Judge Power's review of "Lovecraft: Fear Of The Unknown"

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Judge Power's review of "Lovecraft: Fear Of The Unknown"

Postby JP Dellamorte » Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:49 pm

First a note of praise: as one of the few DVD reviews for this film I have found, it was a pleasingly informative summary of the content.

But I want to defend Lovecraft on a major biographical point which is presented a bit misleadingly:
There's definitely a layer of darkness to the man; I for one had no idea that he was an admirer and follower of Adolf Hitler (bearing in mind that Lovecraft was dead years before the World War II began).
I haven't seen the film yet, so I don't know whether this issue is glossed over in the film or just this DVD review, but Lovecraft's racial & political issues are often simplified in short biographical overviews. It should be known that Lovecraft's letter-written fascist musings were largely based on his whimsies as an isolated antiquarian & cultural aesthete (in the beginning he viewed Hitler & Mussolini as preservationists of Nordic & Roman cultural artifacts & architecture), before the ugly realities of these regimes were really grasped by America. Most importantly, Lovecraft recanted his praise of Hitler later in life when an acquaintance returned abroad from Germany and told him of the harsh discrimination tactics being practiced in 30's Germany & looked upon the reality of it in horror. (I should cite this fact but I haven't the time at the moment; however, S.T. Joshi has mentioned Lovecraft's later-life change of heart & politics in many interviews, let alone his voluminous essays & biographical writings on the man)

Anyway, just wanted to point this out.
(If Judge Power reads & posts to this board: Did the film leave out his later rejection of Hitler, or is this purely from your review? I don't mean to be too critical, I know a reviewer can't recount every fact & detail. That's what you have readers like me for. :) )
And once again, thanks for the first informative review of this DVD I've read thus far!
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Re: Judge Power's review of "Lovecraft: Fear Of The Unknown"

Postby Steve T Power » Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:56 am

JP Dellamorte wrote:First a note of praise: as one of the few DVD reviews for this film I have found, it was a pleasingly informative summary of the content.

But I want to defend Lovecraft on a major biographical point which is presented a bit misleadingly:
There's definitely a layer of darkness to the man; I for one had no idea that he was an admirer and follower of Adolf Hitler (bearing in mind that Lovecraft was dead years before the World War II began).
I haven't seen the film yet, so I don't know whether this issue is glossed over in the film or just this DVD review, but Lovecraft's racial & political issues are often simplified in short biographical overviews. It should be known that Lovecraft's letter-written fascist musings were largely based on his whimsies as an isolated antiquarian & cultural aesthete (in the beginning he viewed Hitler & Mussolini as preservationists of Nordic & Roman cultural artifacts & architecture), before the ugly realities of these regimes were really grasped by America. Most importantly, Lovecraft recanted his praise of Hitler later in life when an acquaintance returned abroad from Germany and told him of the harsh discrimination tactics being practiced in 30's Germany & looked upon the reality of it in horror. (I should cite this fact but I haven't the time at the moment; however, S.T. Joshi has mentioned Lovecraft's later-life change of heart & politics in many interviews, let alone his voluminous essays & biographical writings on the man)

Anyway, just wanted to point this out.
(If Judge Power reads & posts to this board: Did the film leave out his later rejection of Hitler, or is this purely from your review? I don't mean to be too critical, I know a reviewer can't recount every fact & detail. That's what you have readers like me for. :) )
And once again, thanks for the first informative review of this DVD I've read thus far!


Thanks for the kind words:

The nugget about Lovecraft's support of Hitler pops up in the extended interview segments, and is presented by Joshi in much the same fashion as how i presented it in the review. He doesn't mention anything about Lovecraft's recanting, merely warning viewers to keep in mind that Lovecraft was dead before the war began and Hitler's real atrocities came to light. I did do a cursory search online for some more detailed information on this particular subject, but found nothing. Lovecraft certainly wouldn't have been the only person to support Adolf in this particular period of history though, far from. Many of the intellectual and literary world had hitched their wagons to the Nazi party in the decade or so before the war really exploded in Europe.

I appreciate the feedback!
As the ancient Tibetan philosophy states:"Don't start none... won't be none...".
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