H.P. Lovecraft The Enlightenment & Connection To The World Of Cosmicism

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This essay will explore the works of the famed horror writer Howard Philips Lovecraft, from the angle of the Enlightenment and its influence on Lovecraft, most notably the philosophy of the materialism and the religious theories that conflicted with it. The focus will be on a collection of his stories known as the Cthulhu mythos, three stories in particular: „The Call of Cthulhu“, “The Color out of Space“ and one of his longest stories At the Mountains of Madness. Chapter one will explore the concepts of the Enlightenment in relation to Lovecraft, in order to understand the basis of his ideological formation. The second Chapter will focus on the concepts of the enlightenment that Lovecraft opposed; the place of humanity in the nature, in particular and religion.
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    Hugvísindasvið H.P. Lovecraft The Enlightenment & connection to the world of Cosmicism  Ritgerð til B.A.-prófs  Kristjón Rúnar Halldórsson September 2010    Háskóli Íslands Hugvísindasvið   Enska H.P. Lovecraft The Enlightenment & connection to the world of cosmicism    Ritgerð til B.A.-prófs Kristjón Rúnar Halldórsson Kt.: 050984-2149 Leiðbeinandi: Úlfhildur Dagsdóttir September 2010   Summary This essay will explore the works of the famed horror writer Howard Philips Lovecraft, from the angle of the Enlightenment and its influence on Lovecraft, most notably the  philosophy of the materialism and the religious theories that conflicted with it. The focus will be on a collection of his stories known as the Cthulhu mythos, three stories in  particular: „The Call of Cthulhu“, “The Color out of Space“ and one of his longest stories  At the Mountains of Madness . Chapter one will explore the concepts of the Enlightenment in relation to Lovecraft, in order to understand the basis of his ideological formation. The second Chapter will focus on the concepts of the enlightenment that Lovecraft opposed; the place of humanity in the nature, in particular and religion. Furthermore it will start to explore the basics of Lovecraft’s Cosmicism and the iconic spiritualists such as the theosophist which Lovecraft so often mentions in his stories with strong tones of irony. The third chapter will explain the core of it all, the Cosmicism of Lovecraft, which is the framework around the so called Cthulhu mythos. Possible reasons as to its creation will also be explored, such as the aforementioned opposition versus the spiritualists in the second chapter. The fourth chapter will study the sublime at work in Lovecraft, his relation to Edmund Burke and how it helped with his formation of horror, a necessary thing in order to understand the nature of his literary universe. The fifth chapter is split up into three separate case studies where each of the stories mentioned above are explored to the core, in order to coin it all together. Most of the research was done through the internet, through the mediums of journal libraries such as Proquest and Ebscohost, some collected manuscripts were used such as Burke’s manuscript  A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful and of course the greatest focus was on Lovecraft’s own stories. 1    Introduction  ................................................................................................................... 3   Who was Lovecraft? ........................................................................................................... 4   The Enlightenment and Lovecraft ...................................................................................... 5   Humanity place in nature .................................................................................................... 9   The theosophists.................................................................................................................. 9   The world of Cosmicism ................................................................................................... 11   The sublime at work in Lovecraft ..................................................................................... 14   Case studies ....................................................................................................................... 19   Call of Cthulhu  .............................................................................................................. 19   Color out of space  ......................................................................................................... 21    At the Mountains of Madness  ........................................................................................ 23   Conclusion ........................................................................................................................ 27   Works cited ....................................................................................................................... 28    Internet Research  .......................................................................................................... 29   2
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