Skip to main content

View Diary: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Club: H.P. Lovecraft (part 2) (67 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Re: nightmares (4+ / 0-)

    Yes, I read not too long ago that Lovecraft apparently did have very, very vivid nightmares.  I seem to recall that he acknowledged that the plots and images of some of his stories came directly from dreams he had had.

    And not only that, if I recall correctly, he also experienced a rare kind of serial dreaming;  that is, dreams would pick up where the last ones had ended, forming one long continuing story.

    It would be interesting to apply Jung to Lovecraft.  I'm pretty well versed in Jung, but am not familiar enough with Lovecraft in detail to attempt anything formal.  

    Still, I would say that Lovecraft's stories, in general, seem to me to represent the ultimate "anxiety dreams."  We all have anxiety dreams, which represent a feeling of powerlessness in the world, which just goes with being human -- that we just don't have what it takes to make it in the world;  where overwhelming things constantly happen that are out of our control.  

    If you blow that feeling up to a huge, incomprehensibly cosmic scale ... that's Lovecraft!

    I would guess that on a personal scale, he was just a person who -- beneath his overly-inflated conscious feelings of superiority -- was saddled with loads of anxiety, tons of fear, and a quite abysmal level of self-esteem.  That would seem to be supported by what I know of his upbringing:  dependence, insecurity, powerlessness in the face of the whims of life, having no real marketable skills to provide a sense of competence and confidence ...

    On a wider scale, I would guess -- as NonEuclidian does above -- that Lovecraft's dreams and stories also reflected the general societal anxieties of the times;  when science revealed comfortable "truths" to be false, but when looking back toward the deep pre-scientific past also provided no comfort.

    On the widest scale, I think any person in any time could relate -- however reluctantly -- to those feelings of cosmic anxiety.  Reluctant because I'm sure on some level we all suspect we might be that powerless and insignificant in the scheme of things ... but the ramifications of that are so horrible to our individual egos that we shove the possibility as deep into the subconscious as possible.  Still, as Jung knew, the scary "forbidden" things buried in the subconscious hold a strong fascination to our conscious selves.

    Lovecraft must have some kind of timeless, archetypal resonance which taps into that.  If he didn't, we wouldn't even be having this discussion.  I don't see DailyKos diaries on any other pulp writers of the time.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site