H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937)

H.P. Lovecraft
H.P. Lovecraft was an incredibly influential writer of weird and creepy supernatural stories. His work influenced such luminaries as Robert Howard, Frotz Lieber, Clive Barker, Stephen King, Alan, Moore, Neil Gaiman, Guillermo del Toro, and may more. Despite this, he was virtually unknown during his short lifetime.

Howard Phillips Lovecraft was born in New England to a wealthy family, but their fortunes soon ran out and Lovecraft led a life of struggle since his writing rarely made much money. Most of his work was published in pulp magazines which were the primary way that science fiction and fantasy grew in the early twentieth century. These works created a legacy, but not much income. He had two ill fated marriages (ending in death and divorce) and finally passed away from intestinal cancer in 1937. Unfortunately, some of his writings contained cultural attitudes we would describe today as racist, but these seem to be mainly him being a product of his time and they evolved and improved over the course of his life. For this reason, his literary legacy is complex - he was an imperfect person who revolutionized a genre.

Lovecraft's most famous creation is a series of works in a style that is now called "Lovecraftian" which is a form of horror that comes from poetic descriptions of the characters experiencing alien powers rather than direct descriptions of violence or gore. This subgenre features tales (often in the style of first person from found journals) alluding to ancient evil gods slumbering beneath the earth who are waiting to arise and destroy humanity. The story "The Call of Cthulhu" is the most famous example of this. Many of the protagonists in his stories suffer from varying degrees of madness arising from things they learn about the dark eldritch horrors they discover.

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