|Who is it?||Writer|
|Birth Day||August 20, 1890|
|Birth Place||Providence, Rhode Island, United States|
|Age||129 YEARS OLD|
|Died On||March 15, 1937(1937-03-15) (aged 46)\nProvidence, Rhode Island, United States|
|Resting place||Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, Rhode Island, United States|
|Pen name||Lewis Theobald Humphrey Littlewit Ward Phillips Edward Softly|
|Occupation||Short story writer, editor, novelist, poet|
|Genre||Dark fantasy, gothic fiction, horror fiction, science fiction, weird fiction|
|Notable works||"The Call of Cthulhu" The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath At the Mountains of Madness The Shadow over Innsmouth The Shadow Out of Time|
|Spouse||Sonia Greene (m. 1924)|
All I say is that I think it is damned unlikely that anything like a central cosmic will, a spirit world, or an eternal survival of personality exist. They are the most preposterous and unjustified of all the guesses which can be made about the universe, and I am not enough of a hairsplitter to pretend that I don't regard them as arrant and negligible moonshine. In theory, I am an agnostic, but pending the appearance of radical evidence I must be classed, practically and provisionally, as an atheist.
Lovecraft was born in his family home on August 20, 1890, in Providence, Rhode Island. He was the only child of Winfield Scott Lovecraft (1853–1898) and Sarah Susan (Susie) Phillips Lovecraft (1857–1921). Though his employment is hard to discern, Lovecraft's Future wife, Sonia Greene, stated that Winfield was employed by Gorham Manufacturing Company as a traveling salesman. Susie's family was of substantial means at the time of their marriage; her father, Whipple Van Buren Phillips, being involved in many significant Business ventures. In April 1893, after a psychotic episode in a Chicago hotel, Winfield was committed to Butler Hospital in Providence. Though it is not clear who reported Winfield's prior behavior to Butler, medical records indicate that he had been "doing and saying strange things at times" for a year before his commitment. Winfield spent five years in Butler before dying in 1898. His death certificate listed the cause of death as general paresis, a term synonymous with late-stage syphilis. Susie never exhibited symptoms of the disease, leading to questions regarding the intimacy of their relationship. In 1969 Sonia Greene ventured that Susie was a "touch-me-not" wife and that Winfield, being a traveling salesmen, "took his sexual pleasures wherever he could find them". How Greene came to this opinion is unknown, as she never met Lovecraft's parents, though Lovecraft himself termed his mother a "touch-me-not" in a 1937 letter noting that, after his early childhood, she avoided all physical contact with him. This is contrary to Susie's treatment of a young Lovecraft soon after his father's breakdown. According to the accounts of family friends Susie doted over the young Lovecraft to a fault, pampering him and never letting him out of her sight. Throughout his life Lovecraft maintained that his father fell into a paralytic state, due to insomnia and being overworked, and remained that way until his death. It is unknown if Lovecraft was simply kept ignorant of his father's illness or if his later remarks were intentionally misleading.
While there is no indication that Lovecraft was particularly close to his grandmother Robie, her death in 1896 had a profound effect. By his own account, it sent his family into "a gloom from which it never fully recovered." His mother and aunts' wearing of black mourning dresses "terrified" him, and it is at this time that Lovecraft, approximately five and half years old, started having nightmares that would inform his later writing. Specifically, he began to have recurring nightmares of beings he termed "night-gaunts"; their appearance he credited to the influence of Doré's illustrations, which would "whirl me through space at a sickening rate of speed, the while fretting & impelling me with their detestable tridents." Thirty years later night gaunts would appear in Lovecraft's writing.
By 1900 Whipple's various Business concerns were suffering a downturn and slowly reducing his family's wealth. He was forced to let the family's hired servants go, leaving Lovecraft, Whipple and Susie, being the only unmarried sister, alone in the family home. In the spring of 1904 Whipple's largest Business venture suffered a catastrophic failure. Within months he died due to a stroke at age 70. After Whipple's death Susie was unable to support the upkeep of the expansive family home on what remained of the Phillips' estate. Later that year she was forced to move herself and her son to a small duplex. Lovecraft has called this time one of the darkest of his life, remarking in a 1934 letter that he saw no point in living anymore. In fall of the same year he started high school. Much like his earlier school years, Lovecraft was at times removed from school for long periods for what he termed "near breakdowns". He did say, though, that while having some conflicts with teachers, he enjoyed high school, becoming close with a small circle of friends. Aside from a pause in 1904 he also resumed publishing the Rhode Island Journal of Astronomy as well as starting the Scientific Gazette, which dealt mostly with chemistry. It was also during this period that Lovecraft produced the first of the types of fiction he would later be known for, namely "The Beast in the Cave" and "The Alchemist".
