The Table

 

“You are not of the masons?”

(EA Poe: The Cask of Amontillado)

No. I’m of the scriveners.

Down, below, is stored a table of contents for THE investigation, as last updated on July 9, 2007 – obviously, there is some overlap going on, some redundancies once in a while: be it so. The mission objective is to formulate a more comprehensive scholarly approach to the issue of Lovecraft and Race than was hitherto available. While I still appreciate reading Lovecraft just for the panicky heck of it, my approach to his works, as of now and as for the months to come, is more professionally abstracized: I write my dissertation on his prose, and the decision to do that has opened, at various occasions, questions into my overall sanity and pragmatism, asked by myself mainly. To add an even more fatalist note, it goes by the working title of Providence and Apocalypse: I try to understand his works as part of a tradition of American Gothic Apocalypse.

While not nearly an exclusive focus in my work, the issue of Lovecraft’s use of race, or more general, the other, is hanging in there, ominously, greased by great and mighty Ctulhu’s tentacles. While I’m not the first to notice, thank goodness, that the issue is, indeed, an issue, I plan to embed it in a more comprehensive way as has previously been done – his characters are not paranoically afraid of the (ethnic/racial) other and coincidentally also bound down the last few yards of western civilization, they are afraid in this way and therefore doomed.

On a much more fundamental, almost (but really not at all) undergraduate level, the challenge is to appreciate his stories as works of art, and above all this, and so definitely this. I look forward to seeing more of this in the years to come – criticism that develops the aesthetic dimension of his quite unique prose world, as it is part of the historical/artistic/receptive/[you name it] context. There’s so much to do with the guy, so many more bases to take off from than the pulp basis. That’s one of my caveats – I seem unable to think of him, critically, as a genre (pulp or otherwise) author.

So. I carry the discussion into this venue…and here, I am specifically interested in the frontier aspect that comes to act in his gothic racialized apocalypses: hence. I try to go light on jargon and heavy on fiction: it is my pleasure to grope his corpus and see how it fares and fits in the various corners of literature.

________

Race in Lovecraft Scholarship

[Part I Part IIPart IIIPart IVPart V ]

Race and Decay

[Part I Part IIPart II.5Part II.75Part IIIPart IVPart V Part VIPart VIIPart VIII Part IXPart X]

Apocalypse, Race, and Frontier

[June 28, 2007- ]

1) The Frontier as Apocalyptic Place

1.1) Melville’s Indian-Hating Revisited [Part I Part IIPart IIIPart IV

1.2) The Riders of the Purple Sage and the End of History

1.3) A free state for the final things: Californian Apocalypses (Jack London – The Scarlet Plague/Nathanael West – Day of the Locust/George R. Stewart – Earth Abides)

1.4) Black Hole Sun, anyone? Southern heat, apocalypse, and race in Erskine Caldwell’s Tobacco Road.

1.5) Witchhunts in the final days: Puritan Apocalypses

1.6) Apocalyptic Borderlines: Apocalypse as Frontier experience

2) Gothic Frontier/Frontier Gothic

3) “Those accursed tomb- legions...”: WWI, Race, and the End of History

4) Terror from the Stars: New and old Frontiers in Lovecraft’s Fiction

5) Hybridity as the final frontier

2 Comments

  1. The Nueva Logia del Tentaculo, Spanish & Worldwide Lovecraftian Society, is very proud to be well considered by The Hug of Shoggoth, the Webmaster Daniel J. Gall. His studies about H.P. Lovecraft are really precious for both HPL admirers & scholars.

    We are highly honoured to rely on one of his articles for the next issue of our webzine, “La Estela de Luveh-Kerapt”.

    Thanks and Good Summer! Cheers!

    Henry Armitage

  2. And I am highly honored to be able to contribute to your magazine!

    A wonderful summer to you too!


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