Hello there! Your friendly defender of truth and justice here to provide you with a short primer designed to crush mercilessly beneath my bootheels a number of misconceptions surrounding the life and works of H.P. Lovecraft, a mindblowingly scrumptiously amazing author. With no further ado, I present...
The man was a total recluse. Never left New England!
Yeah, yeah, you know the drill. Lovecraft is constantly portrayed as an introspective hermit who maintained his friendships through voluminous correspondence and ne'er dared venture from the seclusion of his home.
In reality, Lovecraft traveled widely (frequently to visit friends) and wrote about his voyages in often lengthy travelogues. He trekked as far north as Quebec and as far south as De Land, Florida. To me, that implies he was anything but reclusive. His travelogues include what is Lovecraft's most sprawling work at 75 000 words: A Description of the Town of Quebeck, in New France, Lately Added to His Britannick Majesty's Dominions. Whew, what a title!
And gay too! The gayest gay that ever nanced down the pike!
Haha, sometimes it seems every historical figure or famous author has at least one person out there claiming they were flaming homosexuals. I think a good counter for this myth is to note that he was (albeit briefly) married to a woman who described him as an "adequately excellent lover." If that's not enough to convince you, let me share a few scraps of Lovecraft's letters:
"As a matter of fact—although of course I always knew that paederasty was a disgusting custom of many ancient nations—I never heard of homosexuality as an actual instinct till I was over thirty ... which beats your record! It is possible, I think that this perversion occurs more frequently in some periods than in others—owing to obscure biological & psychological causes. Decadent ages—when psychology is unsettled—seem to favour it. Of course—in ancient times the extent of the practice of paederasty (as a custom which most simply accepted blindly, without any special inclination) cannot be taken as any measure of the extent of actual psychological perversion."
-H.P. Lovecraft, letter to J. Vernon Shea,14 August 1933.
"So far as the case of homosexuality goes, the primary and vital objection against it is that it is naturally (physically and
involuntarily-- not merely 'morally' or aesthetically) repugnant to the overwhelming bulk of mankind..."
-H.P. Lovecraft, letter to August Derleth, 16 February 1933
Well, there you go. Unless he was very much in denial, the man seems to have been more inclined to homophobia than homosexuality. Actually, Lovecraft biographies often express that he was somewhat asexual, preferring intellectual pursuits to physical distractions.
The Necronomicon is like totally absolutely REAL. I've seen it myself!
No, it bloody well isn't. Lovecraft invented the fabled book for his stories and that's that, you tremendous moron. Lovecraft himself was often plagued with letters inquiring as to the reality of his concocted Necronomicon. Here is just one example from his correspondences of our boy asserting that the Necronomicon is fictional and was devised entirely by him:
"Regarding the Necronomicon—I must confess that this monstrous & abhorred volume is merely a figment of my own imagination! Inventing horrible books is quite a pastime among devotees of the weird, & ... many of the regular W.T. contributors have such things to their credit—or discredit. It rather amuses the different writers to use one another's synthetic demons &imaginary books in their stories—so that Clark Ashton Smith often speaks of my Necronomicon while I refer to his Book of Eibon ... & so on. This pooling of resources tends to build up quite a pseudo-convincing background of dark mythology, legendry, & bibliography—though of course none of us has the least wish actually to mislead readers."
-H.P. Lovecraft, letter to Miss Margaret Sylvester, January 13, 1934
Righto, jolly good. Necronomicon not real. You get the picture. There's been a metric fuckton of fake Necronomicons popping up. A website I came across mentions more than ten of them, though most are parodies and inside-jokes. One which qualifies as entirely a hoax (rather than a joke or spoof) is the Simon Necronomicon, published (you can buy it on Amazon, for the love of god!) by a mysterious man named Simon whose hobbies seem to include slinging tremendous quantities of bullshit. Incidentally, this sometimes goes by the clever nickname of the Simonomicon.Whatever, numerous copies of this exist in text on the web so you can go decide for yourself. A google search will also find you some nice essays giving evidence that the Simon Necronomicon is pure unadultered crap.
I heard from my aunt's third-cousin twice removed that Lovecraft's creations were often inspired by Sumerian mythology! Fancy that!
This misconception is the work of that blasted Simon Necronomicon I was just telling you about. It compares Lovecraft's characters to similar figures in Sumerian mythology. Cthulhu is mentioned as being remarkably similar to the Sumerian Ctha-la or Kutulu. These claims should be taken with a dumptruck full of salt because there is no Ctha-la or Kutulu in Sumerian mythology. Or Babylonian. Thoroughly erroneous and entirely a fabrication of the infamous author of the Simon Necronomicon.
Word on the street is Lovecraft didn't like ice cream! How obscene!
Absurd! I have right here an exerpt from a letter by Lovecraft which proves otherwise!
"There are twenty-eight varieties this season, and we sampled them all within the course of an hour."
-H.P. Lovecraft , about ice cream, letter to Maurice W. Moe, July 30 1927
SEE?! And for those who say this isn't really a widespread Lovecraft misconception but rather something I made up so I could share the coolest Lovecraft quote ever... Quiet, you bastards! How dare you not be smitten by H. P. Lovecraft talking about ice cream!?