Hello sponge muffins! I’m experimenting with this thing called ‘talking with my mouth.’ It’s weird, letters don’t come out of my fingers and my gob makes these strange noises.
Anyway, I made a video on Lovecraft, also inspired partly by a tweet from author Morgan May regarding 50 Shades of Grey and people telling her she shouldn’t read it anymore.
All things mentioned in the video are linked below. For more BookTube videos visit my YouTube channel.
Nicole Cushing’s blog post
Lovecraft radio documentary, The Strange Life of HP Lovecraft
The Secret World of Lewis Carroll
8 thoughts on “Lovecraft, Racism And ‘Problematic Content’”
It took quite a bit of courage to take on this subject, much less make a video, so fair play to you. I started reading Lovecraft at about the same age you did and I have to admit that I’d forgotten some of the examples of racism mentioned in your video and Cushing’s post. Remembering made me feel the same queasiness that I felt then and it’s no wonder I chose to put the ugliness out of mind. I’m not in the business of defending people who write such things, but I did find myself mentally preparing the same arguments (man of his time, etc.) and both Nicole Cushing and yourself had valid counterarguments. That having been said, I do commend you for pointing out that if we refused to read anyone whose thoughts and behaviours we disagree with, we would have precious little to read. I suppose the good we have to take from all of this is that we are all human, all flawed to varying degrees, and yet most of us have something unique to offer one another. I cannot imagine never having read Lovecraft or Carroll, Burroughs or Ginsberg.
I’m very interested to see what sort of comments you’ll get on this wonderfully thought provoking post, and I apologise for my own overly long comment.
Don’t apologise, it’s a great comment. Yes I was very nervous to do it, and I’ve yet to see the response. Thanks loads!
Wonderfully put! I too agree that the art should be separated from the artist. Perspectives, even from individuals that we disagree with, can be insightful to our understanding of society.
On a side note, it was great to hear you mention The Ballad of Black Tom, which I recently read and loved! 😊
I loved it too. Definitely, thanks loads!
Such an important question! I don’t believe you can ever separate a person’s work from their views/outlooks. When we’re writing creatively everything is filtered through subjective experience, and sometimes it can be more subtle but it is nevertheless still there. I think like you say we don’t have to agree with the views of the author to acknowledge that creatively they are great. Thanks for posting Madeleine I’ll have to watch those documentaries at some point
Yes absolutely, disagreeing with someone doesn’t mean you should disregard them, it’s just another point of view. No problem, they’re very interesting documentaries
As an amateur Lovecraft scholar I too have problems with Lovecraft’s racism, not just in his writings, which is kind of naive, but especially his personal letters. I agree that he is a reflection of his time, and that there was a market for it his ideas bothers me the most. But he is not the only writer I have these kind of issues with Ian Flemming, Kipling, Hemingway too. I agree with you completely, for me I can separate the artist and his work (and he did soften his views as he gt older) , but if a person is really bothered by it then their feelings are completely valid and I would advise them to avoid his stories. Great post. ,
Thank you so much! It’s odd how he can be so interesting yet so unpleasant