S. T. Joshi: People Who Aren't Famous Have No Right to Criticize Lovecraft for Racism
Canadian author David Nickle has an interesting post on his blog about H. P. Lovecraft and the issue of racism, prompted by the recent petition by Daniel José Older to replace World Fantasy Award’s bust of Lovecraft with that of the Black female writer Octavia Butler because Lovecraft was an “avowed racist and a terrible wordsmith” while Butler challenged “our notions of power, race and gender.” Personally, I’d have objected on the grounds that Lovecraft is better suited to horror than fantasy, but boundaries blur at the edges of the forms of speculative fiction. I don’t really have a problem with the World Fantasy Award being a bust of Lovecraft, nor do I see it as an endorsement of racism, but the debate over Older’s petition has degenerated into parody of the kind of debates over racism we see in society today.
In the post, Nickle describes his trip to the World Horror Convention last year to participate in a panel discussion on Lovecraft’s “Eternal Fascination” moderated by Lovecraft scholar S. T. Joshi. Nickle said he came with the intention of discussing Lovecraft’s views on race and eugenics, but he quickly found that the panel was uninterested in the topic:
I brought up the topic early and affably in the panel, and just a little later but also affably, Mr. Joshi shut it down with a familiar canard: Lovecraft's racism and xenophobia must be viewed in the context of Lovecraft's considerably less-enlightened time.
Nickle participated in a second panel discussion on Lovecraft at Worldcon on the international appeal of Lovecraft. There he again tried to raise the issue of racism in Lovecraft’s work. “One of my co-panelists straight-facedly claimed she had seen no hints of racism in the Lovecraft that she’d read and wasn’t sure what I was talking about.”
Nickle therefore concludes that it’s important for fantasy writers to acknowledge and deal with the racism of older works like those of Lovecraft, not just to push them under the carpet or pretend they don’t exist. Lovecraft’s fiction, he says, emerges from racism and takes much of its power from fear of the Other, and this simply cannot be excised from the stories as an inconvenient fact. He provides the example of Lovecraftian pastiches that mimic the style but lack the effect because they are missing the fear and loathing that animates the original work.
He was reacting specifically to S. T. Joshi’s apoplectic response to Older’s petition, and, also, to author China Miéville’s claim to have hidden the WFA statuette away to avoid looking at Lovecraft’s racist visage. (Joshi does not have linkable blog posts; I am referring to the August 16 and 23, 2014 entries .)
Joshi was outraged at the petition, and penned a horrible “satire” on August 16 making the faceitious case for replacing Lovecraft with himself on the World Fantasy Award, including such noxious lines as “I have a fatal predilection for blonde Caucasian females, a trait I share with Arabs engaged in the white slave trade.” (Joshi, a native of India, recently married Mary K. Wilson, a blonde white woman.)
Apparently Joshi discovered that not everyone appreciated his post (least of all Oder), so he offered a second, this time criticizing Older, an emerging writer, for not being famous enough to question Lovecraft, penning a massive blog post to challenge the paragraph-long petition: “What lofty literary achievements, I wondered, gave him the right to cast such Olympian moral judgments on a writer against whom, from an objective point of view, he would seem like a flea on the back of an elephant?” He objects that Older has published only two books and lacks a Wikipedia page. But it gets worse:
Has he made any attempt to understand the sources—intellectual, social, familial, cultural—of Lovecraft’s racism? Is he content to hand down facile condemnations on a figure who lived a century ago without the slightest attempt to grasp the reasons why that figure came to his views? That would seem to be the act of a partisan hack, not an informed critic or scholar. […] Does Mr. Older have any awareness of the nearly uniform opinion of Lovecraft’s friends and colleagues that he was one of the most admirable individuals—kind, courteous, dignified without pomposity, witty, immensely learned and aesthetically gifted—they had ever met?
He concludes by saying of Older, “When he dies, it will have been as if he had never lived.” Therefore, his opinion is “preposterous kerfuffle.” Here is Older’s response.
