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The Age of Lovecraft

2016

Carl H. Sederholm and Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock, Editors
Foreword by Ramsey Campbell

The Age of Lovecraft

The first sustained look at Lovecraft in relation to twenty-first-century critical theory and culture

The Age of Lovecraft is the first sustained analysis of Howard Phillips Lovecraft in relation to twenty-first-century critical theory and culture. This volume offers the most thorough examination of Lovecraft’s place in contemporary philosophy to date as it seeks to shed light on the larger phenomenon of the dominance of weird fiction in the twenty-first century.

One of the few masters of the tale of terror that reaches for, and often attains, awe.

Ramsey Campbell, from the Foreword

Howard Phillips Lovecraft, the American author of “weird tales” who died in 1937 impoverished and relatively unknown, has become a twenty-first-century star, cropping up in places both anticipated and unexpected. Authors, filmmakers, and shapers of popular culture like Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and Guillermo del Toro acknowledge his influence; his fiction is key to the work of posthuman philosophers and cultural critics such as Graham Harman and Eugene Thacker; and Lovecraft’s creations have achieved unprecedented cultural ubiquity, even showing up on the animated program South Park.

The Age of Lovecraft is the first sustained analysis of Lovecraft in relation to twenty-first-century critical theory and culture, delving into troubling aspects of his thought and writings. With contributions from scholars including Gothic expert David Punter, historian W. Scott Poole, musicologist Isabella van Elferen, and philosopher of the posthuman Patricia MacCormack, this wide-ranging volume brings together thinkers from an array of disciplines to consider Lovecraft’s contemporary cultural presence and its implications. Bookended by a preface from horror fiction luminary Ramsey Campbell and an extended interview with the central author of the New Weird, China Miéville, the collection addresses the question of “why Lovecraft, why now?” through a variety of approaches and angles.

A must for scholars, students, and theoretically inclined readers interested in Lovecraft, popular culture, and intellectual trends, The Age of Lovecraft offers the most thorough examination of Lovecraft’s place in contemporary philosophy and critical theory to date as it seeks to shed light on the larger phenomenon of the dominance of weird fiction in the twenty-first century.

Contributors: Jessica George; Brian Johnson, Carleton U; James Kneale, U College London; Patricia MacCormack, Anglia Ruskin U, Cambridge; Jed Mayer, SUNY New Paltz; China Miéville, Warwick U; W. Scott Poole, College of Charleston; David Punter, U of Bristol; David Simmons, Northampton U; Isabella van Elferen, Kingston U London.

The Age of Lovecraft

Carl H. Sederholm is associate professor of interdisciplinary humanities at Brigham Young University.

Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock is professor of English at Central Michigan University. He has edited three volumes of Lovecraft’s fiction.

Ramsey Campbell is one of the world’s most honored horror writers. He has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Horror Writers Association and a Grand Master Award from the World Horror Convention.

China Miéville is a fantasy fiction author, comic writer, and academic. His books include Perdido Street Station, The City & the City, and Kraken. His works have won the Hugo, the British Science Fiction Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the World Fantasy Award.

The Age of Lovecraft

One of the few masters of the tale of terror that reaches for, and often attains, awe.

Ramsey Campbell, from the Foreword

The scholarship throughout is sharp, current, and often makes use of one of the greatest strengths of Lovecraft study: his abundant published correspondence.

Publishers Weekly

The Age of Lovecraft

Contents
Foreword: Lovecraft Appreciated
Ramsey Campbell
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Lovecraft Rising
Carl H. Sederholm and Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock
1. “Ghoulish Dialogues”: H. P. Lovecraft’s Weird Geographies
James Kneale
2. Lovecraft’s Things: Sinister Souvenirs from Other Worlds
Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock
3. Hyper-Cacophony: Lovecraft, Speculative Realism, and Sonic Materialism
Isabella van Elferen
4. Prehistories of Posthumanism: Cosmic Indifferentism, Alien Genesis, and Ecology from H. P. Lovecraft to Ridley Scott
Brian Johnson
5. Race, Species, and Others: H. P. Lovecraft and the Animal
Jed Mayer
6. H. P. Lovecraft’s Reluctant Sexuality: Abjection and the Monstrous Feminine in “The Dunwich Horror”
Carl H. Sederholm
7. H. P. Lovecraft and Real Person Fiction: The Pulp Author as Subcultural Avatar
David Simmons
8. A Polychrome Study: Neil Gaiman’s “A Study in Emerald” and Lovecraft’s Literary Afterlives
Jessica George
9. Lovecraft: Suspicion, Pattern Recognition, Paranoia
David Punter
10. Lovecraft’s Cosmic Ethics
Patricia MacCormack
11. Lovecraft, Witch Cults, and Philosophers
W. Scott Poole
Afterword: Interview with China Miéville
Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock
Contributors
Index