Wednesday, November 11, 2015

After Milton, On Shakespeare - On Lovecraft.

What needs my Lovecraft to secure his place,
One Gahan Wilson’s image of his face,
He showed the prejudices of his kin,   
For he was not born with such thoughts within,
But raised Dear son of Madness, heir of hate,
He still o’er aeons worked and changed his state
Saw Deep Ones’ joys as hallowed in the sea,
And Artic Old Ones worthy of  his plea,
That though their forms were strange they should engage
Our sympathy, as men, of their own age.
Like us in reason, and in hope to live,
And stranger still the Yith, his words would give,
Life better yet, than ours, before and hence,
If he had lived what further recompense?

He died before the Holocaust, before the days
Of Segregation past, before the ways
To pay both man and women, saw decree
Oh from your pedestals be proud you were not he.

    For what it matters - the world fantasy awards are fully justified in making their award look like
    what ever they like - it's their award, but I'm not sure any writer of fantasy born in 1890 to a white - at the
    time relatively parochial,  Providence family - who was mostly a self educated autodidact because of ill-ness drawing on the resources of a library mostly written in the 18th Century stood much chance of *not* being racist.  Nor do they note the increasing sympathy in his writing for the very creatures that originally he wrote of as serving as analogues for his fear of the other.  Had he not died at 47 in poverty and in pain, without knowing that his writing would still be esteemed today,  perhaps he would have written something better pleasing to his critics than the racist verse he wrote at 22, and the fears shown in his earlier works.   This is not to say he wasn't throroughly wrong and fat headed on these matters - but it is to say, hell what chance did he have?

     I also find it reported that one year after Lovecraft's death, graduates polled in the US about whether or not they should take in Jewish refugues from Europe voted 69% against, and only 4% voted in favour of taking refugues if it would involve raising immigration quotas.  To emphasise - that's graduates the supposedly better educated end of the population, of the - next generation - to him, most of whom we would regard as being racist.   And, what are we doing today about refugees for that matter?


w. h. pugmire, esq. said...

Many thanks for this wonderful poem, and your sane words. I am boycotting World Fantasy because, as a Lovecraftian artist, I feel slighted; and yet I can also understand how a black or Jewish poet winning the Howie wou'd be discomforted by the bulging stare of such an ignoble racist. As a queer of Jewish heritage, I am repuls'd by Lovecraft's bigotry--yet I idolize him as one of our genre's greatest writers, an artist who paved ye way for my own wee contribution to fantasy fiction.

Site Owner said...

Hi, I really like your Mythos work btw. Nice of you to drop in.

Simon Bucher-Jones