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44 minutes ago, Augusto Antunes said:

You're missing the point. Derleth's influence in preserving Lovecraft's legacy and expanding the mythos isn't being questioned. What we're talking about is the actual tone of his creative contributions and how it clashed with what is usually defined as "lovecraftian" cosmic horror.

In your case yes, you're not questioning it, but apparently others are. I'm up front about enjoying Derleth's work quite a bit, and I don't at all mind those who don't. It isn't the kind of work every person may want from Lovecraftian horror. I do reject the notion however, no matter how critical or flawed one might view Derleth's writing as, that it's improper and clashes with Lovecraft's work. Derleth was a close friend and pupil of Lovecraft as I've stated several times. If Lovecraft was fond of and eagerly encouraged Derleth to write cosmic horror, then that to me says that Derleth and others like him, while definitely a different flavor of cosmic horror not everyone will enjoy, are still very much a valid, consistent part of it all. How can he not be "proper" Lovecraftian when Lovecraft approved of him and even helped him with his stories?

Lovecraft didn't care about keeping everything 100% consistent to his personal stories, he said it himself, and was quite the opposite. He thought to do so would be incredibly restrictive and openly expressed his desire that people contribute however they want to his weird fiction. Derleth isn't for everyone, some people hate him and find his work clashing, but from all we know, Lovecraft himself would disagree in both cases, even though he held widely different personal viewpoints and wrote different stories than Derleth did. They were still strong friends, and Lovecraft still happily welcomed him to write, and in the end, Derleth was one of two men almost singlehandedly responsible for saving Lovecraft's legacy from fading into the unknown like the majority of other Weird Tales fiction of the time.

44 minutes ago, Augusto Antunes said:

We're only saying Derleth is not the best example of this, since it is generally agreed upon that his contributions veered away from Lovecraft's brand of cosmic horror and were absolutely reflective of his catholic view of the world.

He has his critics, but I wouldn't say it's generally agreed on that he veered away from Lovecraft. It is generally agreed that his Catholic views influenced his work, yeah, but that's not a good or bad statement, depending on how you see it. It was just his beliefs, just as Lovecraft's love of archaic history and enjoyment of using verbage that even people in the 20s thought was ancient influenced his work. It adds its own flavor in my opinion and, when influences are done right, makes it unique. No one writes quite like Lovecraft does. Others may disagree about all this though. I take absolutely no issue with that. It's just my view on the subject.

44 minutes ago, Augusto Antunes said:

Yes, I disagree, and I already expanded on why the subversion of christianity is more powerful, more common and makes more sense in modern american horror - and particularly in King's work - than the subversion of other religions in my first post on this thread. It deals with a completely different kind of fear. What christianity represents as a symbol is different from what most of those other religions represent - specially to americans and to christians themselves.

In King's case I agree. It wouldn't make sense for a Buddhist monastery to run amok in coastal Maine. However, the original point is still one I think is true. There's a lot of reluctance to cast certain things into a villainous or negative light, even for fiction, and at times it seems almost undeniable that political correctness is in play. Society at large won't balk at a villainous Christian character, but there may be some vocal backlash against a villainous Buddhist, or a villainous Shamanist, enough backlash to keep writers on their toes about doing it. Not always, but I think that kind of feeling is there.

44 minutes ago, Augusto Antunes said:

By the way, since you brought the subject up, I'm reminded that the source of the supernatural evil in Pet Sematary is native american.

You know, I didn't think about that. In another side note, the Lovecraft-inspired Deadlands has Native Americans as the ones who summon a load of demons that nearly wipe out the continent, so there's that as well. It's definitely not so exaggerated that there's never a single villain of those cultures or peoples, and I agree on that.

Edited by TheEnclave
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1 minute ago, Dethstrok9 said:

Oh but now my gears are turning with that story idea, and there would be no happy ending or escape...

I shall inform the media and await with baited breath.

!i!

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6 minutes ago, Ian Absentia said:

In all fairness, we're seeing you attributing those claims to people who didn't actually make them.

The only time I attributed a claim was with a direct quote that states said claim verbatim. If I messed up somewhere else though, my bad. I didn't intend it.

8 minutes ago, Ian Absentia said:

It's a matter of where the author (and reader) chooses to draw the line, yes.  Providing an exit strategy is like tacking on a happy ending -- some feel that it undermines the integrity of the "horror".  Cosmic catharsis, maybe, but not "horror".

