• “A Hidden Race of Monstrous Beings”: Richard Wright’s Revision of H.P. Lovecraft’s Ecological Horror

    Author(s):
    Brian Matzke (see profile)
    Date:
    2022
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/j9hj-4r15
    Abstract:
    This paper argues that Richard Wright’s stories “Down by the Riverside” and “Silt” revise the ecological horror depicted in H.P. Lovecraft’s stories such as “The Shadow over Innsmouth” and “The Whisperer in Darkness”. The paper first examines how pulp fiction shaped discourse around the 1927 Mississippi River flood, then considers ecological themes in Lovecraft’s work, before turning to Wright, an avid reader of pulp magazines. Both authors employ the aesthetics of pulp horror to represent how a “civilized” notion of humanity, and specifically of whiteness, depended on the stability of a nature/civilization binary that the 1927 floods had revealed to be far more tenuous than previously assumed.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Online publication    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 months ago
    License:
    Attribution
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