H. P. Lovecraft (2886 words)

Bernice Murphy (Trinity College Dublin )
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Despite the fact that not a single book of his was professionally printed during his lifetime, H.P. Lovecraft was one of the most significant twentieth-century American writers of horror fiction. The bulk of his reputation rests upon his creation of a distinct, highly influential offshoot of modern horror fiction, which survives to this day as a virtual genre of its own – the Lovecraftian tale. The so-called “Cthulhu Mythos” was the organising principle behind most of Lovecraft’s better known stories: in contrast to the direction that American horror fiction would take during the 1950s and afterwards. As David Punter has said, “his terrors are not those of within, but those of the unintelligible outside, of the individual …

Citation: Murphy, Bernice. "H. P. Lovecraft". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 May 2004 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=2795, accessed 20 September 2020.]

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