Dissecting Cthulhu: Essays on the Cthulhu Mythos
S. T. Joshi
Εκδ: Miskatonic River Press
The Cthulhu Mythos is H. P. Lovecraft’s most dynamic invention. His bold vision of a cosmos filled with baleful “gods,” forbidden books of occult lore, and a constellation of richly imagined New England cities was the perfect vehicle to express his “cosmic indifferentism.” The Mythos has become one of the most imitated tropes in horror literature, and hundreds of writers have made their own extrapolations on it.
But many misconceptions remain about the Cthulhu Mythos. Its very name was not invented by Lovecraft, but by his disciple August Derleth. Derleth altered the Mythos in significant ways, and it is only recently that scholars and writers have returned to the purity of Lovecraft’s own vision.
This collection of essays, gathered by pre-eminent Lovecraft scholar S. T. Joshi (Black Wings, The Rise and Fall of the Cthulhu Mythos, I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H. P. Lovecraft) prints many of the seminal essays on the Cthulhu Mythos, ranging from pioneering articles by Richard L. Tierney and Dirk W. Mosig that strip away Derleth’s misconceptions about Lovecraft’s pseudomythology, to penetrating studies by Robert M. Price, Will Murray, Steven J. Mariconda, and others probing key elements of the Mythos—its use of gods, books, and topography; the influences that Lovecraft absorbed in fashioning it; and its wide dissemination by generations of later writers. All told, this book provides an invaluable guide to Lovecraft’s most intriguing but most misunderstood creation.