Not every single horror story ends badly. A happy ending, or at least a surviving ending, are great too. Everything and everyone involved being screwed is if anything a tired and monotonous trope to a lot of people, one of many reasons I'd wager something like Aliens is critically acclaimed and the myriad Friday the 13th sequels are flops.

Edited by TheEnclave

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5 minutes ago, Ian Absentia said:

You mean like the Book of Job?  In all honesty, I love that story, but it's still not cosmic horror.  Job's stuck piggy-in-the-middle between God and His QC analyst, and he doesn't understand why any of this is happening, but he still understands his place in the divine hierarchy.  And then there's that inexplicable happy ending.

And yes I was thinking along those lines, but subverting it to be the opposite. The ending would be favorable in the god's eyes, but the human's mind would break... What would make it interesting would be that the god genuinely likes the MC and haughtily considers the "special treatment" as something good and just, but in reality it ruins the humanity of the MC and there's nothing he/she can do about it.

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21 minutes ago, Dethstrok9 said:

What about a story of horror where the god believed they were working toward the greater good (and was therefore benevolent), but the actions they took were horrifying? What if a god wanted what was best for you, and by that token tested you in ways similar to Jigsaw from SAW, but the god's goal was "helping"? That still fits the bill you spoke of, toward how cosmic horror works (note this is purely hypothetical as I already outlined that I as you say "suspend my beliefs" when writing cosmic horror). It seems as though one would be putting a subgenre in a rather narrow box with these generalizations.

That's more dark fantasy–style horror, especially with the emphasis on the deity's interest in individual humanity (and HPL wrote dark fantasy, too, of course).  Horror has plenty of subgenres to accommodate different styles and themes.

15 minutes ago, TheEnclave said:

To call him nothing more than a rigid materialist with no other interests is, again, false, and undercuts the depth of a fantastic author and turns him into a mediocre one-note wonder.

You keep mischaracterizing my posts and putting words in my mouth (where did I call him "rigid"?).  You're obviously very passionate about your literary opinions and defense of August Derleth, but I've no interest in being your straw man.

3 minutes ago, Ian Absentia said:

In all fairness, we're seeing you attributing those claims to people who didn't actually make them.

!i!

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3 minutes ago, Dethstrok9 said:

And yes I was thinking along those lines, but subverting it to be the opposite.

Nyarlathotep & Me: A Story.  Now I'm really interested.

!i!

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8 minutes ago, Travern said:

You keep mischaracterizing my posts and putting words in my mouth (where did I call him "rigid"?).  You're obviously very passionate about your literary opinions and defense of August Derleth, but I've no interest in being your straw man.

I'm stating what you're stating. Saying Lovecraft's theme and influence was restricted to two authors and their interests, and that he wasn't a, quote, "heterodox dilettante", implies severe rigidity that wasn't there. Lovecraft's only influence was not nihilist philosophy and nihilist philosophy was not his only influence. Maybe it wasn't what you meant, but your wording suggested an opposite view of that. I'm passionate about pointing out the truth, and I've seen enough similar claims to yours over the years that, again, are factually untrue, that I feel a response is warranted. I've got no hostility either.

Edited by TheEnclave

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Just now, Ian Absentia said:

Nyarlathotep & Me: A Story.  Now I'm really interested.

!i!

I would need to come up with my own deity, but I have a couple that could fit the purpose. I am currently in the midst of 4 projects, a collection of short stories where this idea would go perfectly, a screenplay called the Game Master (working title), a RPG system which was originally going to use the new "ogl" but it retrospect I will make a unique system instead, and finally a bundle of CoC scenarios for DriveThruRPG. I've actually got some incredible artists working with my to get some color into my work. But I digress...

 

Anyway, another problem with all these posts is an assumption that people have any idea who Lovecraft was. We won't ever know his thoughts on whether or not Derleth did well 'cause he's no longer alive (the avatar of Nyarlathotep has passed on). In fact, he's actually a terrible role model and I wouldn't want my works to be knock offs of his works. My opinion on writing horror or cosmic horror will not be swayed by others opinions, I was just wondering the reasoning behind Travern's comments. It's all subjective my friends:)

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4 minutes ago, TheEnclave said:

I'm stating what you're stating. Saying Lovecraft's theme and influence was restricted to two authors and their interests, and that he wasn't a, quote, "heterodox dilettante", implies severe rigidity that wasn't there.

I apologise for jumping on you publicly, but read and re-read that sentence until you see what we're saying.  We appreciate the spirited discussion, of course.

!i!

