A Conversation for Peer Review

A87920832 - Lovecraft - Time, Duality and Identity Crisis

Post 1

Paigetheoracle

Entry: Lovecraft - Time, Duality and Identity Crisis - A87920832
Author: Paigetheoracle - U15002949

HP Lovecraft as a writer is considered to indulge in over the top descriptions and not thought of as the most academically skillful in the field of horror stories. This entry is not written to dispute this stance but to expose the unconscious workings of his mind and perhaps explain the forces that drove his writing and the direction it took


A87920832 - Lovecraft - Time, Duality and Identity Crisis

Post 2

SashaQ - happysad

Thank you for this - a very atmospheric Entry...

Your mention of Jekyll and Hyde reminded me of this Entry A87877886 - Duality and Identity are key themes indeed smiley - ok


A87920832 - Lovecraft - Time, Duality and Identity Crisis

Post 3

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Good discussion of themes. But all those parentheses are very confusing. How about rewriting with the parenthetical information more fully explained? It's good stuff.

A few other nits to pick:

>>where the hero sinks deeper and deeper into recidivism<<

What kind of 'recidivism' is this? Was he a criminal, or are you referring to some other kind of behaviour? That's not clear here.

>>Awareness is that blank slate, which records everything...<<

Get rid of that comma. It distorts the meaning.

>.Those who saw Lovecraft only from the point of view, of schlock horror...<<

Same thing: Get rid of that comma.

It sounds to me like Lovecraft might have had some form of secondary narcolepsy, what with the night terrors.


A87920832 - Lovecraft - Time, Duality and Identity Crisis

Post 4

Paigetheoracle

Okay, will, do, that! However the second comma was to stop the confusion caused by of, followed by another of

Parenthesis was based on the hammering I got last time for the Aickman piece. I thought the dates were irrelevant but I didn't want to end up with more references than the actual entry


A87920832 - Lovecraft - Time, Duality and Identity Crisis

Post 5

Paigetheoracle

I have kept the dates in brackets but will delete them totally if you think it necessary


A87920832 - Lovecraft - Time, Duality and Identity Crisis

Post 6

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Dates seem fine to me.

About that comma: no matter what your personal reason for it, you shouldn't have it there. smiley - laugh

What you've got left here, while idiosyncratic, is readable. Except for this sentence:

'In other words his racism as seen in his support of The Color Line, by William Benjamin Smith (1905) and identification with his ancestral family home, Providence, Rhode Island must be weighed against his scientific realism on the futility of human life, when measured against the vastness of space and the immensity of time.'

Now, that's just incomprehensible. Something must be done with it. Here's what I suggest:

1. Start with a sentence. 'In other words, his racism must be weighed against his scientific realism on the futility of human life, when measured against the vastness of space and the immensity of time.'

That sentence makes no sense, because:

a. You can't 'weigh' one thing and 'measure' another.
b. Racism and scientific realism aren't two things you should be balancing against each other. I have one word for you: Mengele.
c. The idea that 'scientific realism' supports the concept that human life is futile may be YOUR opinion. But it will not be most people's. So you can't say science supports that.

My guess is that you probably wanted to say:

'On the one hand, Lovecraft was a racist. We can see this from his support for The Color Line, a 1905 book by William Benjamin Smith. [Put in a footnote about this book: I have never heard of this book, so I'll bet nobody else has, either.] On the other hand, as a scientifically-minded person, Lovecraft was a stark realist. He had a strong sense of the insignificance of human life in the face of the immensity of time and space.'

In that rewrite, I left out the bit about Providence, Rhode Island. I found it perplexing.

You seemed to be saying that local pride in being from Providence was racist? I don't see any reason for picking on Rhode Island. It takes enough abuse already.


A87920832 - Lovecraft - Time, Duality and Identity Crisis

Post 7

Paigetheoracle

It's not the pride that is racist but its defense, that is excluding the rest of the world as not measuring up.

I shall consider the rest but you have Dmitrified it too much, for it to still sound like my piece.

As for the comma, that is a matter of opinion because somebody pulled me up once for not having it because they saw it as confusing without it being there. Pistol's at Dawn suit you? Why she should be shot at in particular is perplexing to me but there you go, human customs are...


A87920832 - Lovecraft - Time, Duality and Identity Crisis

Post 8

Paigetheoracle

Mengele don't you mean Mangele?

I didn't think the Color Line needed a footnote because the only thing I knew about it was put in the main body of the text or did you mean I should explicitly point out it was racist?


A87920832 - Lovecraft - Time, Duality and Identity Crisis

Post 9

Paigetheoracle

I would have thought that scientific realism would be obvious to people because of astronomy and space exploration, compared to the parochialism of small town mentality as in pride in your ancestry and love of where you were brought up. In other words science explores and goes beyond borders, rather than hides in Ivory Towers or pulls up the drawbridge and hides in castles of limited space (slight pun there). Isn't this what people have against Trump and his retreat into America as a castle of ignorance? Just saying. This isn't an attack upon your editing style, just emphasizing my points and explaining where I stand in greater detail. I remain your obedient servant or at least a little recalcitrant one.


