14 votes

What can be gleaned from Lovecraft's usage of the words "obscene" and "blasphemous"?

The central theme of Lovecraftian horror is that the rest of the universe beyond our flat little neighborhood is so alien as to be practically incomprehensible to us, often in ways that are harmful to ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 684
11 votes
Accepted

Does the Abrahamic God exist in the Cthulhu Mythos?

Not in the mythos as Lovecraft conceived it It is hard to prove a negative: there is no categorical statement in Lovecraft's oeuvre that definitively rejects the Abrahamic God. Even if there was, ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
  • 22k
9 votes

Narration: Who speaks in ''At the Mountains of Madness''?

‘At the Mountains of Madness’ consists of a main narrative into which eight shorter narratives are embedded. The narrator of the main story is a geologist, the leader of the Miskatonic University ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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9 votes

"The dog gives but the cat is." What does it mean?

Think about how we normally think about cats and dogs. Dogs, we think of as loyal, always there - man's best friend. We throw the ball, they run to fetch. We call, they come. We ask, they do. The dog ...
auden's user avatar
  • 4,742
9 votes
Accepted

What qualifies something as "Lovecraftian"?

To quote Wikipedia: Lovecraftian horror is a subgenre of horror fiction that emphasizes the cosmic horror of the unknown (and in some cases, unknowable) more than gore or other elements of shock, ...
auden's user avatar
  • 4,742
8 votes
Accepted

What does sentence mean from "Literary Composition" by Lovecraft?

This is about subject-verb agreement: when the subject is singular, so should the main verb be; when the subject is plural, then the verb should be in plural form. (Of course, this only applies to ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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7 votes

Why, in "Dagon" by Lovecraft does the narrator say that the readers will "never fully realize"?

It's a literary device, leveraging the reader's imagination to increase the horror. Many of the most effective horror stories work by leveraging the reader's imagination rather than describing ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

What kind of "portable telephone" does H. P. Lovecraft write about in his letter to August Derleth?

Two phones connected by wires - it's hard to say much more than that. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Lovecraft turned this nightmare into one of his short stories, "The Statement of Randolph Carter". If you ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.3k
5 votes

"The dog gives but the cat is." What does it mean?

It might be clearer if you reorganise the passage a little. The dog gives "meaningless affection, aimless companionship, and flattering attention and subservience". The cat is "[an] objective sight ...
Evene's user avatar
  • 51
5 votes

How do I get started with the Cthulhu mythos?

To start getting involved, I would read the original author's works before moving onto anyone else. The Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft frequently appears as a free download for Kindle. If you ...
Chenmunka's user avatar
  • 2,307
5 votes
Accepted

How to interpret "body that leaned stiffly" in H. P. Lovecraft's "Azathoth"?

The English text says that the protagonist lives in a room whose one window opened […] on to a dim court […]. From that casement one might see only walls and windows, except sometimes when one ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 55.2k
5 votes
Accepted

What is the meaning of this sentence from "Polaris" by Lovecraft?

The protagonist here is saying that he cannot prove that the reality that he has used to - his normal life - is more real than this other reality of the marble city. He says "...for by what means can ...
Mithical's user avatar
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5 votes
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How are old horror short stories classified?

Most of the authors you list belong to a genre known as Weird Fiction. The Wikipedia article on the genre has four out of the five authors you name under its list of notable contributors and names Poe ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
  • 22k
5 votes

Do any recordings of H P Lovecraft, or descriptions of his style of speaking, exist?

Jason C Eckhardt's essay "The Cosmic Yankee" contains (especially pp 87-90) some remarks on Lovecraft's speech and accent. He quotes Lovecraft: My speech is simply the ordinary literate ...
Stuart F's user avatar
  • 729
4 votes

Where exactly did Colin Wilson describe Lovecraft as one of the pioneers of the "assault on rationality"?

Colin Wilson's book The Strength to Dream: Literature and the Imagination (which you found) has an entire chapter entitled "The Assault on Rationality", in which Lovecraft features ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.3k
3 votes

Clarifying a line from “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”

Taking this complex sentence piece by piece: Results, I am certain, are so thorough that... I'm not entirely sure how to interpret "Results", but it seems more likely to be a noun (plural, ...
bobble's user avatar
  • 9,705
2 votes
Accepted

What does "laconic atmosphere" mean here?

Laconic: using or involving the use of a minimum of words : concise to the point of seeming rude or mysterious So basically, it's indicating this piece doesn't require a lot of words to express ...
Sean Duggan's user avatar
  • 10.5k
1 vote

"The dog gives but the cat is." What does it mean?

Normally ‘is’ (like other forms of ‘to be’) expects a complement after it, like “The cat is quiet”. The complement can be implicit from context, like “The dog isn’t quiet, but the cat is.” But ‘is’ ...
Peter LeFanu Lumsdaine's user avatar

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