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Is Lovecraft A Good Writer?

w h pugmire esq

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#1
"...I unhesitatingly declare H. P. Lovecraft not merely a good writer but a great writer--great in his management of prose, great in his imaginative scope, great in the philosophical and aesthetic underpinnings of his fiction, and great in the effective construction of a tale that allows it to become so compellingly readable."
--S. T. Joshi (in his newest blog)

I've posted this quote in various places; and in one forum, to my dismay, it generated many comments, but almoft all of them discuss Lovecraft's racism rather than those aspects of his writing that convince people that HPL is a good or bad writer. Most of ye online discussions that dismiss HPL as a bad writer do not convince me--it is pointed out, falsely, that Lovecraft couldn't create convincing characters, that he was poor at dialogue, that his prose is overly purple, &c &c; none of which, from my recent study of the Work in my arcs of the Variorum edition (to be published in summer by Hippocampus Press), have much validity or truth.

S. T., in his playfully rude way, has this to say about those online critics: "...my own judgment (derived from reading a fair amount of the great literature in English, Latin, Greek, French, German, and other languages) is that this [ye final paragraph in "The Call of Cthulhu"] is not merely good prose; it is superb prose. I am getting to the point of thinking that anyone who doesn't think Lovecraft a fine prose writer is simply an ignoramus--someone who simply doesn't know anything about prose. It is as if you've put a dunce cap on your head and said to the world, 'I don't know the first thing about good writing.'"

Another blog, by Daniel Maccarthy from September 2013, also discusses this paragraph by Lovecraft:

"H. P. Lovecraft was capable of purple prose, but Peter Damien is wrong to call him a 'godawful writer.' The passage Sam Goldman provides in support of Damien's point actually proves the contrary. Read it out loud to yourself. It's poetry--absolutely lucid, rhythmically perfect:

"Cthulhu still lives, too, I suppose, again in that chasm of stone which has shielded
him since the sun was young. His accursed city is sunk once more, for the Vigilant
sailed over the spot after the April storm; but his ministers on earth still bellow
and prance and slay around idol-capped monoliths in lonely places. He must have
been trapped by the sinking whilst within his black abyss, or else the world would
by now be screaming with fright and frenzy. Who knows the end? What has risen
may sink, and what has sunk may rise. Loathsomeness waits and dreams in the
deep, and decay spreads over the tottering cities of men. A time will come--but I
must not and cannot think! Let me pray that, if I do not survive this manuscript,
my executors may put caution before audacity and see that it meets no other eye."

"This is artful writing, and if it's melodramatic, that's only appropriate to the genre. Lovecraft thinks carefully about sound, rhythm, and the meaning of his words; not a syllable is wasted here. A paragraph like the one above is packed with literary devices that enhance the reader's enjoyment and even the meaning of the text, without drawing too much attention to themselves--ars celare artem. Consider:

"1.) Consonance, assonance, and internal rhyme:
since the sun was young. His accursed city is sunken.
"All the sibilance is signigicant--air is leaking out from something; Cthulhu hisses in his slumber; it's the sound of Satan snoring.
idol capped monoliths in lonely places.
"Note not only the internal rhyme but also the 'I' and 'n' sounds gliding around the key syllables: -ol, -nol, -lon. Mournful, desolate sounds.
caution before audacity

"2.) Alliteration:
whilst within his black abyss, or else the world would by now be screaming with
fright and frenzy.
"Here, too, there's more: alliterative "by" and "be," the rhyming "be" with "screaming."

"3.) The only awkward line in the paragraph is awkward for effect: an emdash and then a struggle for expression "--but I cannot think!'

"4.) Imagery augmented by rhyming recollection:
his ministers on earth still bellow and prance and slay . . . Le me pray
"Very artful, since 'pray' here may mean only 'ask' or more even loosly 'hope,' yet it can't escape its religious connotation. To what or whom does our protagonist pray, and what of use is it to pray when Cthulhu's ministers, not praying meekly but bellowing and prancing, slay?

"Imagery--unseeing/unseen:
Let me pray that, if I do not survive this manuscript, my executors may put
caution before audacity and see that it meets no other eye.
"Note the cinematic effect whereby Lovecraft closes with a concrete noun--an organ, an eye. It's a close-up. The executors will 'see' that this 'other eye' doesn't see the manuscript. The resonance of a 'thing unseen' recalls Cthulhu himself 'within his black abyss' and the 'chasm of stone which has shielded him since the sun was young.' The paragrah begins and ends with life bereft of illumination.
"These are just the more obvious effects Lovecraft has written into a seemingly simple expository paragraph. The sound is deliberate, painstakingly layered, musical, economical. It takes great skill to get that much poetry into clear prose."