Lovecraft's earliest known literary works began at age seven with poems restyling the Odyssey and other mythological stories. Lovecraft has said that as a child he was enamored with the Roman pantheon of gods, accepting them as genuine expressions of divinity and foregoing his Christian upbringing. He recalls, at five years old, being told Santa Claus didn't exist and retorting by asking why "God is not equally a myth?" At the age of eight he took a keen interest in the sciences, particularly astronomy and chemistry. He also examined the anatomy books available to him in the family library, learning the specifics of human reproduction that had yet to be explained to him, and found that it "virtually killed my interest in the subject." In 1902, according to Lovecraft's own correspondence, astronomy became a guiding influence on his world view. He began producing the periodical Rhode Island Journal of Astronomy, of which 69 issues survive, using the hectograph printing method. Lovecraft went in and out of elementary school repeatedly, oftentimes with home tutors making up for those lost school years, missing time due to health concerns that are not entirely clear. The written recollections of his peers described him as both withdrawn yet openly welcoming to anyone who shared his current fascination with astronomy, inviting anyone to look through the telescope he prized.
Not much of Lovecraft and Susie's activities from late 1908 to 1913 are recorded. Lovecraft mentions a steady continuation of their financial decline highlighted by a failed Business venture of his uncle that cost Susie a large portion of their dwindling wealth. Accounts differ on how reclusive Susie and Lovecraft were during this time. A friend of Susie, Clara Hess, recalled a visit during which Susie spoke continuously about Lovecraft being "so hideous that he hid from everyone and did not like to walk upon the streets where people could gaze on him." Despite Hess' protest that this wasn't the case, Susie maintained this stance. In the same account though, Hess said she regularly saw Susie out and about riding streetcars.
In 1911 Lovecraft's letters to editors began appearing in pulp and weird fiction magazines, most notably Argosy. A 1913 letter critical of Fred Jackson, a prominent Writer for Argosy, started Lovecraft down a path that would greatly affect his life. Lovecraft described Jackson's stories as "trivial, effeminate, and, in places, coarse." Continuing, Lovecraft said that Jackson's characters exhibit the "delicate passions and emotions proper to negroes and anthropoid apes." This sparked a nearly year-long feud in the letters section of Argosy between Lovecraft, along with his occasional supporters, and the majority of readers critical of his view of Jackson. Lovecraft's biggest critic was John Russell, who often replied in verse, and to whom Lovecraft felt compelled to reply to because he respected Russell's writing skills. The most immediate effect of the feud was the recognition garnered from Edward F. Daas, then head Editor of the United Amateur Press Association. Daas invited Russell and Lovecraft to the organization and both accepted, Lovecraft in April 1914.
S. T. Joshi concludes in his biography of Lovecraft that Derleth's claims are "almost certainly fictitious" and that most of Lovecraft's works published in the amateur press are most likely now in the public domain. The copyright for Lovecraft's works would have been inherited by the only surviving heir named in his 1912 will, his aunt Annie Gamwell. When Gamwell died in 1941, the copyrights passed to her remaining descendants, Ethel Phillips Morrish and Edna Lewis, who then signed a document, sometimes referred to as the Morrish-Lewis gift, permitting Arkham House to republish Lovecraft's works while retaining the copyrights for themselves. Searches of the Library of Congress have failed to find any evidence that these copyrights were renewed after the 28-year period, making it likely that these works are now in the public domain.
Lovecraft immersed himself in the world of amateur journalism for most of the following decade. During this period he was an advocate for amateurism versus commercialism. Lovecraft's definition of commercialism, though, was specific to writing for, what he considered, low-brow publications for pay. He contrasted this with his view of "professional publication", which he termed as writing for journals and publishers he considered respectable. He thought of amateur journalism as training and practice for a professional career. Lovecraft was appointed to chairman of the Department of Public Criticism of the UAPA in late 1914. He used this position to advocate for his, what many considered peculiar, insistence on the superiority of English language usage that most Writers already considered archaic. Emblematic of the Anglophile opinions he maintained throughout his life, he openly criticized other UAPA contributors for their "Americanisms" and "slang". Often these criticisms were couched in xenophobic and racist arguments bemoaning the "bastardization" of the "national language" by immigrants. In mid-1915 Lovecraft was elected to the position of first vice-president of the UAPA. Two years later he was elected President and appointed other board members that mostly shared his view on the supremacy of classical English over modern American English. Another significant event of this time was the beginning of World War I. Lovecraft published multiple criticisms of the US government's, and the American public's reluctance to join the war to protect England, which he viewed as the America's homeland.
