UFO Conjecture(s)

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Dr, Bob Curran's Lovecraft Exegesis


Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.

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I had just unpacked several H.P. Lovecraft books (from our office move) – Fungi from Yuggoth & Other Poems, The Colour Out of Space, The Dunwich Horror – and L. Sprague De Camp’s Biography along with an exegesis of The Cthulhu Mythos by Lin Carter – when I received Dr. Bob Curran’s A Haunted Mind: Inside the Dark Twisted World of H.P. Lovecraft (pictured above), published by New Page Books, a Division of Career Press, Inc., Pompton Plains, NJ, 2012….351 pages, selling for $19.99 at online booksellers (Amazon, Powells, maybe Anomalist, et cetera) and brick and mortar bookstores such as Barnes and Noble (also online), among others.

I’ve reviewed other books by Dr. Curran – The World’s Creepiest Places – and like his thorough writing approach; he is not niggardly with details that are obscure but pertinent, and he hasn’t given short shrift to Lovecraft – although I wish he had.

As it is, Dr. Curran’s Introduction (Pages 5 to 27) killed Lovecraft for me.

Lovecraft was an anti-Semite slacker who may have had homosexual proclivities and pedophiliac tendencies. He used people and was a nasty son-of-a-bitch (my words) apparently.

But as Paul Johnson wrote, in his book, Intellectuals, the great persons were rarely pure souls, devoid of malfeasance and obloquy.

Their ideas and work should be looked at rather than their sometimes warped personalities and behavior.

One has to do that with Lovecraft.

Dr. Curran takes readers through the Lovecraft oeuvre, from the Necronomicon to the eldritch dark writing that “However we may think of him….he, like no other, could see some of the dreadful things and some of the fearful places that lurked out there in the eldritch gloom, just beyond the furthest edges of the rational human mind.” [Page 340]

Readers here can appreciate that.

But the “Mythos” is a creative, imaginary wonderland in the true sense of wonder and awe; a creation that is as complete as that of any other, including the “real creation” as outlined in various religious theologies.

Dr. Curran makes connections with histories and mythologies such as Lovecraft’s Hyperborea, an island that factored in Greek geography and myth. {Page 71]

The interconnection of real books and places found in Lovecraft and others is provided for a real edification of Lovecraft’s “academically” inclined writings; e.g., Jules Michelet’s 1862 La Sorciere.

I can’t do justic to Dr. Curran’s erudition. You have to get the book and immerse yourself in the vast and convoluted world – nay, ultimate universal creation – of Lovecraft. Dr. Curran offers all that there is to offer about the Lovecraftian mythos. Nothing is left out.

How Lovecraft's life and events/places he experienced shaped his writings are recounted in toto by Dr. Curran: no stone is left unturned.

I can drone and on with passages and pastiches from the book, but as I noted, that would do an injustice to Bob Curran’s magnificent gathering of everything there is to know about Lovecraft and Lovecraft’s gods and worlds.

The book is divided into sections:

Introduction

The Forbidden Library (Necronomicon, De Vermis Mysteriis, Book of Eibon, et al.)

Shadows Beyond the Stars (Cthulhu, Nyarlathotep, Father Yig, Azathoth, et al.)

Where Human Pathways End (Arkham, Dunwich, Irem,  Leng, et al.)

The book concludes with a Behind the Pallid Mask (and a useful Index)

Get the book if you are a Lovecraft fan or like wildly imaginative creations that have a logic and reality that is as complete as the one you’re living in.

For more about the book and the author, you can access http://www.careerpress.com or http://www.newpagebooks.com

RR