Friday, October 06, 2006

And now, something completely different

Ezra Klein points us to an excellent analysis of the works of HP Lovecraft in the New York Review of Books.

The reviewer correctly identifies Lovecraft as an early progenitor of Geek Nation:

In other words, he was a nerd. He was a nerd on a grand scale, though— a heroic nerd, a pallid, translucent, Mallarméan nerd, a nerd who suffered for his art. His art consisted exclusively of conveying horror, and in this his range was encyclopedic. As a setting for his horror he built a whole world—a whole universe, with a time-span measured in eons—which others could happily continue furnishing indefinitely. His horrors themselves are, with a few unhappy exceptions, described loosely and suggestively enough that in effect they present a blank screen on which the reader can pro-ject whatever visual imagery is most personally unsettling. This explains the seeming paradox of an exceedingly bookish writer enjoying a legacy that is to a very large degree extraliterary. As a supplier of instruments for the cultivation of horror he was custom-tailored for the suggestible fourteen-year-old boy, and the number of fourteen-year-old boys—some of them chronologically rather older, a few of them even female—is continually on the increase.

And a Happy Cthulhu fhtagn to you and yours...

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