(Disclaimer: The first four or five paragraphs of this entry was written in jest. UFOs do not exist.)
One summer night, I finished downloading all H.P. Lovecraft stories in my electronic reader and was about to read The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath, when a loud, whizzing noise came into my bedroom window. This was accompanied by a blinding pillar of light. I laid my electronic reader down and looked out. There was wind, strong as a typhoon's, and the trees swayed like frenzied dancers at the Bacchanalia. A booming voice told me, "Check your priviledge!"
"I'm sorry, but we don't sell pre-paid anymore!" I shouted back, thinking that it must've been one of those confused, old folks in huge cars wanting to buy cellphone load from us.
"Check your priviledge!" the god-like booming voice told me again. With a loud crack, the light and wind was gone. Our street was tranquil again and the trees were yawning like bored suburban teenagers.
I kept wondering what was it that happened and what it meant when it told me to "check my priviledge". I knew of the reference, sure. And being of the third world, through and through, I knew I had little or none at all.
It was when I came upon Lovecraft's Medusa's Coil when I understood what it meant. After impressing me with his narrative skills, his take on the myth of Medusa, and providing me with excitement I only felt when looking upon Channing Tatum's body, Lovecraft writes that Tanit-Isis or Marceline, (Medusa--- it had been strongly implied), "was a negress". That, it seemed, explained her insidious designs.
In That Thing on the Doorstep, Asenath Waite was one hot looker and a soul stealer as well. It seems that in Lovecraft's world, the women were lovely in their own right but they were evil by design too. I've read quite a bit about him but I still don't know what to make of his view on women. It was a love-hate relationship, I suppose. It's clear enough that he had one of the bleakest worldviews, believing that cosmic forces don't care one whit for mankind--- a mere speck of dust in the universe.
I know Lovecraft stories aren't the ideal "summer reads". But if you live as I do, in the tropics, where temperatures can rise as much as 36 degress celsius, where roads are dusty and treeless (but that's just weird urban planning...), you'd understand why I sought Lovecraft. I needed a whole lot of cold.
Back when I was fourteen and not as crazy as I am now, I read of H.P. Lovecraft in Anne Rice's Tale of the Body Thief. Admittedly, it was his name that enticed my curiosity. It was the same for thing Ada Lovelace (or, um, Linda). But at that age, I wasn't prepared to take him in yet. It took several years for me to appreciate his style and his subject matter.
I understand that Lovecraft has a huge following and a lot of fans wanting to make his bestiary (the creatures of the Cthulhu Mythos) as adorable as possible. Point in fact, there's this "Cutehulhu" line of stuffed toys. A lot of people have romanticized his life. I point to the geeks.
But if I'm to take what has been written about him, he's not only racist, sexist, sour, and bleak, but, all in all, a difficult person to live with.
As I've become a recent fan, my curiosity delves away from the man himself, and to his only wife, Sonia Haft Greene Lovecraft Davis. There are a lot of material on them on the internet, it's not hard to find. And I'm getting the idea that Lovecraft, on top of everything, was one awkward turtle when it came to romance.
I'd usually seek a good romance or historical novels as summer reads. But, whatever and whoever Lovecraft as a man was, I have to admit that his stories are very exciting and interesting, albeit written in a rather old style.
During hot nights, as well as cold (as we are entering our monsoon weather here), H.P. Lovecraft puts me to bed quite well.