Well, as it happens, Mr. Joshi, I am familiar with the source material, and I have conducted research in to the life and times of H. P. Lovecraft, published on the same, and have a Wikipedia entry on my work, so by your criteria I can therefore pronounce ex cathedra that Lovecraft was a racist, that his work is permeated with racist assumptions and ideas, and that it is impossible to understand Lovecraft’s fiction without significant engagement with his racist views. I will also assert that Lovecraft’s racism was an order of magnitude greater than the casual racism of the New England of the 1920s and more closely aligned to the Jim Crow South and to the Nazis, whom Lovecraft praised for promoting cultural purity. On Hitler, Lovecraft once wrote, “by God, I like the boy!”
Now I need to add a disclaimer since Joshi is rather quick to attack those who disagree: Joshi suggested the title for my first book, though to our shared publisher, not to me, and he has included positive references to my work in his own. He has also told me he never read my book, and he stopped talking to me after I asked for his assistance in developing my literary career. I haven’t spoken to him in at least seven years.
Let’s remind ourselves of Lovecraft’s racism. Consider some of Lovecraft’s work:
“… the prisoners all proved to be men of a very low, mixed-blooded, and mentally aberrant type. Most were seamen, and a sprinkling of Negroes and mulattoes, largely West Indians or Brava Portuguese from the Cape Verde Islands, gave a colouring of voodooism to the heterogeneous cult.” (“The Call of Cthulhu”)
And his personal thoughts:
Of course they can’t let niggers use the beach at a Southern resort – can you imagine sensitive persons bathing near a pack of greasy chimpanzees? The only thing that makes life endurable where blacks abound is the Jim Crow principle, & I wish they’d apply it in N.Y. both to niggers & to the more Asiatic type of puffy, rat-faced Jew. Either stow ’em out of sight or kill ’em off – anything so that a white man may walk along the streets without shuddering nausea. (letter of February 1925)
It’s true that other (usually lesser) pulp authors of the era had racist views, but their work isn’t continually reprinted, nor is it celebrated among the great accomplishments of its genre.
Joshi explains that he devoted 2% of his biography of Lovecraft, I Am Providence, to racism, but that he considered atheism a much more important subject, superseding any need to devote more time to racism. He also notes that when he read that Lovecraft considered Joshi’s native India to be a nauseating place that made him want to “vomit,” Joshi immediately decided that it was a “perfectly natural” response born of love for the British Empire rather than hatred of India.
Joshi goes on to present several logical fallacies in absolving Lovecraft of responsibility for his racism, and the audience from the need to care about it. As noted above, Joshi expects us to take the esteem of Lovecraft’s friends as absolution, as though racists do not have friends and cannot be polite and even charming. He next presents an appeal to authority, arguing that Joyce Carol Oates’s praise of Lovecraft’s aesthetic style absolves the stories (and the man) of responsibility for their content, and that critical studies of the author justify the “intrinsic merits” of his work. But work can be meritorious while still containing repugnant ideas; Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will is perhaps the most prominent example.
Here is the most problematic line in Joshi’s post: “The WFA bust acknowledges Lovecraft’s literary status in the field of weird fiction and nothing more.” On the one hand, this is strictly speaking true; the Edgar Award for mystery writing, for example, takes no position on alcoholism or child marriage despite taking its form from Edgar Allan Poe. But on the other hand, could we honestly give out an award in the shape of Arthur Conan Doyle for logic and reason? Sure, he invented Sherlock Holmes—his great contribution to literature—but he also was a crank who believed in fairies and psychics and actively tried to undermine science and reason in the real world. The personal and the political cannot be so easily separated, especially when the personal directly impacts the form and content of the work in question, as with Lovecraft and racism.
Joshi says “It would appear that Bram Stoker was a Christian (an Irish Protestant). I am an atheist. Would it be legitimate for me to feel uncomfortable accepting the BSA [the Bram Stoker Award for horror] because of my religious differences with Stoker?” But religious difference isn’t the same as racism. One can be religious without engaging in hatred, while one cannot be a racist without denigrating others. To equate them to is set up a false dichotomy. Racism involves the active hatred of the Other and the purposeful denigration of the same. Bram Stoker’s Dracula promotes Christianity to be sure, but it does not actively argue that people of other faiths are subhuman. Even if it did, religion is not an inherent quality of a human being; humans can and do change their faiths. Race, however, is an inherent characteristic, despite not being biological, because our culture has ascribed value to skin color, and (Michael Jackson aside), this cannot be changed.