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1 minute ago, TheEnclave said:

I'm stating what you're stating. Saying Lovecraft's theme and influence was restricted to two authors and their interests, and that he wasn't a, quote, "heterodox dilettante", implies severe rigidity that wasn't there. Lovecraft's only influence was not nihilist philosophy and nihilist philosophy was not his only influence. Maybe it wasn't what you meant, but your wording suggested an opposite view of that.

A restricted dilettane would be, comically, a contradiction in terms.  While I appreciate you obviously want to argue, mischaracterizing my positions to bolster your defenses doesn't leave me anything to work with.  And telling me what I meant in my own posts is hilarious.  I could go on about how you're also mischaracterizing HPL's creations such as Nodens by casting them in the light of Derleth's revisions, but I can't possibly predict how you would rework my position in your response.

2 minutes ago, Ian Absentia said:

I apologise for jumping on you publicly, but read and re-read that sentence until you see what we're saying.  We appreciate the spirited discussion, of course.

Of course ;)

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6 minutes ago, Ian Absentia said:

I apologise for jumping on you publicly, but read and re-read that sentence until you see what we're saying.  We appreciate the spirited discussion, of course.

In fairness, you wouldn't have to explicitly say "Lovecraft was rigid" for it to be what you mean.

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3 minutes ago, TheEnclave said:

In fairness, you wouldn't have to explicitly say "Lovecraft was rigid" for it to be what you mean.

In fairness, you're still telling other people what they mean.  Can you appreciate how that might not be especially interesting to engage with, especially about 80s-era positions in Lovecraftian literary criticism?

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2 minutes ago, Travern said:

 Can you appreciate how that might not be especially interesting to engage with, especially about 80s-era positions in Lovecraftian literary criticism?

Um... I'm 16:)

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2 minutes ago, Dethstrok9 said:

Um... I'm 16:)

The Derlethian legacy debate reached a head in Lovecraftian criticism in the 80s.  It's more or less subsided, which is why it's not especially interesting ground to retread.  You've plenty of time to catch up—I'd recommend skipping ahead and reading S. T. Joshi on HPL.

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12 minutes ago, Dethstrok9 said:

Um... I'm 16:)

We've got a Yithian possession going on here:  an apparent teenager expressing attitudes based on when the mind-swapping alien last impersonated a human being!  Stranger Things indeed.  Somebody call Chaosium, now!  The authorities will, of course, be useless.

Who'd have thought a mundane discussion of a popular author would endanger mankind!  Travern, are your bicycle tires still aired up?  What do you mean you sold your bike in a garage sale?  It's only been 40 years!  

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3 minutes ago, seneschal said:

We've got a Yithian possession going on here:  an apparent teenager expressing attitudes based on when the mind-swapping alien last impersonated a human being!  Stranger Things indeed.  Somebody call Chaosium, now!  The authorities will, of course, be useless.

Who'd have thought a mundane discussion of a popular author would endanger mankind!  Travern, are your bicycle tires still aired up?  What do you mean you sold your bike in a garage sale?  It's only been 40 years!  

SHUT UP MORTAL! I am Professor Deth reincarnate, and the Yith have nothing to do with it. My goal is to reanimate Lovecraft, and Chaosium already knows. You are meddling in affairs beyond your control, and I have your bike now!

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1 minute ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Speaking of which...

I found this little spoken of segment of the life of Nyarlathotep! :P
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyaruko:_Crawling_with_Love

Japanese! Am I right?! :P

 

Oh my goodness, don't even bring that up! No... It's more horrifying than the actual thing. I won't believe it...

 

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO  OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOO OOO.

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3 hours ago, Travern said:

A restricted dilettane would be, comically, a contradiction in terms.  While I appreciate you obviously want to argue, mischaracterizing my positions to bolster your defenses doesn't leave me anything to work with.  And telling me what I meant in my own posts is hilarious.

You state, verbatim, that someone can't be a Lovecraftian author without being an atheist, and you imply, in so small way, that Lovecraft drew nigh-exclusively from nihilistic philosophy and literature, and that themes of hope, survival, friendship, or faith are incompatible with cosmic horror. Both of these things are factually incorrect. I will quote your prior posts if you want me to. If you feel like I'm mischaracterizing you, please explain your positions.

3 hours ago, Travern said:

In fairness, you're still telling other people what they mean.  Can you appreciate how that might not be especially interesting to engage with, especially about 80s-era positions in Lovecraftian literary criticism?

