My last ramble about George Orwell’s classic work of literature, “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, got me thinking about what other books are apt metaphors for my life and my inner issues.
The short stories and novellas of H. P. Lovecraft kept coming to my mind. For those who are unfamiliar with Lovecraft’s work I could describe him as the figure in American horror/sci-fi/fantasy fiction that sits between Edgar Allan Poe on the one had, and Stephen King on the other. Like both Poe and King he described otherworldly situations and threats from beyond the realm of what we would consider “normal”. Unlike these other two authors though Lovecraft always tried to give a semi-scientific justification for the horrors that emerged from his writings. Ancient alien races from millions of years in the past and hedious intelligences from extradimensional spaces would slowly be revealed to the reader as a dry, academic, no nonsense investigator gradually went mad at the realization of what was lurking beyond the everyday world that occupies our attention.
Sometimes I feel like a protagonist from one of Lovecraft’s stories. Not because I take anything Lovecraft wrote as remotely plausible. His literature is great science fiction fun but also so far fetched as to be laughable. In spite of that we suspend disbelief every time we read speculative fiction. When we do this we can often take away valuable lessons, appreciate ironies not apparent in everyday life and gain some perspective on many things including our feelings.
The brooding, atmospheric dread that Lovecraft described so beautifully in his fiction is something I feel and have felt throughout my life. I believe that’s what abuse does to a person. It gets into your brain, slowly and imperceptibly. It stays with you regardless of the context. Cosmic Horror.