It is my belief that most of the wankers who yell that H. P. Lovecraft is a bad writer are Americans, but of this I am uncertain. Lovecraft's stories continue to be a world-wide phenomenon, more popular than ever before, and his Work will certainly outlast the moronic rantings of his detractors.

I post this thread with an idea in the back of my head that most people are growing bored with discussions of Lovecraft and his work; so many people are complaining of being utterly "done" with Lovecraft's fiction, but I wonder how much of his fiction these people have actually read, and when they last actually visited the fiction. However, discussions of Lovecraft's work such as ye above continue to be a rarity on ye Internet, where almoft all the "talk" remains centered on Lovecraft's racism.
 

J Riff

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#2
But, would HPL be so outspoken and racist if he lived now, here, today? Maybe. A lot of people are, but they can't say anything publically anymore. So really, a non-issue. He was nothing unusual for his time, end discussion.
The writing, however, as stated, is fabulous. Always loved falling into his stories because they are invisibly well-written.
Great writer, anyone doesn't see that probably doesn't read so good. )
 

Toby Frost

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#3
I think it’s almost impossible to say whether Lovecraft was a great writer or even a good one. I think he was exceptional at doing what he did – most particularly, the Cthulhu Mythos stories. To use a naff phrase, he “made that genre his own”. Now, I appreciate that he did other things, but I don’t think that helps much, because for better or worse, he is Mr Cthulhu Mythos, in the same way that Nick Cave is not known for his tender love songs, although they exist.

As for close textual analysis, I agree that the end of "The Call of Cthulhu" is good. It has an imposing, end-of-symphony quality that suits the style of the story and rounds it off very well. And it is well-written in itself. But the story is so much Lovecraft’s that it’s impossible to imagine it being much different. If you gave the outline of CoC to, say, Mervyn Peake, Daphne du Maurier or even M.R. James, the product would be totally different, perhaps worse, perhaps better, but nothing like the result there. And Lovecraft’s prose suits the story better than theirs would have done, I think. But Lovecraft couldn’t have written Titus Groan or Rebecca (at least recognisably and, I think, successfully), and that takes me onto my feeling that those authors have more interest in, and more to say about, the world than Lovecraft did.

For me, Lovecraft lacks something to be truly great. I think it’s a reluctance to engage with the “real” world, even if he is going to condemn it or put monsters in it: I do think that his characters are thin and his dialogue bad, although they were not always awful and he was capable of more sympathy with other people than he’s often credited as having. If he is in something of a dead end as a writer (and he may not have stayed in one had he lived longer) he occupied a niche so distinct that comparing him to anyone else is very difficult. So I’d have to duck the question, and say that while his work can’t be objectively proved to be great, there are very good reasons to like it.
 

Extollager

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#4
This thread deserves thoughtful responses. If it's going to get them, we'll need to proceed on the assumption that it is out of bounds to say that "It's all a matter of taste anyway, what some people like, other people don't like, you should just read what you like and leave it to self-appointed elitists to legislate what hoi polloi should like," etc., etc.

Agreed?

If so, there's hope for the discussion. I've run into the type of attitude that I have tried to suggest by the quoted remark again and again.

If good writing is not just a matter of taste, then let's put Lovecraft aside just for a bit and see if we can agree on some theses. I offer the following to get the ball rolling.

1.By the term good writing, we do not mean to imply that one literary style is suited to all purposes or audiences. George Orwell commanded a style really well suited to his journalism. It would not do to rewrite Huckleberry Finn in Orwell's style. One would lose much!

Good writing is more than style, but, to stick with style for a moment: style should be suited to the literary occasion. For example, the breathless pace, the meter and the rhyming of "The Tunning of Elinor Rumming"

http://www.luminarium.org/editions/elynour.htm

are well suited to evoke mirth over the depiction of these boozy peasant broads. Conversely, to use the same style for a poem to commemorate the 3000 dead of 9/11 would be grotesque and even offensive.

