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03-12-2009, 06:46 PM #1
03-12-2009, 07:42 PM #2
Early in his writing career, just after World War I, H.P. Lovecraft recognized that, in an increasingly technological world based on science, the old horror story themes (ghosts, witches, vampires, werewolves, demons, and the like) just wouldn't do any longer. For, by the 1920's, many readers had become too realistic, too skeptical, to "believe" in them anymore. So something new was needed. Some kind of hybrid supernatural tale combining eerie chills with scientific plausibility. And that's exactly what Lovecraft came up with in his "Mythos" stories, many of which (between the 1920's and 1930's) first appeared in the now legendary pulp magazine WEIRD TALES.
In the Lovecraft "Mythos," the Universe is still a scary place, and so is Earth right now, if we only knew it. Because millions of years ago, long before mankind's emergence, cosmic beings (the "Great Old Ones") invaded our world, built fabulous alien cities, and ruled for millennia. But then these nightmare entities, except for a few such as the hideous Cthulhu, were forced into exile and now lurk on distant worlds and in bizarre dimensions. They are ready, when summoned, to come again and either enslave or destroy mankind.
However, all this happened so long ago that today, except for a sinister few, mankind lives in complete ignorance of the nightmarish truth, blindly sure of its own "central" place in the scheme of things. Completely unaware of the cosmic evil lurking -- invisible -- almost on Earth's "doorstep," and in danger, at any moment, of being utterly destroyed by forces beyond its ken.
Set against this background, a typical Lovecraft "Mythos" story usually takes place not in the immemorial past but in the here and now. They are set in "invented" New England towns like haunted and decaying Arkham and Innsmouth, where secret cults not only worship the "Great Old Ones," but are quick to "silence" anyone foolish or unlucky enough to stumble on the truth about their horrific "gods." Their victims most often are overly inquisitive scholars who dip too deeply into "forbidden books" such as the dread NECRONOMICON (allegedly written by Abdul Alhazred, a mad eighth-century monk), the mere reading of which can lead to dire consequences. Usually madness or a hideous death is inflicted by the minions of the "Great Old Ones," or even by one of these monstrous "gods" themselves.
So effective and popular were these early Lovecraft "Mythos" stories -- especially THE SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH and AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS -- that soon other pulp writers (freely encouraged by the author himself) eagerly began contributing "new" stories to the "Mythos," adding their own "gods" and "forbidden texts," expanding the subgenre enormously. This first generation of Lovecraft followers -- many of them now almost as equally well known as Lovecraft himself -- included Clark Ashton Smith, Frank Belknap Long, August Derleth (founder of Arkham House, who went on to devise his own variant "Mythos" series), Robert E. Howard (of "Conan" fame), and "Psycho" novelist Robert Bloch. Today, new generations of younger "Mythos" enthusiasts continue to add their own variations on Lovecraft's original cosmic vision. These authors include, from Britain, Colin Wilson, Brian Lumley, and Ramsey Campbell. And here in America, even such present-day luminaries as Harlan Ellison, Gene Wolfe, and Stephen King have taken a crack at it. And the end is nowhere in sight.
These followers are a fitting tribute to an obscure horror pulp writer who, back in the 1920's, started it all. Many now consider Lovecraft to be America's greatest fantasist since Edgar Allan Poe.
this is the story of H.P. Lovecraft's Mythos by Joseph Wrzos
03-13-2009, 12:23 PM #3
03-13-2009, 05:31 PM #4