I understand that Joshi has tied so much of his life and work to glorifying Lovecraft, but it does no one any good to minimize the man’s faults, especially when they play such a large role, paradoxically, in driving the very power that Joshi sees in Lovecraft’s mature fiction. There are fine arguments to be made for and against using Lovecraft on the World Fantasy Award, but arguing that those who are opposed to it are ignorant and/or not famous enough to take seriously are not among those arguments.
8/26/2014 06:04:48 am
Lovecraft definitely had racist views. Joshi seems to want to look past all of Lovecraft's flaws, and works hard to do so. One similar case, although reversed, would be a young, not-famous author who went after Joseph Campbell criticizing him, among other things, for racist, ethnocentric views that rendered his scholarship unworthy. I read the relatively unknown author's novella and wrote a review of it and his anti-Campbell views. Link is provided above.
8/26/2014 11:38:26 am
I read Drew Jacob's entry on Joseph Campbell. I have my own reasons for not being a fan of Campbell's Monomyth, but I have to admit Jacob pretty much lost me when he started talking about being an "actual hero". I'm not sure what he even means by that, unless he's talking about becoming a volunteer firefighter or something, and his use of Che Guevara as an example of a hero is a little unsettling to me.
8/26/2014 12:12:32 pm
An "actual hero"? Do I want to know? :)
8/26/2014 03:00:43 pm
Yeah, apparently Drew Jacob feels that the Monomyth promotes the idea that a hero is nothing more than some dude who fits into a specific (very broad) category of narrative. Mr. Jacob aspires to be an "actual hero"--in his words: "... the kind where you do stuff that saves lives or makes people safer."
8/26/2014 06:24:23 pm
Oh man... geez... I'd make a joke about "becoming an hero", but now I'm just not in the mood... for anything...
8/27/2014 03:42:02 am
Shane said, "According to Byron DeLear, a fan of Campbell's, Jacob is also some kind of pagan priest, so he's a bit of an odd bird from the get-go."
8/27/2014 05:42:39 am
His attack on Campbell is self-serving and one-sided, but I really have no sympathy for Campbell. He is nowhere near deserving his status as a "monument" and his popularity has nothing to do with his scholarly merit (and everything to do with his ideas being accessible to people with high school education).
8/26/2014 06:11:35 am
Here's the passage from Joshi's blog where he discusses Older's credentials:
8/26/2014 06:13:05 am
I agree with almost all of this, strongly. I would suggest that if a writer did have religiously-based views that others are sub-human, that would be similar to the issue with Lovecraft. Otherwise, I agree with the lot. And I read some of Joshi's essay a day or two ago (his followup one), and couldn't finish it as it was so embarrassing. He's honestly taken his legacy down a peg with this, as it makes him look like a fanboy.
8/26/2014 06:15:57 am
The fourth passage in my previous post should read
8/26/2014 06:34:48 am
I couldn't agree more. Joshi's post is ridiculously embarrassing. And embarrassingly ridiculous. The only explanation I can see is that race relations must be a sensitive issue for him, to the point of making him lose control. Otherwise, what he says is unworthy of a serious scholar (or, indeed, of an intelligent person).
8/26/2014 07:00:54 am
Nah, I suspect it is that he's too close to the issue. Neverminding any more cynical perspective (Joshi's star has risen with HPL's in the last decades), which I don't suspect are the main thing, he has indeed dedicated his life work to studying the man. He had to have made his decisions about these questions, possibly decades ago, otherwise he couldn't have done the work he has. To then see constant complaints about these topics, and yes usually from those younger and in many cases not that well known (though I suspect China Mieville didn't get quite such a nasty response), he's going to take it as an indictment of his life work.
8/26/2014 07:10:54 am
But yes, it does make Joshi look non-scholarly.
8/26/2014 07:13:17 am
Or it could be the combination of the two... In any case, I hope we can all agree that his reaction disqualifies his opinion on the matter from being taken as unbiased, as representing an "objective point of view".