2.Some writings are suited for reading aloud, some not so much. Do we agree that, for literature in general, the read-aloud test is appropriate? A work should gain in esteem -- should it not? -- if it is read aloud well. (Conversely, for non-literary situations, such as auto instruction manuals, read-aloud satisfactions are not important.)

Question: What, if any, would be examples of literary occasions in which reading aloud would be irrelevant?
 

Toby Frost

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#5
Yes, and I wouldn't want to write off the argument as "it's a matter of taste". To answer your questions:

1. Yes, definitely.

2. That's an interesting test. Hmm... I can't see why it wouldn't work. I suppose the effect of reading out loud would depend on the piece, but yes, if read out loud, the writing should have the effect that the writer intended. And I think Lovecraft's stories would pass that test.

3. Assuming that we're talking about fiction, the only examples (I can think of) of books that don't fit the reading aloud test are those written strangely - take the bad spelling in the Molesworth books, which is done as a joke - or where the book resembles another piece of writing that you wouldn't read aloud (the similarity to an exam paper in 1066 and All That). But both of these are using their layout as a sort of special effect, like the spacing in an e e cummings poem, and are parodies to a certain extent.

My feeling is - going on the writing of Lovecraft's that I know, namely the Cthulhu mythos stories and the dream stories, is that his style was well-suited to what he was doing: a sort of gothic, epic weird horror. I think he had not just a particular sort of dense, almost operatic writing but a kind of conviction. I think it's a combination of the skillful earnestness of his prose, and the intensity of the ideas, perhaps because he was writing about places that he liked and concepts that genuinely disturbed him. I sometimes forget that he didn't actually believe in Cthulhu, which I mean as a compliment. He may not have liked all his own work, but the best of it seems to be powered by a kind of certainty in what he was saying, the way that 1984 is, or the good Stephen King novels*.

What he lacks, I think, is an interest in individual people. I think characters that are engrossing as individuals are one of the things that have to be ticked off the list for a book to be perfect. A great writer can write a great book without strong characters, but that book would almost certainly be better with them included. On a practical level, it helps a horror writer for readers to identify with the characters because they won't want them to die: I'm not sure that Lovecraft ever did this with a character as an individual (obviously, I wouldn't want any of his protagonists to die, but that's as much because they represent mankind in general rather than them being particularly appealing people in themselves).

But again, would Lovecraft be "himself" as much if he wrote convincingly about family life, or people trying to make ends meet? It would lose some of the intensity of his stories, and I think that takes us back to conviction again.

By the way, it's very windy here, and the rusty swings in the local park are making a high-pitched creaking noise as they blow back and forth. I can't help but think of Azathoth's flautists!


*Random thought: 1984 is obviously "about something". But 'Salem's Lot is "about something", in a looser way, and so are, say, "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" and "The Call of Cthulhu". Does a story need an underlying theme or concept to be great, rather than just the intention to entertain?
 

willwallace

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#6
I first discovered Lovecraft as a preteen and was enthralled with the imagery his stories invoked. Some forty plus years later they still have that same power. While I didn't know of his racist views as a child, I don't think you can critique his books based on what he wrote in private letters, however deplorable they may be.
I see his stories as allegories to the darkness always lurking just out of sight. We can keep the evil at a distance but it's never defeated, only biding its time, waiting for the next opportunity. That's how I'm sure he felt about himself.
To say he's not a great writer is simply wrong in my humble opinion.
 

J Riff

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#7
People may have trouble with the older 'style' of writing, that's all. They should try CAS, or perhaps just not bother reading any weird fiction at all. The definition of great is suspect anyhoo, since S. King is probably listed as such and I can't stand that kind of writing.
 

BAYLOR

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#8
At creating suspense , unease and and interesting horror concepts , Lovecraft is a master. But he was not terribly good at character development. The people in history seemed rather on edimensional.
 
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w h pugmire esq

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#9
I disagree that HPL was not good at character development. His characters are perfect for their function in the narratives, and they remain some of the most fascinating, compelling characters in all weird fiction. With just a few strokes, Lovecraft creates persons that are so odd, so intriguing, that further character development would have been an error, would have added absolutely nothing to the story. What more need we know of Wilbur Whateley? He is an amazing creation, and has yet to be successfully portrayed on film. The hints that tell what we learn of his mother's biography are enough to suggest aspects of her life that are tragic as well as horrifying. Lovecraft's tales, as he told them, are exactly right and cannot be improved upon, with some few poor exceptions (and even those exceptions, such as "The Dreams in the Witch House," are tales that I can still return to and enjoy.
 

