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Quotes of the day: H.P. Lovecraft
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Published Tuesday, August 20, 2013 @ 12:02 AM EDT
Aug 20 2013

Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 - March 15, 1937)- known as H. P. Lovecraft- was an American author of horror, fantasy, poetry and science fiction, especially the subgenre known as weird fiction.

Lovecraft's guiding aesthetic and philosophical principle was what he termed "cosmicism" or "cosmic horror", the idea that life is incomprehensible to human minds and that the universe is fundamentally inimical to the interests of humankind. As such, his stories express a profound indifference to human beliefs and affairs. Lovecraft is the originator of the Cthulhu Mythos story cycle and the Necronomicon, a fictional magical textbook of rites and forbidden lore.

Although Lovecraft's readership was limited during his lifetime, his reputation has grown over the decades, and he is now regarded as one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century. According to Joyce Carol Oates, an award-winning author, Lovecraft- as with Edgar Allan Poe in the 19th century- has exerted "an incalculable influence on succeeding generations of writers of horror fiction". Science fiction and fantasy author Stephen King called Lovecraft "the twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale." King has made it clear in his semi-autobiographical non-fiction book Danse Macabre that Lovecraft was responsible for King's own fascination with horror and the macabre, and was the single largest figure to influence his fiction writing. Lovecraft's stories have been adapted into plays, films and games, such as Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth and id Software's Quake.

Click here for the full Wikipedia article. And before reading the quotes, note that Lovecraft had a decidedly uncommon outlook on life.

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All life is only a set of pictures in the brain, among which there is no difference betwixt those born of real things and those born of inward dreamings, and no cause to value the one above the other.

Almost nobody dances sober, unless they happen to be insane.

As for the Republicans- how can one regard seriously a frightened, greedy, nostalgic huddle of tradesmen and lucky idlers who shut their eyes to history and science, steel their emotions against decent human sympathy, cling to sordid and provincial ideals exalting sheer acquisitiveness and condoning artificial hardship for the non-materially-shrewd, dwell smugly and sentimentally in a distorted dream-cosmos of outmoded phrases and principles and attitudes based on the bygone agricultural-handicraft world, and revel in (consciously or unconsciously) mendacious assumptions (such as the notion that real liberty is synonymous with the single detail of unrestricted economic license or that a rational planning of resource-distribution would contravene some vague and mystical 'American heritage'...) utterly contrary to fact and without the slightest foundation in human experience? Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead.

As human beings, our only sensible scale of values is one based on lessening the agony of existence.

Bunch together a group of people deliberately chosen for strong religious feelings, and you have a practical guarantee of dark morbidities expressed in crime, perversion, and insanity.

Creative minds are uneven, and the best of fabrics have their dull spots.

Fear best lends itself to the creation of Nature-defying illusions.

From even the greatest of horrors irony is seldom absent.

I never ask a man what his business is, for it never interests me. What I ask him about are his thoughts and dreams.

If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences.

It is good to be a cynic- it is better to be a contented cat- and it is best not to exist at all.

It must be remembered that there is no real reason to expect anything in particular from mankind; good and evil are local expedients- or their lack- and not in any sense cosmic truths or laws.

Memories and possibilities are even more hideous than realities.

No new horror can be more terrible than the daily torture of the commonplace.

Science, already oppressive with its shocking revelations, will perhaps be the ultimate exterminator of our human species—if separate species we be—for its reserve of unguessed horrors could never be borne by mortal brains if loosed upon the world.

Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places.

The basis of all true cosmic horror is violation of the order of nature, and the profoundest violations are always the least concrete and describable.

The Man of Truth has learned that Illusion is the One Reality, and that Substance is the Great Impostor.

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.

The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be. Not in the spaces we know, but between them. They walk serene and primal, undimensioned and to us unseen.”

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.

The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind.

There are black zones of shadow close to our daily paths, and now and then some evil soul breaks a passage through. When that happens, the man who knows must strike before reckoning the consequences.

There are horrors beyond life's edge that we do not suspect, and once in a while man's evil prying calls them just within our range.

There was really nothing for serious men to do in cases of wild gossip, for superstitious rustics will say and believe anything.

Time, space, and natural law hold for me suggestions of intolerable bondage, and I can form no picture of emotional satisfaction which does not involve their defeat—especially the defeat of time, so that one may merge oneself with the whole historic stream and be wholly emancipated from the transient and the ephemeral.

To be bitter is to attribute intent and personality to the formless, infinite, unchanging and unchangeable void. We drift on a chartless, resistless sea. Let us sing when we can, and forget the rest.

Ultimate horror often paralyses memory in a merciful way.

We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of the infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.

With five feeble senses we pretend to comprehend the boundlessly complex cosmos, yet other beings with wider, stronger, or different range of senses might not only see very differently the things we see, but might see and study whole worlds of matter, energy, and life which lie close at hand yet can never be detected with the senses we have.


Categories: H.P. Lovecraft, Quotes of the day


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