Today is the anniversary of H.P. Lovecraft‘s death. It was by all accounts a slow and painful demise, from intestinal cancer and malnutrition. It was a pointless death, possibly avoidable had he eaten better and taken care of himself. But he was a writer, and poor, so he did the most he could with what he had. He died far too young, of course, but most of us do. We can only wonder about the work he would have produced had he gone on even a bit longer. He died with many friends and several true admirers, yet he died alone except, possibly, for his cats, haunting the family home he’d shared with his maiden aunts.
I may seem a bit melancholy, a bit pessimistic, about this occasion, but that’s wholly appropriate. We are talking about Lovecraft here, after all. A nihilistic old racist, crammed full of fifty-cent words.
There are people who have never heard of Lovecraft, may not know who he was, but have none the less felt the impact of his work on literature, film, television,games, and the very concept of fandom. Our popular culture is richer for his influence, I think. For all his flaws, he inspired many, and he made a difference.