As someone who loves board games and horror and who also has a lot of other nerdy friends, I did not have to read Lovecraft to be familiar with his creations. And as someone who loves horror in general, I would often come across the particular Lovecraftian fear of the unknown, Chtulu, and other lingering effects of his writings and influence on horror and science fiction.
So this year, I am going to read a selection of H.P. Lovecraft’s works as well as some works inspired by him. I’m going to finish it all by watching some movies and TV shows that showcase elements of Lovecraftian Horror. I might even play a game or two if I can.
Knowing this, one may wonder why I never took my own leap into the unknown and Lovecraft. Well, there’s a very simple answer to this that I find many white people have to work to understand.
I did not, and still mostly don’t, want to read works that I know would most likely cause me harm because I am Black. Yes, Lovecraft is a well-known racist and white supremacist as were many other people at that time. But just because the work of an author is influential does not mean I am compelled to engage with it. As someone who lives in the United States, I am often forced to engage and interact with many things meant to harm me in almost every realm of learning and consumption. Therefore, I will gladly side-step an author to avoid incurring unnecessary racial violence.
So why am I choosing to read him now? Simply because I want to watch Lovecraft Country.
I have finally found something related to Lovecraft that I not only want to watch but to also actively engage with. I want to read and watch Lovecraft Country because it chooses to not erase my existence in a horror genre.
I finally have a reason to actually be informed about the mythos; and, I’m choosing to go on this journey with you!
I’m going to read about 7 or 8 Lovecraft stories, works inspired by Lovecraft, and then read and watch Lovecraft Country and other Lovecraftian Horror movies. I’ll include a list at the end of what I read and watch.
Some of my hopes and expectations:
I hope that I will get scared. I want to enjoy Lovecraft’s stories and really understand why people love his works.
I’m expecting to be annoyed by many things such as the literal erasure of minority and ethnic populations, no acknowledgement of Black people in New England supernatural history (Why does no one ever remember Tituba?!), racist undertones and overtones about change and other scary things, etc.
So here we go!
- The Shadow Over Innsmouth
- The Call of Cthulhu
- The Cats of Ulthar
- Pickman’s Model
- The Dunwich Horror