....)
 

nigourath

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#79
Once again, excuse my delayed reply,i guess it is a frequent symptom of mine.J.D, i have noticed ,that, you live in Texas,hence the rhetoricallity of my question(Namely,"have you ever met a true racist?"),and mostly wanted to point out ,the difference between the theory about the racistic behaviour ,in what it consists of or if some behaviours are pre-racistic,prejudicive and such -and the practical, everyday pathogenicity of it,it's so called "social phenotype".

J.D,racism, as far as it"s definition is concerned ,is not a done deal and the main thing,that categorizes it and is widely accepted,is the notion of inferiority of certain races.Yet ,you could search and discover the variability of views,by certain sociologists and psycologists on the matter.Meaning ,that racism is a very deep problem,a very complicated issue ,having to do with common phycologic mechanisms ,existing in every man,yet a difficult thing to be accurately investigated or fully categorized...if you want ,i can provide you with some writers exambles(wait ,hasn"t S.T joshi written a piece about racism in U.S,haven"t read that ,though).So as far, as psycological mechanisms are concerned,racism is stll an ongoing investigation:what causes a man to believe in an other"s inferiority or/and his own superiority.

J.D,a spark of racism or pre-racism ,can be found in every society ,as much advanced, as it may be.For examble,it is widely accepted from the common mind , in both the europian countries and the u.s ,that Arabs are "Somehow Inferior" to the western races,and we don"t talk about government practice or nuclear weapons here,we are talking about cultural inferiority,religious muslim prejudice and ofcource the position of women.They are definitely considered "inferior people",by even the most intelligent part of the societies(but not all of it).Still,arab scientists and scholars are recognized by the west,especially those ,that resist to their countries propagandism.Could, that cultural arrogance, be interpreted as a racistic behaviour ,against the arabs or just as a pre-racistic symptom?Varying to the person it could be interpreted as one or the other,my personal opinion ,is that it is closer to the latter....

On the other hand ,Arabs, on their part,consider the westerners,as "infidels",un-enlightened and in that sense ,they ,Too,consider the westerners ,very much inferior.They are simply not the chosen ones ,they are despite their technological superiority,imperfect and un-worthy.Yet to call them racists, i believe would not do them justice.J.D ,racism is a word of a "heavy weight",and it certainly means a certain pathogenic phychologic involvement.So, all i am saying ,in fairly simple words here is ,that the cultural chasm, could create a pre-racistic condition ,it could create all the certain paramaters for the basis of racism to be founded,yet for racism -true racism not the theoretical one...-to be revealed A Definite Pathogenic phychological Process Must be involved.It is not my theory J.D,it is a serious field of phychiatry ,very much alive today!Please ,if you wish check it out,racism is not ,according to a certain expanded scientific view,an Ideological Pattern,yet it is associated with parameters of deprived or abnormal personality progression along with poor educational values.I don"t believe Lovecraft has proven to be such a case of person.Is that considered a knee-jerk reaction,J.d?......

Plz,plz check this out ,and if you really want some certain modern bibliography about it ,i can readily provide it (sorry for not remembering exact titles and names,from college years).You check that and yes ,you are certainly justified ,when you ask from all the readers ,to check Lovecraft"s personal correspodence ,in favor of any argument constructed(yes,yes i admit i haven"t been so thorough),and i will certainly do that as well.It is a logical, if not a necessary demand in a conversation like this,but there is one thing ,that i may still disagree with you-except the "so-called racism part"...

You say ,that being a racist doesn"t or souldn"t actually detract, anything from a great author ,as it has happened with many great authors ,that have shown certain idiosynracies- like sexual specificities or violent behaviour or habitational self-destructive urges .J.d,most of the great writers had some of those and of course these, more, contribute to their legend as writers ,than detract.I am fully agreed ,that these
shouldn't influence the general acclaim upon a writers work,but you must understand, that the same cannot be said about Racism.I repeat once more ,that racism is not to be put in the same level ,as those other specificities ,that may exist.It is Not an Idiosyncracy,it is Not an Ideological pattern-although it is being used or exploited as such...- and it is Not a simple cosmotheory or sentimental parameter.Plz, understand ,that it is above all a social and phychological Pathogenicity,it is a distinct personality disorder.I do not say ,that your own relatives ,that you refer to,are possibly such,on the contrary i say ,that they could be categorized as such ,except ,if they have revealed constantly unstable or degrading behaviour.By simply, considering a man or a race inferior does Not constitute Racism,because true racism requires certain behavioral patterns to be proven.Why?cause Considering another inferior or oneself superior only becomes an objective orientation ,when an appropriate action is clearly definable.......(and it always leads to such...)
 

Extollager

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2010
Messages
5,473
#80
Nigourath, I hope JDW will not feel obliged to reply to your recent posting. You have not followed up on his posting #73 on this thread (27 Nov.), and defenses of Lovecraft that do not show knowledge of his verbal behavior (spoken or written) are pretty pointless. I don't mean to offend you. And I know that nobody asked me to step in. But your discussion is occurring here, in a public forum, and I would like you to drop the subject until you have followed up on Jerry's entirely reasonable request.
 
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