If I'm keeping it real, this resurgence of Lovecraft's popularity in the wake of the first episode of HBO's Lovecraft Country is kind of weird for me. Lovecraft is kind of my entry point to horror; it accomplished what Stoker and Shelley did not...it scared me. But I was reading this when I was young and impressionable; but otherworldly or cosmic horror just feels more...possible than supernatural horror.
It took me a minute to connect with Lovecraft's bigotry. I had to read the cat's name a dozen times in a row before what I was reading sunk in. I can't say that I shrugged it off AT ALL, but it created a kind of cognitive dissonance in me. I had to convince myself that it was okay to read Lovecraft because he wasn't profiting from my patronage. After all, he's long dead.
I'm super glad that we're reaching a point where we can examine is work, which is a foundation-stone of modern storytelling, in a complete light. He turned his hate and fear of OTHER into very effective horror...and now we can flip that on its head.
My guy Troy Brownfield gets it; that's why he's the one to write about it for the Saturday Evening Post.