Whether you find it interesting or not, whether you like Derleth's work or not, it proves my point and utterly invalidates yours, and I don't say that from personal bias. "You can't write Lovecraft without being an atheist." Yes you can, Derleth wasn't an atheist. "But I don't like Derleth/I don't think Derleth was Lovecraftian." Lovecraft evidently thought Derleth was Lovecraftian, or nevertheless valid and welcome to write with him. I'm not sure what else you need from that, unless you want to go by your own definition of what is and isn't Lovecraftian horror. And "80s era positions"? Do you mean the old arguments about Derleth, or do you mean that being a fan of Derleth is some kind of outdated concept people abandoned? The former, it's relevant to the discussion. The latter, false. You mention too that I'm mischaracterizing Nodens, which I'd like to know why you believe that. Lovecraft wrote Nodens as an Elder God adversary of Nyarlathotep, by far the most expressly evil and malicious of the Outer Gods. Nodens has been known to aid humans when confronted by Nyar's minions. It's hardly a stretch to say Nodens is at the very least not a malicious god, and at best a benevolent one. This material I'm referencing is exclusively Lovecraft's, leaving out any of Derleth's additions. If you don't like Nodens, that's obviously fine, but acting like he's an invention of Derleth's or only became benevolent under Derleth is wrong, and again, this is fact. Lovecraft wrote Nodens, and he was still an enemy of Nyarlathotep before Derleth.

2 hours ago, Travern said:

I'd recommend skipping ahead and reading S. T. Joshi on HPL.

Do you advise that because Joshi is an atheist? It may be better, if one's gonna get into the nitty gritty of the discussion, to expand their sources. Not to say that an atheist or theist are any more or less valid than each other for insight into it all.

Edited by TheEnclave

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2 hours ago, Dethstrok9 said:

SHUT UP MORTAL! I am Professor Deth reincarnate, and the Yith have nothing to do with it. My goal is to reanimate Lovecraft, and Chaosium already knows. You are meddling in affairs beyond your control, and I have your bike now!

😳

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7 hours ago, Dethstrok9 said:

If I begin reading King, what should I start with? I've heard that they all go together somehow... Is there a chronological order?

The first I read was one he wrote with Peter Straub: The Talisman.  Mixture of horror and dark fantasy.  Good standalone book (though they did later write a sequel which I have not yet read). 

The Dead Zone, the Shining, Carrie, Salem's Lot - all good standalone works (though he does pull in ideas from some of these into the Dark Tower books).

The Dark Tower series fits very well with my ideas of Heroquesting - and I did not feel like I needed to read other works by him to get into and enjoy it.  There series stands well on its own.

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27 minutes ago, seneschal said:

😳

You dare to continue to breath? What, you're just staring at me? Thou shalt faceth mine vengeance for thy incompetenceth assumptions...

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12 hours ago, Dethstrok9 said:

If I begin reading King, what should I start with? I've heard that they all go together somehow... Is there a chronological order?

I began with IT when I was 14 or 15, and I liked it. So I think you can begin with any of his books. This said, if you like short stories, I would advise The Mist.

Or just take a look at back covers and follow your instinct! That's how I discovered King and many others. Even if I was many times disappointed... but anyway you can follow Daniel Pennac (a french author) rules for reading:

1. "You have the right to avoid reading a book"
2. "The right to skip pages"
3. "The right to give up a book"
4. "The right to reread"
5. "The right to read anything" (even if they are good or bas stories)
6. "The right to bovarysm" (e.g. pathological passion and identfication through books).
7. "The right to read anywhere"
8. "The right to cherry-pick" (starting a book by its middle pages!)
9. "The right to read aloud"
10. "The right to shut up" (keep quiet our feelings about a book)

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13 hours ago, Augusto Antunes said:

Oh, absolutely not. Although I certainly wouldn't call him a blind follower of either side, I think most americans definitely see King as a left-leaning liberal - and I'd guess that's also how he sees himself. In fact, that's why actual conservatives usually spew out nonsense about him such as "the man hates christianity, I mean, why doesn't he write an evil buddhist for a change", which has a lot more to do with them showing their own political agendas, prejudices and insecurities than with King's actual writing.

I understand. I think these different points of view teach more about their areas than about King himself... 😁 I would just clarify that by "conservative", I meant just the contrary of "progressive" and in no way "reactionnary". Just to explain our french "gauge" here (and I will mention deliberately only authors I do like): HPL and Mickey Spillane = reactionnaries; King = conservative of the left wing (but I will trust you in that matter and admit we are wrong); London, Twain... = left wing progressives; Norman Spinrad = anarchist. And I precise this is not a militant point of view, but something quite shared by many French... Anyway, thanks for your clarifications!

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