In 1916 Lovecraft published his early short story "The Alchemist" in the main UAPA journal, a departure from his usual verse. Due in no small part to the encouragement of W. Paul Cook, another UAPA member and Future life-long friend, Lovecraft began writing and publishing more fiction. Soon to follow were "The Tomb" and "Dagon". "The Tomb", by Lovecraft's own admission, follows closely the style and construction of the writings of one of his largest influences, Edgar Allan Poe. "Dagon" though, is considered Lovecraft's first work that embraced the concepts and themes that his writing would later be known for. In 1918 Lovecraft's term as President of the UAPA elapsed, and he took his former post as chairman of the Department of Public Criticism. In 1919 Lovecraft published another short story, "Beyond the Wall of Sleep".
In 1917 came two first hand accounts suggesting that, despite his climb in the ranks of the UAPA, Lovecraft still lived a fairly hermetical life. One comes from Cook himself, the other Rheinhart Kleiner, a Brooklyn-based UAPA Writer. Both recalled that during their visits Lovecraft's mother regularly checked in on Lovecraft. Kleiner mentioned that "at every hour or so his mother appeared in the doorway with a glass of milk, and Lovecraft forthwith drank it." In the same account Kleiner described Susie as "very cordial and even vivacious." Cook recounts an almost comical delay of his meeting with Lovecraft wherein Susie and Lillian wouldn't let Cook in because Lovecraft had been up all night writing and couldn't be disturbed. Eventually Lovecraft appeared at the door in his "dressing gown and slippers." Lovecraft later attributed his mother and aunt's reticence to allow Cook in being due to his unkempt appearance and their general dislike of Lovecraft's involvement with amateur journalism. Also in 1917, as Lovecraft related to Kleiner, was Lovecraft's aborted attempt to enlist in the army. Though he passed the physical exam, he told Kleiner that his mother "has threatened to go to any lengths, legal or otherwise, if I do not reveal all the ills which unfit me for the army."
In the winter of 1918–1919, Susie, exhibiting symptoms of a "nervous breakdown" of some sort, went to live with her elder sister Lillian. It is unclear what Susie may have been suffering from. Clara Hess, interviewed decades later, recalled instances of Susie describing "weird and fantastic creatures that rushed out from behind buildings and from corners at dark." In the same account Hess describes a time when they crossed paths in downtown Providence and Susie "was excited and apparently did not know where she was." Whatever the causes, in March 1919 they resulted in Susie being committed to Butler Hospital, like her husband before her. Lovecraft's immediate reaction to Susie's commitment was visceral, writing to Kleiner that, "existence seems of little value," and that he wished "it might terminate." Speaking to Susie's doctors, a month after she entered Butler, Lovecraft came to the realization that she was never going to be released.
Late 1919 saw Lovecraft become more outgoing. After a period of isolation, he began joining friends in trips to Writer gatherings, the first being a talk in Boston presented by Lord Dunsany, whom Lovecraft recently discovered and idolized. In early 1920, at an amateur Writer convention, he met Frank Belknap Long, who would end up being Lovecraft's most influential and closest confidant for the rest of his life. This period also proved to be the most prolific of Lovecraft's short-story career. The influence of Dunsany is readily apparent in his 1919 output, later be to coined Lovecraft's Dream Cycle, with stories like "The White Ship", "The Doom that Came to Sarnath", and "The Statement of Randolph Carter". In early 1920 followed "Celephais" and "The Cats of Ulthar". It was later in 1920 that Lovecraft began publishing the earliest stories that fit into the Cthulhu Mythos. The Cthulhu Mythos, a term coined by August Derleth, encompasses Lovecraft's stories that share a commonality in fictional locations and Lovecraft's invented pantheon of god-like beings known as The Great Old Ones. The poem "Nyarlathotep" and short story "The Crawling Chaos", in collaboration with Winifred Virginia Jackson, were written in late 1920. Following in early 1921 came "The Nameless City", the first story that falls definitively within the Cthulhu Mythos. In it is found one of Lovecraft's most enduring bits of writing, a couplet recited by his creation Abdul Alhazred, "That is not dead which can eternal lie; And with strange aeons even death may die."
In such stories, the curse is often a hereditary one, either because of interbreeding with non-humans (e.g., "Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family" (1920), The Shadow over Innsmouth (1931)) or through direct magical influence (The Case of Charles Dexter Ward). Physical and mental degradation often come together; this theme of 'tainted blood' may represent concerns relating to Lovecraft's own family history, particularly the death of his father due to what Lovecraft must have suspected to be a syphilitic disorder.