8/26/2014 07:21:39 am
"I've never been very impressed when he starts discussing the tales themselves, or influences and interpretations that are not directly related to the biographical"
8/26/2014 06:29:27 am
"work can be meritorious while still containing repugnant ideas; Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will is perhaps the most prominent example."
8/26/2014 02:34:17 pm
L.R's "Triumph of Will" films the events of the 1936 games.
8/27/2014 12:48:57 am
I had the pleasure of being the cameraman for Riefenstahl for the Synapse DVD release of TRIUMPH OF THE WILL. The film indeed was a propaganda film and was conceptualized and exicuted as such. She was very clear that it was Goebbels who dictated the overall execution of the film and that she was just doing a job, one that she felt if she did not do correctly could have great negative consequences on her, now there are many debates about what her role actually was but she was always clear that she was just doing her job.
8/27/2014 03:59:31 am
For more on the Nazis pursuit of perfecting the German people, this documentary is very informative and a sublime depiction of how Hitler rejected degenerate art, and the propaganda mission followed this agenda to "purify" the state. The racial purity of the blood, the blood religion, in essence, saw Hitler as the grand artist sculpting his domain with dispassionate murder and cruelty. I highly recommend it.
8/27/2014 04:54:16 am
"TRIUMPH OF THE WILL as a film played a huge part in how the mass media and media in general is used in our daily lives and that it will forever be remembered as the moment that things changed in the world of mass media, the moment that it was proven that images and sound can truly be used to influence that masses."
8/27/2014 06:24:04 am
American Cinema came of age with CITIZEN KANE but the
8/27/2014 06:27:43 am
Not at all,
8/27/2014 06:45:14 am
To clarify, I agree that Triumph of the Will is a landmark of cinema. I was taking issue with you overstating the case: "it will forever be remembered", "the moment that things changed", "the moment that it was proven"... And now you say:
8/27/2014 07:10:02 am
You know I really hate arguing for the sake of arguing, people take exception all the time with statements, These are mine coming and based on my career as a editor in the new industry. I would gladly encourage you to research and explore the topic of TRIUMPH and its impact on media, there are many places to do so but most are actual courses and I simply can only give basic and general qualifications of my statements since I really do not have the time to break down the film on a theoretical level and then do the comparisons to current media.
8/27/2014 07:22:19 am
I have watched the movie and I know a fair bit about its history. I wasn't denying that it's innovative and influential. I was merely expressing doubt that your incredibly strong statements about the movie are supported. You haven't really addressed my specific complaints, but if you don't wish to for whatever reason, that's cool.
8/27/2014 07:44:25 am
It is hard to address in this forum and with the limited time, simply because it is all discussing and analyzing the theory of presentation. I feel my example of the use of the Flag in the film and the flag used in current news media is the best simple example I can come up with. If you want me to address then "When" well the when is when others saw how the techniques used worked. Understand also that everything has been built upon and further developed in the way of technique since 1934. TRIUMPH serves only as a cornerstone of using the visual medium to influence it is not the final statement.
8/27/2014 07:52:43 am
You're not getting what I'm saying. I never questioned that the movie employs certain techniques effectively or that it was influential. I am merely suggesting that your strong statements (which I quoted in my posts) are both false and unsupportable.
8/27/2014 08:09:48 am
So you are questioning my use of certain words, in a purely rhetorical sense?
8/27/2014 08:28:28 am
"So you are questioning my use of certain words, in a purely rhetorical sense?"
8/27/2014 08:47:22 am
Look feel how you want. I stand by my statements dislike them if you want.
8/27/2014 09:25:22 am
I guess my effort to make you consider whether your "educated opinions" are really all that educated in the right sense have been for nothing. Your loss.
8/27/2014 09:44:14 am
I left out the rhetorical comment from my last post because there was no need to state it again, that would become rather redundant, kind of like your need to debate. I am sorry I choose to interact beyond my initial statements, I should of know there would be nothing to build on or discuss. Only thing I would suggest as I have is to listen to the audio commentary to better understand where I am coming from something which you feel is not needed. I should of realized there that you just like to argue... Honestly I do not understand that, it is really not that interesting.
