Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lovecraft: The Greatest Short and Unhappy Life

H.P. Lovecraft
The Cthulhu Mythos genius who once enjoyed the privilege of a wealthy grandfather lived the last days of his life in one of the worst states of human misery. He died in abject poverty but now he is providence. The life and times of H.P. Lovecraft is one of an enduring true story of how one man's passion was the singular causal agent that set the tone for the future generation of horror and speculative fiction writers as a whole.

He is one of the first authors to mix elements of science fiction with elements of the Gothic horror story. Sickly as a child, his mother plugged his formal education for good at age eight. Lovecraft married and divorced out of financial constraint and never found the courage to take another wife. He never had children and died young of cancer of the small intestine.

The wealth of his grandfather was a form of security for young Lovecraft but when the man died and a mix-up in the inheritance paperwork robbed him of a the pomp and pride of the rich, Lovecraft's life was thrown into the kind of chaos that would feed the theme of his stories for decades.

However, despite tales of malnutrition and reports that Lovecraft was haunted by constant nightmares, his life has become beautiful beyond description in the long haul.

The author of the famous novel Psycho the basis for a great movie of the same name by Hitchcock, Robert Bloch was a protégé of H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft was Bloch's mentor and deeply influenced his writing style as well seriously encouraged his talent. Bloch went on to write hundreds of short stories and 30 novels and won many awards like the Hugo Award, the World Fantasy Award and, the Bram Stoker Award, in his lifetime.

About ten years after Lovecraft departed this world, a baby boy was born in Maine. A boy that would come to be known as the greatest horror writer of all time. A boy whose, when he was just two, father left home purportedly on going out to catch a smoke. He has never returned. A boy who discovered Lovecraft's books among his dad's abandoned belongings and whose life from that point on took a dramatic turn for the best.

Stephen King's journey into the world of the macabre was influenced by his contact with Lovecraft's works. King claims Lovecraft as his singular most important influence in fiction writing. King's books have been adapted to over 100 movies, TV series, short films and graphic novels. 

You begin to wonder how short or unhappy Lovecraft's life really was when you consider how many hundreds, thousands, of writers have been inspired by his weird fiction and by his resolve to go on beyond his misery.

Lovecraft's life though, short and seemingly besieged by sickness, pain and unhappiness has accomplished a far greater feat than most lives lived to the ripeness of old age could ever possibly  dream to achieve. Lovecraft's is the true story of a man who willed a light to the end of the tunnel even when all evidence pointed to the contrary. His fans were limited during his lifetime; the money from his stories barely paid his bills; his dad and mom were confined to an asylum to rot away.

Today, there's hardly a corner of the world where Lovecraft is not known. The writers he influenced, whose books have sold hundreds of millions in copies (Stephen King, Robert Bloch, August Derleth, Clark Ashton Smith, Clive Barker, Peter Straub and many more) have driven his name like the blast from a hurricane to the ends of the world.

In matter of fact, the traumas he endured during his short lifetime dims in light of the immortality that his suffering achieved. And said immortality not for the sake of the word but for the change-consistent, positive payload-the struggles of one man has delivered, despite extreme setbacks, in the lives of millions of people all over the world and across many generations.

It is possible that had Lovecraft not encountered such fierce opposition, which fed the weird theme in his works, writers like Bloch and King will never have been.
    Now what would be the odds of that?

Keep your pen bleeding.


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