Monday, January 29, 2007

Crawling Chaos, underground, cult has summoned, twisted sound

I read a fun, little book over the weekend. It's called H.P. Lovecraft, Against the World, Against Life by Michel Houellebecq. With that heartwarming title you can get the idea that is not your average essay. Houellebecq starts out by saying that happy people do not read, they live. He argues that readers are trying to escape from the horrors of life, particularly modern life. He describes Lovecraft's work as a reaction against the meaninglessness of life and his reaction to New York. He also talks about the interesting fact that so many authors have picked up his mythology and tried to continue it. This has happened in the case of people like Tolkein who has been vastly copied. Lovecraft is different in that others write using his explicit names and words. After reading it I was desperate to go back and read some more Lovecraft. This was a simple task, as the book contains two Lovecraft short stories.

Thanks to the brevity of Against the World, Against Life the publishers buffed up the volume with two short stories and an introduction by Stephen King. Now how much would you pay?

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