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The father of cosmicism

1890-1937

Howard Phillips Lovecraft

+ He had many pen names

Lewis Theobald, Humphrey Littlewit, Ward Phillips, Edward Softly, Percy Simple. Alias, H. P. Lovecraft. The man behind the shivering story of cosmicism, the art of fear and cosmical madness.

He was greatly influenced by his grandfather who encouraged him to read classics like One Thousand and One Nights or the Iliad and the Odyssey.

H.P. Lovecraft was the son of Winfield Scott Lovecraft and Sarah Susan Phillips Lovecraft. He was an American citizen born on August 20th, 1890 at Providence, in the state of Rhode Island. However, he was of British ancestry as his grand-father, George Lovecraft, immigrated from Devon to the US in the XIXth century. Furthermore, after his death in 1895, the Lovecrafts' wealth soon vanished, but not their brains.

Some Landmarks

He already had poor health and suffered from malnutrition because of his extreme poverty.

March, 15th 1937

H.P. Lovecraft died of bowel cancer, in Providence, Rhode Island.

His mother's death in 1921 having affected him hugely, it is likely that this story is the result of his deep sadness.

During 1926

He drafted The Call of Cthulhu, a fantasy and horror short story.

His father died in 1893. Then, he lived with his mother, his two aunts and his maternal grandfather.

He started to write tales and poems at the age of 6.

From 1896

Birth of H.P. Lovecraft, in Providence, Rhode Island

August, 20th 1890

Lovecraft published 5 books which became the beacons of his literary movement, Cosmicism. - The Call of Cthulhu - The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath - At the Mountains of Madness - The Shadow over Innsmouth - The Shadow Out of Time

Major works

Lovecraft's direct legacy

His most celebrated tales

Horror fiction, Science fiction, Fantasy ?

But what is

Cosmicism

Let's ask the author

20Now all my tales are based on the fundamental premise that common human laws and interests and emotions have no validity or significance in the vast cosmos-at-large. To me there is nothing but puerility in a tale in which the human form [...] [is] depicted as native to other worlds or other universes. To achieve the essence of real externality, whether of time or space or dimension, one must forget that such things as organic life, good and evil, love and hate, and all such local attributes of a negligible and temporary race called mankind, have any existence at all. Only the human scenes and characters must have human qualities. [...] but when we cross the line to the boundless and hideous unknown—the shadow-haunted Outside—we must remember to leave our humanity and terrestrialism at the threshold.

— H. P. Lovecraft, in note to the editor of Weird Tales, on resubmission of "The Call of Cthulhu"

Cosmicism

So, what is Cosmicism?

+these beings are called the "Great Old Ones" in Lovecraft universe.

To sum up, Cosmicism is the philosophy from which derives Lovecraftian Horror. It is based on the principles that "humans are particularly insignificant in the larger scheme of intergalactic existence", so they can't influence, or even understand, the projects of superior, galactic beings, which can bend the human mind to madness.

+Cthulhu appeared as a parody candidate in several elections, for examples, the 2012 and 2016 US presidential elections.

Cthulhu first appeared in the short book "the Call of Cthulhu". He is the great-great-grandson of Azathoth, the primordial chaos, and is entitled the "High Priest of the Great Old Ones". That might be why the Lovecraft-inspired universe is named after him, the "Cthulhu Mythos". Also, he is the most popular "Great Old Ones" and a beacon in the culture of horror.

The most famous "Great Old Ones".

Cthulhu

Some other "Great Old Ones"

Lovecraft's influence on modern literature

— Stephen King.

“I think it is beyond doubt that H. P. Lovecraft has yet to be surpassed as the twentieth century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.”

Racism

A major issue which plague all of Lovecraft's work

Cthulhu Mythos inspired many video games, and the famous pen-and-paper role-playing game "The Call of Cthulhu".

In Music :

+ And the instrumental "The Call of Ktulu", realised by Mettalica, pays tribute to his work.

The psychedelic rock band "H. P. Lovecraft" is named after him.

+ released in 1981

In Games :

In Religion and Occultism :

Lovecraft's Mythos serves as a reference in many modern cults such as the Church of Satan.

In Litterature :

He inspired Stephen King, the "King of Horror".

The influence of the stories of Lovecraft can still be feeled now a day.

His global legacy