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Old October 5 2010, 12:55 AM   #23
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Re: Del Toro on "At the Mountains of Madness"

Samuel Walters wrote: View Post
Old Dark House wrote: View Post
As for Lovecraft's style--I can see how someone wouldn't enjoy it. But personally, I find it blasphemously, indescribably, unnameabably entertaining.
The thing is, I've actually rather enjoyed his work up to this point (his obvious racism notwithstanding). Lovecraft's stories work wonderfully as psychological thrillers, with hints of something much grander and more ominous lurking below consciousness and below the earth (and waves). And the style -- usually of a narrator recounting past events -- helps underscore the psychological elements of his stories.

But At The Mountains of Madness is, well, maddening in its nauseating descriptions. Heck, at one point even the narrator says, "It would be cumbrous to give a detailed, consecutive account of our wanderings" before spending the next five pages giving what can only be described as a cumbrous, detailed account of his wanderings.

The information in the story is fascinating. The writing is simply terrible. My criticism has less to do with style and more to do with execution of style. Which is why I say that the movie can only improve upon the story.
To my mind, Lovecraft is not an author one typically reads because he's a good word-smith or even a particularly compelling storyteller, to me it's the sheer depth of imagination . I mean nobody ever wrote stuff like this before he did and he's inspired several generations of artists of all disciplines.

As for the racism...yeah, I found it a very strange experience to come across the odd racial tirade while first reading one of his stories and while part of that is seeing it with modern eyes, there's no escaping the fact that the bloke was (even for his time) horrendously racist. And yet he was a rather strange breed of racist since he was usually very cynical of humanity in general and I certainly wouldn't say he was a white supremacist type. It's one of those things that you just have to accept as part of the man's psychology and move on.
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