Extollager

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#10
About Lovecraft's characters -- I think a defense of them based on the premise that they are suited to their function in the narratives is probably the best approach for Lovecraft's advocates to take. Their function is usually similar to that of the protagonists of M. R. James's stories -- to provide a viewpoint character so that the story can happen, with that character knowing enough to be able to explain the supporting details of old books and the like. The motive for characters by both authors is typically curiosity -- which parallels the reader's curiosity. Lovecraft does often add the suggestion that the protagonist is providing en explanation for why he should not be considered insane or culpable, but in the actual telling of the story this element is really faint. Lovecraft never, for example, brings in an antagonist character who cross-examines the protagonist, endeavoring to expose the latter's guilt or madness. HPL is really not very interested in dramatizing such situations; he may set them up to help get the story rolling but his interest is elsewhere, the building of atmosphere and a plot leading up to a shattering moment. Occasionally he employs a variation in which the narrator learns that he himself is rooted in the horrible revelation, i.e. he's descended from a human-ape union or a human-Innsmouthite union, etc.

Lovecraft's tendency to rely on scholars or antiquarians of independent means as protagonists does, I think, undercut his much-ballyhooed ability to suggest the Terrifying Deceptiveness of What We Take to Be Reality. His characters may be contrasted with those of Phil Dick. In the stories of the latter, the revelation that Things Are Very Much Not What They Seem can come to anyone -- say a TV repairman, a cop, a real estate developer, what have you. (I'm not thinking of particular stories.) With Lovecraft, I have the sense that he's typically telling basically the same story again and again, and the sameness of his protagonists is a reason for this. I'd simply ask those inclined to fly to HPL's defense: In your memory, how distinct are these various characters? Who are the most interesting ones? Do they seem to you to have lives apart from their stories?

So that's one point that perhaps someone will want to comment on.

As I've said before, judged by the criterion of rereading over the years, Lovecraft is one of my favorite authors. I began to read him in 1969 and have kept on revisiting stories by him from time to time. But I've almost never been "scared" by one of his stories, unless I have forgotten something. The thinness of the evocation of character, the artificiality of the style, and so on... He's been a writer whom I read for fun, like I used to read Edgar Rice Burroughs and still read H. Rider Haggard.

However, the "idea of Lovecraft" -- the cosmos haunted by strange powers active in earth's past and manifest in rural New England and Antarctica -- has had something of a "mythic" quality. But that's a topic for another posting.
 
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Extollager

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#11
Well, perhaps #10 above will be unanswered.

Back to style. At times, Lovecraft writes not very differently from this:

At the age of six, Sir John, abhorring the advice of his many friends to procure for him a tutor, had him sent to Canterbury High School, where he remained for a period of five years as boarder, under the careful charge of Professor Smeath, a man of the highest literary attainments, and whose exemplary training of the many youths placed under his august rule was so pronounced as to leave no room for doubt in the minds of the many parents who intrusted their respective charges to him. Each week during this period found Sir John a visitor at Canterbury; he gave every instruction necessary to Professor Smeath that would serve to interest his son in any way, and strictly prohibited him from allowing any outsider whatever, male or female, an interview with his boy, always treating with dread the wily ways of her who claimed to be once his partner, and who had brought a shower of everlasting shame upon himself and child. This order had only to be issued once to the stern professor carrying out on all possible occasions any one hundred and forty-four instructions received from the parents of the pupils under his control with unflinching and undeniable reliance.
During these five years of Hugh Dunfern’s instruction at Canterbury, Sir John was seen to gradually grow careless and despondent. The healthy glow of youth disappeared daily since domestic affliction entered his home, and wrote its living lines of disgust with steady hand on the brow which was now thickly marked with them. He got too much time to meditate on the immediate past, which was considerably augmented by the absence of his son.
He was known to sit for hours at a time in deep and painful thought, and it was only when aroused by Madam Fulham that he ever cared to stir from his much-frequented couch of rest; she whom he appointed housekeeper in Rachel Hyde’s stead, and who acted as well mother to his little son until removed to school—she extended him every attention, of which he stood in great need, after his severe attack of illness and trial, bodily and mentally.

---The author is Irene McKittrick Ros and the book is Irene Iddesleigh. This Irish author has been cherished for what Ursula Le Guin has called, referring to another author, the impeccable badness of her style. The passage exhibits some of the characteristics adduced above with regard to Lovecraft.
 

