Dear God, the last thing that I need to read in the morning is Maureen Dowd referencing Lovecraft:

The influential horror writer H. P. Lovecraft knew better than to be too literal in his description of monsters.

In the short story “The Outsider,” Lovecraft’s narrator offers a description that matches how some alarmed Democrats view Tea Partiers: “I cannot even hint what it was like, for it was a compound of all that is unclean, uncanny, unwelcome, abnormal and detestable. It was the ghoulish shade of decay, antiquity and desolation; the putrid, dripping eidolon of unwholesome revelation; the awful baring of that which the merciful earth should always hide. God knows it was not of this world.”

Aside from everything else, that’s a faintly silly choice of Lovecraft stories to reference.  To quote Ken Hite… quoting HPL:

To my mind this tale–written a decade ago–is too glibly mechanical in its climactic effect, & almost comic in the bombastic pomposity of the language. As I re-read it, I can hardly understand how I could have let myself be tangled up in such baroque & windy rhetoric as recently as ten years ago. It represents my literal though unconscious imitation of Poe at its very height.

Which must be why MoDo was taken with it so.  Try “The Color Out Of Space” next time, ma’am.  If you must decry your enemies as being the Cosmic Other, you can get much better imagery from that one.

Via Hot Air Headlines.

Moe Lane

PS: The article itself?  Ehh, it’s whiny garbage.  Hush, now, my gorge is still rising.  Although that may be the last of the strategic bacon reserves for breakfast.


  • Rob Crawford says:

    Lovecraftian Horror would explain much of what comes out of the NYT. The Great Old Ones keep attempting to force their hive-like governing structure on a species that just isn’t fit for it…

    Could be a good story there…

  • countrydoc says:

    I downloaded Lovecraft to my new Kindle last May see what all the hoopla was about. If “The Color Out of Space” is the apex of his oeuvre, I guess I can stop.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      Give “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward” or “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” a try before you dump him; the latter one is much shorter, but the first one is the better story. If neither pleases, stop with a clear conscience: HPL’s not for everybody.

  • countrydoc says:

    Horror has to be the most difficulty genre to write and this and Poe were my first tries at reading it. I know horror movies are, by far, the hardest films to get right. I can think of only 4 off the top of my head that did so. The Ring, Sixth Sense (not really horror anyway), The Exorcist, The Birds.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      Ah. In that case, I suggest for the horror genre that you try Charles Stross’s Laundry series for books. Horror movies are a tough one.

  • Skip says:

    The Laundry Files aren’t really horror – they’re spy novels. Think Octothulhu…

    As for actual horror novels that are good, Dan Simmons wrote a few, but I don’t know if they’re still in print.

  • Rob Crawford says:

    “As for actual horror novels that are good, Dan Simmons wrote a few, but I don’t know if they’re still in print.”

    I recommend “Summer of Night” and “A Winter Haunting”, but that’s because they’re set near my old college town. They even visit my alma mater’s library in the first one…

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