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Customer Review

on 5 April 2005
Lovecraft is fondly regarded by many readers who encountered him in adolescence. He's not a writer for mature people, though.
Lovecraft's much-ballyhooed "cosmic horror" rests principally on an elementary logical fallacy (which H. G. Wells also committed). "Cosmic horror" derives largely from the idea of an immense and indifferent universe over against petty, myopic human beings. Well, certainly it is true that the rest of the universe is quite a bit larger than this planet, which in turn is bigger than us folks. So what? The significance of human beings never depended on physical size. If that were so, a tall person would be just a teensy bit more significant than a short person. Lovecraft doesn't seem ever to have realized that a quantitative fact (big universe, little earth) has no bearing at all on the qualitative, which is what we are talking about if we talk about human significance.
"Cosmic horror" wants to diminish most human qualities; they generally don't get a look-in, in Lovecraft's tales. There is very little to Lovecraft's humans other than ill-advised curiosity. The success of his stories depends on the reader going along with this trick. That isn't much to build a literary reputation on... however impressive it may have been for many of us, like the present writer, who had "Lovecraft phases" in the early Seventies when we were kids.
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