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Book Title: The Reanimator|
Date of issue: April 28th 2011
ISBN 13: 9781447405511
The author of the book: H.P. Lovecraft
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 652 KB
Edition: Fantasy and Horror Classics
Read full description of the books The Reanimator:H.P. Lovecraft stories don't usually make me think of Mel Brooks and Bruce Campbell, but "Herbert West" is definitely an exception.
This story, like H.P.’s subsequent work “The Lurking Fear,” was written to-order as a serial publication for the humor magazine Home Brew. Although Lovecraft’s interest in atmospheric effects often mars “The Lurking Fear”’s humorous tone, “Herbert West” is unharmed by any serious horror. On the contrary, H.P. embraces this over-the-top tale of “re-animation”—a congeries of cliches filched from Frankenstein, “The Body Snatcher” and more debased sources—and makes of it a mocking parody of gothic horror, the only thoroughly successful work of death’s head humor Lovecraft ever achieved.
Herbert West, the grave blue-eyed, blond-haired medical student and his narrator sidekick, raid the nearby graveyards and hospitals looking for fresh corpses to stir into life. Although they may produce a series of twitches, a leap or a howl—and even the occasional word here and there—their experiments are ludicrous failures. Still, these failures are more successful than they think, and literally come back to haunt them.
Lovecraft clearly enjoyed writing this farce, and I think you will enjoy reading it too, appreciating how he transforms his great weakness as a writer—a penchant for overwrought prose—into a positive strength. I particularly like how he deals with one of the challenges of serial publication—the recap at the beginning of each episode—and turns it to his advantage, creating a somewhat different recap every time, each entertaining in its own way. Unfortunately, “Herbert West” also has more than a touch of Lovecraft’s customary zenophobia and racism (brutish negroes, superstition Italians, etc.) but here these odious tendencies are partially redeemed by irony: the most degenerate, decadent example of humanity displayed here is the blond-haired, blue-eyed Herbert West himself: Gradually I came to find Herbert West himself more horrible than anything he did—that was when it dawned on me that his once normal scientific zeal for prolonging life had subtly degenerated into a mere morbid and ghoulish curiosity and secret sense of charnel picturesqueness. His interest became a hellish and perverse addiction to the repellently and fiendishly abnormal; he gloated calmly over artificial monstrosities which would make most healthy men drop dead from fright and disgust; he became, behind his pallid intellectuality, a fastidious Baudelaire of physical experiment—a languid Elagabalus of the tombs.
Read information about the authorHoward Phillips Lovecraft, of Providence, Rhode Island, was an American author of horror, fantasy and science fiction.
Lovecraft's major inspiration and invention was cosmic horror: life is incomprehensible to human minds and the universe is fundamentally alien. Those who genuinely reason, like his protagonists, gamble with sanity. Lovecraft has developed a cult following for his Cthulhu Mythos, a series of loosely interconnected fictions featuring a pantheon of human-nullifying entities, as well as the Necronomicon, a fictional grimoire of magical rites and forbidden lore. His works were deeply pessimistic and cynical, challenging the values of the Enlightenment, Romanticism and Christianity. Lovecraft's protagonists usually achieve the mirror-opposite of traditional gnosis and mysticism by momentarily glimpsing the horror of ultimate reality.
Although Lovecraft's readership was limited during his life, his reputation has grown over the decades. He is now commonly regarded as one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th Century, exerting widespread and indirect influence, and frequently compared to Edgar Allan Poe.
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