A87920832 - Lovecraft - Time, Duality and Identity Crisis

Post 10

Paigetheoracle

You are right. Some of it is a bit ponderous. HP Lovecraft would have been proud of my purple prose. Have edited things still further than you proposed but I am sure more criticism might find out more lumbering giants in this area smiley - wah


A87920832 - Lovecraft - Time, Duality and Identity Crisis

Post 11

Tavaron da Quirm - Arts Editor

I must agree with Dmitri that the paragraph about the Color Line is incomprehensible. smiley - erm It makes no sense to me at all.
I have no idea what the Color Line is. If you don't know what it is yourself (as you said in this thread) but still make comments about it you should probably do more research. smiley - smiley

'This condition is where the dreamer has nightmares that they carry over to waking, screaming in terror, sitting bolt upright in bed and not responding to the real world when mobile in this state but running around in fear'
So are they sitting or running? Also what means 'mobile but running'? Maybe make this 2 sentences?

Dmitri means doctor Mengele, Nazi 'scientist' and doctor who tried to proof scientificaly that the arian race is superior to others.

While I know what Kafka's Meamorphosis is some people may not, so you may add a sentence to your footnote about the plot of this story. Same with Ridley Scott's Prometheus. If you make comparisons of two things make sure your readers know both things (or in this case just leave the comparison away?)

'Lovecraft’s horror of coloured people and his fear of having ‘tainted blood,‘ has been disclosed as a possible reality in a scientific study (8) which showed that people can indeed appear white but have genetic characteristics, revealing African ancestry.'
I'm not sure but I thought that's common knowledge, that you can carry genes but they don't actually 'show' on your body. I'm not sure if it is right to say that only one scientific study says that, I would mention it as a general fact.

You say that Ridley Scott and other movie directors are the only ones re-creating stories like that today. What about other writers? Some of what you tell reminds me of short stores by Neil Gaiman, or even Coraline, even if the Other Mother is not strictly a beast with tentacles.

I knew next to nothing about Lovecraft before reading this Entry. He mostly makes me thing of Pratchett's Dungeon Dimensions and the Necrotelecomnicon. smiley - winkeye Also I played the Cthulhu board game.

After reading this I may have a better idea of his work but I am still not sure if this Entry gave me more answers or more new questions. I would advise on giving us some more facts and less 'pondering' as you say yourself.


A87920832 - Lovecraft - Time, Duality and Identity Crisis

Post 12

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Thanks, Tav. smiley - smiley You explained those points better than I did.

Now I have to look for that 'Necrotelecomnicon' of Pratchett's. I missed that one....smiley - laugh


A87920832 - Lovecraft - Time, Duality and Identity Crisis

Post 13

Paigetheoracle

Yes I knew who Mengele was.

I haven't read much Terry Pratchet or Neil Gaiman, so couldn't include these for that reason as I am only dealing what I know and had insight on through personal experience.


A87920832 - Lovecraft - Time, Duality and Identity Crisis

Post 14

Paigetheoracle

As for Lovecraft and the tainted blood reference, I put that in because I was afraid somebody would jump in and say where is the evidence for this?

I will check out some of your other points.


A87920832 - Lovecraft - Time, Duality and Identity Crisis

Post 15

Paigetheoracle

By the way watched a film compilation of Gaiman's short stories, which was about werewolves - not a fan as it looked good but had no depth as far as I was concerned


A87920832 - Lovecraft - Time, Duality and Identity Crisis

Post 16

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Maybe it would help if we reminded ourselves of the purpose here.

To be useable, an entry needs to be:
- Factually accurate.
- Clear enough to a non-expert to be comprehensible.
- Interesting enough to read.

It isn't a personal essay, it's a Guide Entry. So far, this is too personal, not interesting enough to an outsider, and not clear enough for someone who's never heard of Lovecraft before. It's starting at the end, not the beginning.

The factual accuracy has to be backed up - with research, if necessary. It's not a memory test: we can all help check sources. smiley - smiley


A87920832 - Lovecraft - Time, Duality and Identity Crisis

Post 17

Tavaron da Quirm - Arts Editor

I did not say you have to become a fan of Gaiman or Pratchett, I just wanted to point out that your comment about Ridley Scott being the only one is probably wrong. There are also maybe much better examples where writers did create a similar atmosphere as Lovecraft, you should try to find out!


A87920832 - Lovecraft - Time, Duality and Identity Crisis

Post 18

Paigetheoracle

Tav life is too short for that! I am two thirds of the way through writing my seventh book of my Logic List English series and that is giving me enough of a headache, without trying to fit in material for this Entry. In fact every time I write one of these books, the concentration leads to migraines and I am not getting any younger, so they recovery from them is worse but it is my legacy, even if nobody reads them or uses them in a classroom.smiley - wah

Your subsequent post and Dmitri's makes things clearer to me. It seems I was writing a thread about consciousness / unconsciousness, not one specifically about Lovecraft


A87920832 - Lovecraft - Time, Duality and Identity Crisis

Post 19

Tavaron da Quirm - Arts Editor

Writing an Entry usually is quite a lot of work. I usually spend weeks if not months doing research and writing until I am content enough with my work to put it into Peer Review. I usually know quite a bit about the subjects before I start but to actually write about them myself and write for a non-expert audience I have to read and find new sources myself. It can take really long until an Entry is finished and all parts of it make sense to people who never heard about the topic before.

I am very sorry to say that but if you want to write Entries you don't just write them for yourself but people should be able to follow what you say and if you don't know something about the subject you talk about you can't just guess but do your research and check the actual facts.


A87920832 - Lovecraft - Time, Duality and Identity Crisis

Post 20

bobstafford

Well said Tav how do you cope with divided opinions within the academic establishment smiley - smiley


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