• Just like Henry James (Except with Cannibalism): The International Weird in H. P. Lovecraft's ‘The Rats in the Walls’

    Author(s):
    Dennis Wise (see profile)
    Date:
    2021
    Subject(s):
    H.P. Lovecraft, Gothic literature, Weird fiction, Horror
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    atavism, cosmic indifferntism
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/9efe-me69
    Abstract:
    The early short story ‘The Rats in the Walls’ (1924) is recognized as the best of H. P. Lovecraft’s fiction prior to ‘The Call of Cthulhu’, but this story is also non-cosmic and therefore (for some) not truly ‘Lovecraftian’. In conjunction with dense prose and seemingly throwaway references, this view has made ‘Rats’ arguably the most inadequately read of Lovecraft’s major works. This article proposes that we read ‘Rats’, Lovecraft’s first tale within an unofficial ‘witch cult’ trilogy, as a story of the path not taken in modern weird fiction. Using Henry James’s ‘The Jolly Corner’ (1908) as a companion piece, I argue that the international weird forms a major component of Lovecraft’s text. Far from portraying horrors merely personal in scope, Lovecraft uses the Delapore family and their geographical dislocations between two distinct nation-states, America and England, to signal what he sees as the historical rise and fall – or evolution and de-evolution – of culture itself.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    4 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
    Share this:

    Downloads

    Item Name:pdf gothic-studies-h.p.-lovecraft-and-the-international-weird.pdf
     Download View in browser
    Activity: Downloads: 34