Lovecraft "Slowly Shedding Cult Status"
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Eldritch
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Lovecraft "Slowly Shedding Cult Status"
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Lovecraft slowly shedding cult status

Earlier this month the pre-Halloween episode of “The Simpsons” opened with an elaborate three-minute segment directed by Guillermo del Toro, in which Bart joyfully skateboards up the tentacle of a gruesome, towering creature, its eight eyes seemingly ablaze with evil. However, as the 10-year-old rolls off the behemoth onto a Springfield sidewalk, one of the monster's smaller tentacles reveals the beast to be sharing a pleasant tea party with his “father,” a dignified, somewhat weary-looking gentleman in a gray suit.


While this is not the first time pulp horror author H.P. Lovecraft and his dreadful Cthulhu have appeared in animation, it may be the one that most thrilled Lovecraft fans, many of whom see it as a significant step in Lovecraft's long, slow march out of cultdom. A survey of this year's Lovecraft revivals may bolster their hopes. I.N.J. Culbard released a new volume in his successful series of graphic novels based on Lovecraft tales, two feature films were released (the remake of "The Evil Dead," featuring Lovecraft's creation the Necronomicon, and an adaptation of his 1926 story "Cool Air"), and a Kickstarter campaign to create a new edition of the perennially popular role playing game Call of Cthulhu surpassed its $40,000 goal by more than a half a million dollars.

This year — in addition to the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and Cthulhu Con, held in both Portland, Ore., and Los Angeles — the largest Lovecraft convention yet, NecronomiCon, drew more than 1,200 chill-seekers in the writer's native Providence, R.I.

But in an era when more than 10 times as many fans flock to San Diego's Comic-Con, it seems surprising that Lovecraft is not better known. As one of the most important names in horror and fantasy fiction since the 1920s, generations of creators have drawn from his chilling stories, including writers as diverse as Jorge Luis Borges, Stephen King and Michael Chabon (who even has a Lovecraft-inspired pseudonym/alter ego, "August Van Zorn").

To the general public, Lovecraft remains, at best, a vaguely familiar name, known mostly through references by better-known artists. At a time when preschoolers memorize the arcane intricacies of the Marvel Universe and frat boys can draw maps of Middle Earth, Lovecraft's mythology still seems to be coveted only by the most hardcore horror/fantasy/sci-fi fanatics.

"His work has a sort of built in cultish aspect," said Peter Straub, editor of Library of America's hefty "H.P. Lovecraft: Tales" (Norton will publish a new annotated Lovecraft collection next year). "It involves an ancient race of beings that all have very peculiar names, some of them with apostrophes in them, that are deliberately unpronounceable by human beings. And a lot of people don't like his style. He was an autodidact who really fancied 19th century writing. His writing has a very odd and idiosyncratic kind of emotional power, as it involves dread and is made up of a really layered complexity."

Aaron Vanek, who was a student at Columbia College in 1995 when he made his first film, a Lovecraft adaptation (he's since adapted four more Lovecraft tales), agrees: "He had a style that isn't easily accessible for everyone. He's using polysyllabic adjectives multiple times, he leaves gaps in his stories that requires readers to make leaps of closure, and he doesn't describe his monsters. All this requires a certain degree of literacy above and beyond an 8th grade reading level. You've got to get up, maybe, to 9th grade."

Full (long) story here.

I like to look at the human self-model as a neurocomputational weapon, a certain data structure that the brain can activate from time to time.

Thomas Metzinger
2013 Oct 21 14:30
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RE: Lovecraft "Slowly Shedding Cult Status"
Did anyone see the "Cthulhu" episode(s) of South Park, btw?

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I like to look at the human self-model as a neurocomputational weapon, a certain data structure that the brain can activate from time to time.

Thomas Metzinger
2013 Nov 07 23:12
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Blackthorne
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RE: Lovecraft "Slowly Shedding Cult Status"
The day that Lovecraft becomes mainstream is the day that Lovecraft sucks.

You goddamn communist heathen, you had best sound off that you love the Virgin Mary... or I'm gonna stomp your guts out!
2013 Nov 08 08:10
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RE: Lovecraft "Slowly Shedding Cult Status"
Lovecraft and Robert Howard have become part of pop culture in the early 80s already. If you want underground cult you'll have to resort to Hanns Heinz Ewers, Gustav Meyrink and Arthur Machen.


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2013 Nov 08 10:28
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RE: Lovecraft "Slowly Shedding Cult Status"
(2013 Nov 08 10:28)Phlegethon Wrote:  If you want underground cult you'll have to resort to Hanns Heinz Ewers, Gustav Meyrink and Arthur Machen.

Would you recommend them?

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2013 Nov 08 12:38
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RE: Lovecraft "Slowly Shedding Cult Status"
Meyrink's Golem is the only thing I've read by that trio. It's about some creepy-ass j00z. Tongue

I like to look at the human self-model as a neurocomputational weapon, a certain data structure that the brain can activate from time to time.

Thomas Metzinger
2013 Nov 08 13:09
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RE: Lovecraft "Slowly Shedding Cult Status"
Is there any other kind? ;)

I'd recommend them, Ewers seems to get a few decent English translations these days. Not that sure about Meyrink, even in Germany he belongs to the apocryphical authors. Check out http://www.librarything.com/groups/theweirdtradition


Not in haunts of marble chill,
Temples drear where ancients trod,—
Nay, in oaks on woody hill
Lives and moves the German God.

2013 Nov 08 14:06
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RE: Lovecraft "Slowly Shedding Cult Status"
(2013 Nov 07 23:12)Eldritch Wrote:  Did anyone see the "Cthulhu" episode(s) of South Park, btw?

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Where Cartman as The Coon put his claws into Cthulu's back like a kitten in a dog Big Grin.
2013 Nov 08 14:42
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RE: Lovecraft "Slowly Shedding Cult Status"
I'm pretty excited about this but it could also have a pretty bad backlash too. Just wait for the massive amounts of dreadful fanfiction written by tweenage girls about sex with Cthulhu and other creatures and about how Cthulhu just wants love or some other dizzy motherfucking bullshit.

But on a much more positive note, there has even been some music dedicated to Cthulhu that has reached popular masses:




Cthulhu gourmet by the popular YouTube channel Epic Meal Time:




Regarding Eld's post:
It's a weird parody thing of this:




This is beautiful:


(This post was last modified: 2013 Nov 09 05:39 by Tintagell.)
2013 Nov 09 05:39
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RE: Lovecraft "Slowly Shedding Cult Status"
(2013 Nov 09 05:39)Tintagell Wrote:  Just wait for the massive amounts of dreadful fanfiction written by tweenage girls about sex with Cthulhu and other creatures and about how Cthulhu just wants love or some other dizzy motherfucking bullshit.

Dude, don't speak of the devil. For all we know, Christie Sim's keyboard is already smokin'.

Quote:But on a much more positive note, there has even been some music dedicated to Cthulhu that has reached popular masses:
...

Dave Mustaine writes this is 1983, then gets his ass kicked off the band for being a drunk, dope-peddling, whore-mongering douchebag, sees it released a year later on Metallica's second album, which goes astronomical. Serves him right for spelling Cthulhu wrong. Tongue




I like to look at the human self-model as a neurocomputational weapon, a certain data structure that the brain can activate from time to time.

Thomas Metzinger
2013 Nov 09 13:51
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