Over in Salon, they have an article about H.P. Lovecraft, and a new release of some of his work that somehow helps vindicate him as a writer. I recently went back and re-read some of the stuff that I devoured when I was eleven or twelve. Back then I can remember scaring myself half to death reading some of those stories in the dark with just a small reading lamp – staying up way too late. Now they just seem like a lot of books I read when I was young – a little silly. I still like the overwhelming feeling of helplessness that is expressed by so many of his characters; how the evil things were just completely outside our reality and didn’t care one bit for the puny humans. But still, the stories just weren’t that wonderful looking back on them. Great stuff for scaring the crap out of kids though.
But having to vindicate him as a writer is a bit of a stretch – I think that some of the stuff written about how his pantheon of gods was a grand metaphor for our interaction with the mindless forces of the universe are stretching it a bit. I think his writing can stand on it’s own as a self-contained consistent world where man wasn’t the center of the universe. Not everything has to be profound to be readable.