H.P. Lovecraft: Art, Artifact, and Reality
By Steven J. Mariconda
For nearly three decades, Steven J. Mariconda has been one of the keenest analysts of H. P. Lovecraft's variegated literary work. In the 1980s, he wrote landmark articles on Lovecraft's prose style, demonstrating how the dreamer from Providence utilized an array of rhetorical techniques to generate maximum power and effectiveness in the writing of weird fiction. Mariconda also focused on Lovecraft's relations to Modernist writers such as T. S. Eliot and Hart Crane, proving that Lovecraft was a small but significant voice in the general literary tendencies of his time.
Mariconda has also written penetrating articles on specific stories, including significant essays on the literary sources of "The Call of Cthulhu" and "The Haunter of the Dark." And in the pioneering article "Toward a Reader-Response Approach to the Lovecraft Mythos," Mariconda showed how Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos grew out of responses by readers and fellow writers of Weird Tales as each story successively engendered a sense of the reality of this invented cosmogony.
As a reviewer, Mariconda has been acute in evaluating the leading Lovecraft scholarship of the past thirty years. But his work is far from solemn or pedantic; in an appendix to this book we find delightful strokes of humor, such as "A Real Hard Lovecraft Trivia Quiz." This volume of Steven J. Mariconda's collected essays establishes him as a leading voice in the dynamic Lovecraft scholarship of our time.