There are few greater examples of the alchemy of pulp fiction than the tales of H.P. LOVECRAFT (1890-1937), the weird uncle overlord of the twentieth century horror story. Working with the febrile sensations and adjectival miasma that pervade the lowbrow lit of the time, Lovecraft crafted a body of work that expressed, in the midst of its writhing Poe-faced cephalopodic thrashings, a new quality of the cosmic imagination. He called it outsideness, a stark vertigo in the face of a cosmos utterly hostile to human meanings — including traditional images of evil. This appropriately “nameless” cosmic dread was the affective and visionary expression of Lovecraft’s own pitiless and misanthropic philosophical materialism, which peels back the religious mask of the sublime to discover the meaningless bio-physical clockwork that modernity installed in the rotting corpse of the old enchanted universe — that very cosmos whose uncanny afterimages continue to compose the core material of fantasy. As if that weren’t enough, Lovecraft also deployed the productive referentiality of meta-fiction in order to create a virtual gamespace — the so-called Cthulhu Mythos — whose infection of the collective imaginary has brought his pulp visions to a half-life impervious to the in-jokes (like Cthulhu plushies) we might throw at them to keep them at bay.
In 2012, HiLoBooks serialized and then republished (in gorgeous paperback editions, with new Introductions) five forgotten Radium Age science fiction classics! Five more titles will be serialized and published in 2013. For more info: HiLoBooks.
READ MORE ABOUT: HiLoBooks homepage! | What is Radium Age science fiction? | Radium Age Supermen | Radium Age Robots | Radium Age Apocalypses | Radium Age Telepaths | Radium Age Eco-Catastrophes | Radium Age Cover Art (1) | SF’s Best Year Ever: 1912 | Radium Age Science Fiction Poetry | Enter Highbrowism | Bathybius! Primordial ooze in Radium Age sf | War and Peace Games (H.G. Wells’s training manuals for supermen) | J.D. Beresford | Algernon Blackwood | Edgar Rice Burroughs | Karel Čapek | Buster Crabbe | August Derleth | Arthur Conan Doyle | Charlotte Perkins Gilman | Hermann Hesse | Aldous Huxley | Inez Haynes Irwin | Alfred Jarry | Jack Kirby (Radium Age sf’s influence on) | Gaston Leroux | David Lindsay | Jack London | H.P. Lovecraft | A. Merritt | Maureen O’Sullivan | Sax Rohmer | Paul Scheerbart | Upton Sinclair | Clark Ashton Smith | E.E. “Doc” Smith | Olaf Stapledon | John Taine | H.G. Wells | Jack Williamson | Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz | S. Fowler Wright | Philip Gordon Wylie | Yevgeny Zamyatin
On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: | Jack Teagarden |
READ MORE about members of the Modernist Generation (1884–93).