He Ghost Wrote A Story For Harry Houdini
You can't escape from his gaze
In a case of just total randomness, one of Lovecraft's first major writing jobs was being commissioned to ghost-write an allegedly true story about Harry Houdini escaping from Egyptian kidnappers and encountering a gigantic nether-demon. Realizing that this story was probably fake, Lovecraft asked for the right to use artistic license and embellish it, which he was granted -- along with $100, at the time the largest sum he had ever been paid in advance.It was this act of totally selling out that created a long-term partnership between the fledgling writer and famed escape artist, and influenced Lovecraft's major works for the rest of his life.
Not sure how to title this entry, but Lovecraft's basic philosophy of "cosmicism" is one of the most fascinating insights into the psychology of horror ever written down. The basic tenants are that humans are not merely alone in the universe, just utterly insignificant. Morality, love, good and evil are all constructs. The philosophy even goes beyond nihilism -- while the latter merely says that human beings shouldn't do anything for a higher purpose because no such purpose exists, cosmicism simply says "f**k it, do whatever because you don't matter."It's this helplessness, and total paralysis in the face of the unknown, that so thoroughly informs his work and, arguably, his racism. After all, what is racism if not a crippling fear of something you don't understand, or an uncomfortable rejection of everything beyond your comfort levels? Lovecraft wasn't simply afraid of the unknown, he was pretty certain that it didn't care about him and was totally full of demons.
You Can Read All His Stuff For Free!
Ah, finally some good news! Though the actual legality of the "public domain" nature of his books is open to a slight bit of controversy, that's never stopped the internet! If you're interested in checking out the father of modern horror and science fiction, I humbly recommend you read the holy hell out of all of this.Happy Birthday, Howard. For all your flaws and crazy bits, you've made every geek's life a little bit better, and for that we think you've earned a good night's sleep.