8/27/2014 12:14:28 pm
"I am sorry I choose to interact beyond my initial statements"
I agree with Jason. Now, I personally couldn't care less about who's on the WFA Bust, whether it's Lovecraft or Octavia Butler or somebody else. But - and I speak as a massive Lovecraft fan with 2.5 bookcases of Cthulhu Mythos stuff - I think the attempts to minimize Lovecraft's racism, and the importance it played in his work, are unfortunate. Lovecraft was a great cosmic visionary, a man whose stories were driven by a nihilistic awareness of the vastness of the universe compared to our puny selves - but they were also driven by his terror of miscegenation and racial contamination, and we do him no favors by denying that.
8/26/2014 07:36:54 am
I grew up in the town of Chester just south of Philadelphia amidst the racial issues and tensions of the 1960's. Out of my own ignorance I held some racist views, but they were gleaned from a lack of racial neutrality in my circle of influences. As I grew, I became wiser to the subject and today I do not tolerate racism.
8/26/2014 07:53:08 am
"Out of my own ignorance I held some racist views, but they were gleaned from a lack of racial neutrality in my circle of influences. As I grew, I became wiser to the subject and today I do not tolerate racism."
8/26/2014 01:42:14 pm
I understand your opinion. That I don't like homosexuality in my own life can't be taken to mean that I wish they crawl back into the closet. I just don't like how the homosexual community thinks it owes all of us a peek into their lifestyle. They have as much right to be here - despite their nonsensical belief that they are born that way - as anyone else. But it seems as if one doesn't engage in homosexual practices or so much as expresses a lack of support for same they are labeled as intolerant and opposed to them.
8/26/2014 02:20:33 pm
I wasn't talking about not wanting it "in your life". (Although I'm not sure where "your life" ends civil rights begin...)
8/26/2014 08:45:16 pm
Ah, choice. If you feel it's a choice to be gay, there's an extremely simple way to prove it, and to destroy homosexuality forever. You, BillUSA, need to have gay sex. If you choose to have sex, as an avowedly hetero guy, with another guy, then you could prove their lie about being born that way!
8/26/2014 09:36:36 pm
I see your point about my generalization and agree. To clarify any earlier statements I made to the effect, by "the homosexual community" I was referring to what some would term the "power homosexuals" - meaning GLAAD, Hollywood or any public entity that either threatens economic hardship to get businesses to fall into line or people who try to make it my business to know they are homosexual. I know several homosexuals whom I keep at arm's length so to say. Besides a few relatives who live thousands of miles away, the others are in that program. I'll help them in any way that is consistent with the steps. I'm not there to hook up (I wouldn't touch the females if I were wearing a spacesuit), I'm there to learn how to live another day clean. It's worked for me for over ten years.
8/27/2014 04:12:57 am
BillUSA --- I appreciate your candor, but it is also clear that you are homophobic, and I would encourage you to examine the foundation of your beliefs concerning freedom and equity. Equating homosexuality with druggies and/or alcoholics is absolutely bigoted, as you say, "I just don't want that sort of thing [homesexuality] in my life - any more than I want the old druggies and alcoholics that I used to hang with (albeit for different reasons)."
8/27/2014 04:47:19 am
"by "the homosexual community" I was referring to what some would term the "power homosexuals" - meaning GLAAD, Hollywood or any public entity that either threatens economic hardship to get businesses to fall into line or people who try to make it my business to know they are homosexual"
8/27/2014 05:14:10 am
"for a species to produce newborns predisposed to engaging in non-reproductive sexual activity is a) anomalous and b) a biological dead end. I recognize there are accomplished experts who disagree but they are wrong."
8/27/2014 12:25:31 am
Mark Twain actually deplored racism, at least later in life. Although he wrote racist dialogues and monologues, he did it to satirize racism.
I Have a Dream...
8/26/2014 01:56:12 pm
Andrew Johnson's presidential papers and his public remarks
8/26/2014 02:03:52 pm
I have a dream where . doesn't shitpost
8/26/2014 02:19:52 pm
I have a dream about a future where we all are more tolerant.
8/26/2014 02:51:44 pm
I have a dream where I can be more tolerant of someone's posting habits, if they contained salient points and remained on topic.