Toby Frost

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#12
Ouch. I wouldn’t say that Lovecraft’s prose is that bad, but it’s certainly in that sort of style, and a parody of it would probably look a lot like the paragraph you’ve quoted. Personally, I see Lovecraft’s prose as a sort of remnant from a style popular between (roughly) 1850 and 1900, but that’s a guess. I wonder how he’d compare to other American writers of that time?

There is definitely a problem with Lovecraft’s heroes: they tend to be just a lens (tinted by neurosis and academia) through which to observe the story – as Sandy Petersen once put it, to peel away the layers of the onion and find the horrible centre. I think the stories where the protagonist has a secret past gain a lot from it: partly because it introduces a new type of horror (inbreeding, basically) and because it gives a bit more individuality to the person telling the story (for what it’s worth, I think "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" is one of the best, partially for this reason and partially for the action scene in the middle).

Although I dislike admitting it, I think you’re right in saying that Lovecraft was either telling or wanted to tell the same story over and over again, at least in the Cthulhu Mythos stories. Small strange incidents lead to larger, more threatening ones, which lead to a discovery that horrifies because it shows how powerless mankind is. And sometimes it works better than others, perhaps because some stories carry more conviction than others. So, I think "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" feels a bit straightforward and pedestrian, whereas "At The Mountains of Madness" has a convincing craziness to it. There’s a tendency in some of the weaker stories, I feel, to tell the reader that something is terrible and expect them to simply agree: the dark hints at shadow-haunted somewhere or the blasphemous tome of X sometimes work, but only in the sense that they make the stories more gothic, not more scary* (an interesting contrast might be the deliberate blandness of the setting in Anne River Siddons’ The House Next Door, which I find genuinely frightening because it has no shadows at all). But that probably isn’t (entirely) HPL’s fault: Rob Zombie and The Addams Family and so on have made that sort of “spooky” background feel a bit flat and campy. There’s also the problem that it’s hard to imagine what is actually in the dread tomes that could cause so much horror – wouldn’t you just decide that the author was talking complete nonsense instead of going half-mad with fear? But that’s probably just me.

I have only found Lovecraft frightening a couple of times, and they both relate to “action scenes”: the escape from the hotel in "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" and the adventures of Akeley before his “change” in "The Whisperer in Darkness". This is odd, because he seems to have shied away from action, but the direct jeopardy of the characters is well done, I think. It’s easier to be afraid for one man being hunted by yokels or alien bugs than for the sanity of all mankind, as revealed to a professor in a book. Sometimes, Lovecraft is straight-out disgusting, usually where inbreeding is concerned: "Arthur Jermyn", "Innsmouth" and the culmination of "The Rats in the Walls", which is really nasty, perhaps all the more so for its mannered prose (oh, and "The Loved Dead", unsurprisingly). And once in a while, he hits on a genuinely creepy image: the “cattle” in Exham Priory, the wax-headed man in Herbert West. But is his work supposed to be frightening in that way at all? I think many of the stories strive for a kind of awe, a sense of bigness as much as terror.

*Although the phrase “Bringing strange joy to Yuggoth” has stuck in my mind as being both absurd and sinister at once, and there’s a great description that Old Castro brings of the world under Cthulhu.
 

Extollager

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#13
I would like to get back to Toby Frost's thoughtful posting (#12 above) soon. Right now, I am working on what's turned into an essay on "The Mythopoeic Gift of H. P. Lovecraft," which I will post to start a new thread. I'd like to thank Wilum for starting this thread, which has been the occasion of my (at last) coming to grips with how it is that Lovecraft has stuck with me for so many years despite my criticisms of his philosophy, characterization, and style.
 

Extollager

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#15
[QUOTE="Toby Frost, post: 1895371, member: 20610]Although I dislike admitting it, I think you’re right in saying that Lovecraft was either telling or wanted to tell the same story over and over again, at least in the Cthulhu Mythos stories.[/QUOTE]

The "mythopoeic quality" may be almost free of narrative. In the "Mythopoeic Gift" essay, I try to get at this a bit.
 

