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Old October 5 2010, 01:54 AM   #24
Ancient Mariner
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Re: Del Toro on "At the Mountains of Madness"

Reverend wrote: View Post
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.
I can understand the sentiment toward Lovecraft's style -- it is an acquired taste and not everyone is going to bother with it. But the whole notion of "he's not a good word-smith or compelling storyteller anyway, so let's just focus on his imagination and lasting influence" doesn't make any sense. Lovecraft is an author, therefore his craft -- both storytelling and word-smith ability -- is inseparable from the innovative ideas he had.

I'm not taking anything away from his stories as creative endeavors, either. nor am I taking away from his literary influence. Heck, I am not even criticizing Lovecraft in general (aside from his obvious racism, which doesn't particularly factor into At The Mountains of Madness) -- My criticism is focused solely on this one story. The problem is, even by his own standards of style, At The Mountains of Madness is a very poorly written story. Yes, the revelations are fascinating, but it's buried under what even the Narrator of the story would call, "cumbrous details."
I'm starting to worry about this voyage ...

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