8/27/2014 04:53:10 am
@ Only Me
8/27/2014 05:55:45 am
Allen Ginzberg's "Howl" and HPL's "The Dunwitch Horror" are
i have a dream...
9/4/2014 12:13:48 am
i have actually read some of
Lovecraft also hated Poles - I've done a lot of work into retracing his visits to Salem and his letters are always filled with complaints about the Polish community on Derby street. It's actually using that bile that I was able to place the location of the (Dreams in the) Witch House in Salem/Arkham.
8/26/2014 02:26:17 pm
Jack London was a racist too. I still love his work. As for Lovecraft, I heartily agree that his prose is like plowing thru molasses. But he was a great idea man.
8/26/2014 09:42:27 pm
Careful now. By someone else's logic, that would make you a racist.
8/26/2014 06:53:16 pm
I've read Nickle's blog post, and the ones by Joshi and Older.
8/27/2014 01:07:40 am
I agree this whole thing sounds like two kids saying I know better than you and in a few oh yeahs and it is no different that the verbal slams in the playground.
8/27/2014 12:43:45 am
Lovecraft's anti-semitism may be sharply contrasted with the views of J.R.R. Tolkien, who is unquestionably a fantasy writer. When he was preparing to publish a German translation of The Hobbit and his publisher in Nazi Germany asked for proof that he was Aryan, he reportedly drafted the following response for his British publisher to send:
8/27/2014 03:56:24 am
I would say a much better argument could be made for replacing the bust on the World Fantasy Award with Tolkien on pure "merit" grounds. Tolkien was more of a pure fantasy author, he did show excellent use of words (although I personally dislike his style), and he was not overtly racist. Although again a few such themes are hinted at in his work, he does seem to have genuinely struggled with them.
8/27/2014 04:49:58 am
Tolkien may not have been an anti-Semite, but he was pretty racist.
8/27/2014 06:03:25 am
Just give out rings inscribed in the language of Mordor. How is this not obvious?
8/27/2014 06:15:00 am
Funny you should mention that, EP. One guy suggested on both Nickle's blog and Older's that the award be a tablet with cuneiform, to represent the age and scope of fantasy writing...or something to that effect.
8/27/2014 06:17:36 am
I was thinking more along the lines of of some tentacles writhing within a frame of alien geometry, but I suppose if you want to be lame that would do :)
8/27/2014 06:45:54 am
I just don't think there should be an award that requires the winner to roll for anal circumference :)
8/27/2014 06:50:00 am
Where you stick the statuette is entirely up to you... Unless you're like BillUSA and worry that Hollywood "power homosexuals" are trying to make you gay :)
"One guy suggested on both Nickle's blog and Older's that the award be a tablet with cuneiform, to represent the age and scope of fantasy writing...or something to that effect."
8/27/2014 11:33:41 pm
EP, I am not convinced that Tolkien was racist, either (at leas by the standards of his day). In a 1959 speech at Oxford, he reportedly said, "I have the hatred of apartheid in my bones." He also evidently criticized South African treatment of nonwhites in a private letter to his son during World War II.
8/28/2014 04:07:41 am
I never meant to suggest that Tolkien was a vicious, hateful racist. He certainly wasn't. However, look at what is presented as evidence against his racism. Sure Tolkien thought the Holocaust and the Apartheid were abhorrent. But it's not like all racists approved of them.
9/4/2014 12:23:33 am
EP --- i see that in my absence you also dumped on Thomas Edward Lawrence in addition to JR.R. Tolkien, this has me curious. You do know the character Clause Rains plays in
9/4/2014 12:27:03 am
Claude Rains --- not "Clause" i hit the "S" key, not the "D"
9/4/2014 01:00:54 am
EP --- Admittedly you did qualify your glib remark...
To paraphrase a qoute from Alexander Dumas (as I do not have the exact qoute at hand), "Do not judge the past by the present, for it was a different time with different ways". As an example, look back to 100 years ago. You had a prevalent use of alcohol and tobbaco, drug use had just been outlawed by the Mann Act of 1914, racism was prevalent but not always recognised ;especially by those progressives who thought they were helping te lower classes and inferior people.
