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Author Topic: The Value of the Expanded Cthulhu Universe  (Read 991 times)
Sheriff_Battlesnake
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« on: April 21, 2016, 02:45:33 PM »

Countless times I have heard ardent Lovecraft enthusiasts rail against any and all post-Howie fictions. I can't fault them for this, the bulk of it seems more interested in the window dressings than the scenery outside the window. For me, though, I think it is that next degree of separation that makes the implications of the Mythos even more interesting.

For starters, Lovecraft pretty liberally borrowed from his own inspirations. Just for starters:

Azathoth, the Daemon Sultan = MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI

Slumbering great starving gods kept in dreams by the beating of drums and flute. They are idiot gods of sorts, though despite this they create by just by being. When either awakens all that is will be devoured.

Lake of Hali, Hastur, The Yellow Sign


Lovecraft was entranced with the work of Robert Chambers, who in turn was inspired by the works of Ambrose Bierce. Lovecraft is three removed from the source of these names he uses in his own Mythos!


So Lovecraft borrows up casually, and this already adds a layer of weirdness to stuff. It makes me wonder if Chambers' stories happened within the Mythos, or if Chambers' fiction short stories exist with deeper implications, or if this is almost a rewrite of what those things are even supposed to mean simply as homage. There is this uncertainty packaged in that makes the weird fiction even weirder.

This kind of helps me contextualize what I think about the latter works. Are they canon? Is there canon? Is this an unreliable narrator? Is this an unreliable author? I can forgive their misgivings and appreciate their strengths because I feel confident disregarding what I don't like with the built in lore mechanics! They're mad! They don't know any better! And it makes me all the more uncomfortable about it.

(This post is a little all over the place as I had to put it down several times at work and can't be bothered to edit. But I made an account to post it so.)
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