Extollager

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#16
I have only found Lovecraft frightening a couple of times, and they both relate to “action scenes”: the escape from the hotel in "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" and the adventures of Akeley before his “change” in "The Whisperer in Darkness". This is odd, because he seems to have shied away from action, but the direct jeopardy of the characters is well done, I think. It’s easier to be afraid for one man being hunted by yokels or alien bugs than for the sanity of all mankind, as revealed to a professor in a book. Sometimes, Lovecraft is straight-out disgusting, usually where inbreeding is concerned: "Arthur Jermyn", "Innsmouth" and the culmination of "The Rats in the Walls", which is really nasty, perhaps all the more so for its mannered prose (oh, and "The Loved Dead", unsurprisingly). And once in a while, he hits on a genuinely creepy image: the “cattle” in Exham Priory, the wax-headed man in Herbert West. But is his work supposed to be frightening in that way at all? I think many of the stories strive for a kind of awe, a sense of bigness as much as terror.
I think Lovecraft did want to scare readers horrify them, even nauseate them, at times, but in some of his remarks on what he was trying to achieve, he said things that would tend to confirm your concluding remark.
 

Extollager

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#17
Over at the thread on "The 'Mythopoeic Gift' of H. P. Lovecraft," Wilum said, "the idea that Lovecraft's style and characterization are generally defective, which is a false perception."

These topics came up here, and it seems there is room for more discussion of them.

I'll say, briefly, that Lovecraft may have had more than one style -- in late stories such as At the Mountains of Madness he surely is a better writer than in, say, "The Lurking Fear." Does anyone want to defend the proposition that he is an equally accomplished author throughout his career? What makes his style effective in his best-written stories, then, if there is indeed a variation in quality to be seen in his work?

As for characterization, I'd argue that it can be shown to be defective in a number of stories in which the situation is that the narrator's sanity is supposedly in question, but HPL has asserted this without convincingly dramatizing it. Also, he tends, it seems to me, to write with basically the same narrator repeatedly; from story to story, his characters are recurrent Lovecraft types, as I said above (http://www.sffchronicles.com/threads/551713/#post-1895156). This repetitiveness may enhance a deficient sense of reality the more of his work one reads at a time. In his letters, Lovecraft may be seen to enjoy the differences between his friends, but this doesn't make its way into his stories. I think the effectiveness of a multi-character story such as Mountains could have been enhanced if the explorers were more fully distinguished.

I'd be interested if someone wanted to nominate, say, three mature Lovecraft stories that he or she sincerely believes to exhibit skillful characterization with no need for special pleading....
 

lynnfredricks

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#18
In my opinion, a great author is one who has a body of work that provides significant insight or inspiration that transcends the limitations of the times in which it was created - a writer of true literary works. I run into difficulty when it comes to great works within a specific, identifiable "vertical" genre, such as horror, science fiction, mystery, or the like. Maybe I should identify the two types as "authors" and "writers". There is significant overlap between the two; it is possible to have a foothold in both literary worlds.

As an example - look at Bram Stoker's Dracula. It has all the gothic horror elements you could want, and you can dub Bram Stoker as a great horror writer. Dracula also has some great literary elements in it. For me, its not quite enough to drag it kicking and screaming into "great author" territory, but they are present. On the other hand, you have stories from Hawthorne or Poe which have genre elements of horror, yet they provide insight or inspiration in spades - they are great authors. HPL I see more as a "great writer" rather than a "great author".
 

BAYLOR

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#19
In my opinion, a great author is one who has a body of work that provides significant insight or inspiration that transcends the limitations of the times in which it was created - a writer of true literary works. I run into difficulty when it comes to great works within a specific, identifiable "vertical" genre, such as horror, science fiction, mystery, or the like. Maybe I should identify the two types as "authors" and "writers". There is significant overlap between the two; it is possible to have a foothold in both literary worlds.

As an example - look at Bram Stoker's Dracula. It has all the gothic horror elements you could want, and you can dub Bram Stoker as a great horror writer. Dracula also has some great literary elements in it. For me, its not quite enough to drag it kicking and screaming into "great author" territory, but they are present. On the other hand, you have stories from Hawthorne or Poe which have genre elements of horror, yet they provide insight or inspiration in spades - they are great authors. HPL I see more as a "great writer" rather than a "great author".
Stoker wrote several other novels that have been pretty much forgotten.
 

Extollager

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#20
Welcome to Chrons, Lynnfredricks! Your first message at Chrons is thoughtful and provocative, and I'd like to see more development thereof. I think I mostly agree with you, but maybe you could elaborate?
 

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