Thursday, November 04, 2004

Lovecraft v. God

Here's a fairly reasonable account of H.P.'s skepticism by Fortean Times (it's as if the Vatican published a defense of abortion).

By the sane to somewhat sane reports, Lovecraft created the Cult of Chthulu as a parody of Christianity and found all forms of religion to be silly at best. Still, he appreciated the concept of religion as a form of local color--imagining cathedrals in Montreal, voodoo in Haiti, and God knows what down in Texas. Like a snobbish speech instructor's views on slang and accents, he wanted it the hell away from him but liked the idea of strange beliefs being practiced in far away lands (and in Lovecraft's case that could be anywhere outside of New England).

During a time when it can be hard to have good feelings about religion, it's refreshing to think that even the worst cult can be the source of artistic inspiration. I can't say that I'm a fan of Lovecraft's style (he comes off as the Book of Mormon on acid) but his overall creativity and invention inspired many writers, most notably Robert Bloch.

Of course, the lunatics believe that Lovecraft was a journalist and his Old Ones are still lurking in the darkness. (Okay, maybe it's not so loony but it still takes away from Lovecraft's achievements.)

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