Warner Bros. and Walter Lantz studios are both examples of un-recognised racism. From the late 1930's through the war years, they released a number of cartoons that by todays standards are considered as racist.
Ralph E Vaughan
8/31/2014 03:47:03 am
Lovecraft was supposed to be racist because that was the time in which he lived and the cultural baggage handed to every WASP, but he wasn't very good at it, treating everyone he met with courtesy and respect, even if they were of ethnic groups he had written about. Later in life, he admitted how much his upbringing had screwed him up, but, sadly, did not live long enough to do anything but admit it. As far as Older is concerned, it's not that he's not famous, but marginal and always will be. As Lovecraft is judged racist by the future, so might Older by future generations with differing standards. He is certainly ignorant, recommending a science fiction writer for a fantasy trophy, and perhaps even a bit racist for implying "anybody but a white guy." And, yes, if you attack idols, their followers will hit back, so he should not be surprised at all the attention he's received...and maybe counted on.
9/4/2014 12:30:14 am
Redemptive he voted for me, even
9/14/2014 09:14:25 am
" He is certainly ignorant, recommending a science fiction writer for a fantasy trophy, and perhaps even a bit racist for implying "anybody but a white guy." And, yes, if you attack idols, their followers will hit back, so he should not be surprised at all the attention he's received...and maybe counted on."
9/17/2014 05:09:46 am
I was the one Older was responding to with his moronic "If you think Lovecraft is a genius there is no hope for you" or whatever it was comment. I followed with a comment from Peter Straub, who also called E'ch-Pi-El a genius. Of course, being such a complete Lovecraft fanboy does nothing to "help" Lovecraft's reputation--you just look extreme and foolish. But Lovecraft needs no such assistance, because his fiction is excellent in every way, his beautiful prose style is near perfection, and -- oops, there I go again. I love S. T.'s blog and the hilarious reaction they are getting from certain crybabies. I shall do allI can to encourage him to continue.
9/17/2014 10:53:59 am
Hello, Mr. Pugmire.
Man From The South
9/18/2014 06:07:46 am
"Yes. For instance,l ook at how furious the late Christopher Hitchens got whenever anyone ever criticised his beloved George
Man From The South
9/18/2014 06:28:05 am
I forget to mention- while Joshi's dislike for Robert E. Howard's
9/19/2014 10:25:13 am
Here some interesting stats about the blog posts of S. T. Joshi
11/26/2014 04:01:16 am
Many posters seem to take for granted that racism is automatically something "bad". Tragically they are completely brainwashed by jewish controlled media, and its PC propaganda.
11/11/2015 05:22:10 pm
Gandhi also has some quotes admiring hitler. Considering lovecraft died in 1937, before the extent of hitlers evil was known, lovecraft having an admiring quote of hitler is nothing incriminating and pointing it out is only done to associate the name of evil (hitler) to inflame the audience.
5/31/2016 03:14:49 pm
Back in Lovecraft's time, most Americans were racists, so this was a strongly ingrained attribute for his time. Does it make it "okay" for him to have written racist comments in his letters? Well, if you read what he wrote from the vantage point of NOW, then yes, yes, his comments are provoking...However, you're not automatically a fanboy if you love Lovecraft's stories, his writing really was admirable. Maybe not to the less is better school of people who love Hemingway, but this is a matter of apples versus oranges. Personally, I believe that most people today haven't the patience for most writing written back then, period--they'd also have troubles reading Henry James or Joseph Conrad. If you acclimatize your mind to his prose style, and climb over the present aversion to adjectives, then..Lovecraft's writing is enjoyable, at least in my opinion.
1/9/2020 10:43:07 pm
My experience is that the people who like to fling the word "racist" at others are usually racists themselves. Hypocrites and witch-hunters. Isn't it just as wrong to judge a man by a single character flaw while overlooking the other more positive aspects of the man as it is to judge someone by the color of their skin and not the whole person? Besides, Lovecraft changed his views considerably as he matured and even if he didn't, he had a right to his opinions. It's time for all the crybabies to get over their sensitive feelings and psychological hangups before we all end up losing our rights to free speech and freedom of thought.
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I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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