On May 24, 1921, Sarah Susan (Susie) Phillips Lovecraft died in Butler Hospital, due to complications from a gall bladder surgery five days earlier. Lovecraft's initial reaction, expressed in a letter nine days after Susie's death, was that of an "extreme nervous shock" that crippled him physically and emotionally, again remarking that he found no reason he should continue living. Despite Lovecraft's immediate reaction to his mother's death, he continued to attend amateur Journalist conventions. It was at one such convention in July that Lovecraft met Sonia Greene.
All works published before 1923 are public domain in the US. With respect to works published later, ownership of the copyrights is disputed. Before the United States Copyright Act of 1976, copyright lasted for 28 years from publication and a work that did not have its copyright renewed passed into the public domain. The Copyright Act of 1976 retroactively extended this renewal period for all works to a period of 47 years and the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 added another 20 years to that, for a total of 95 years from publication. But everything turned on the renewal or expiration of copyright at the end of the first 28-year term.
Lovecraft's aunts disapproved of this relationship with Sonia. Lovecraft and Greene married on March 3, 1924, and relocated to her Brooklyn apartment at 793 Flatbush Avenue; she thought he needed to get out of Providence in order to flourish and was willing to support him financially. Greene, who had been married before, later said Lovecraft had performed satisfactorily as a lover, though she had to take the initiative in all aspects of the relationship. She attributed Lovecraft's passive nature to a stultifying upbringing by his mother. Lovecraft's weight increased to 90 kg (200 lb) on his wife's home cooking.
Greene, moving where the work was, relocated to Cincinnati, and then to Cleveland; her employment required constant travel. Added to the daunting reality of failure in a city with a large immigrant population, Lovecraft's single-room apartment at 169 Clinton Street in Brooklyn Heights, not far from the working-class waterfront neighborhood Red Hook, was burgled, leaving him with only the clothes he was wearing. In August 1925 he wrote "The Horror at Red Hook" and "He", in the latter of which the narrator says "My coming to New York had been a mistake; for whereas I had looked for poignant wonder and inspiration … I had found instead only a sense of horror and oppression which threatened to master, paralyze, and annihilate me". It was at around this time he wrote the outline for "The Call of Cthulhu", with its theme of the insignificance of all humanity. In the bibliographical study H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life, Michel Houellebecq suggested that the misfortunes fed Lovecraft's central motivation as a Writer, which he said was racial resentment. With a weekly allowance Greene sent, Lovecraft moved to a working-class area of Brooklyn Heights, where he subsisted in a tiny apartment. He had lost 40 pounds (18 kg) of body weight by 1926, when he left for Providence.
In 1926, famed Magician and escapist Harry Houdini asked Lovecraft to ghostwrite a treatise exploring the topic of superstition. Houdini's unexpected death later that year halted the project, but The Cancer of Superstition was partially completed by Lovecraft along with collaborator C. M. Eddy, Jr. A previously unknown manuscript of the work was discovered in 2016 in a collection owned by a magic shop. The book states "all superstitious beliefs are relics of a Common 'prehistoric ignorance' in humans," and goes on to explore various superstitious beliefs in different cultures and times."
Lovecraft wrote to Clark Ashton Smith in 1927: "It is my belief, and was so long before Spengler put his seal of scholarly proof on it, that our mechanical and industrial age is one of frank decadence". Lovecraft was also acquainted with the writings of another German Philosopher of decadence: Friedrich Nietzsche.
Lovecraft was not an active letter-writer in youth. In 1931 he admitted: "In youth I scarcely did any letter-writing — thanking anybody for a present was so much of an ordeal that I would rather have written a two hundred fifty-line pastoral or a twenty-page treatise on the rings of Saturn." (SL 3.369–70). The initial interest in letters stemmed from his correspondence with his cousin Phillips Gamwell but even more important was his involvement in the amateur journalism movement, which was initially responsible for the enormous number of letters Lovecraft produced.
Lovecraft himself adopted the stance of atheism early in life. In 1932, he wrote in a letter to Robert E. Howard:
A few years after Lovecraft had moved to Providence, he and his wife Sonia Greene, having been living separately for so long, agreed to an amicable divorce. Greene moved to California in 1933 and remarried in 1936, unaware that Lovecraft, despite his assurances to the contrary, had never officially signed the final decree.
Lovecraft was never able to provide even basic expenses by selling stories and doing paid literary work for others. He lived frugally, subsisting on an inheritance that was nearly depleted by the time he died. He sometimes went without food to be able to pay the cost of mailing letters. Eventually, he was forced to move to meager lodgings with his surviving aunt. He was also deeply affected by the suicide of his correspondent Robert E. Howard. In early 1937, he was diagnosed with cancer of the small intestine and suffered from malnutrition as a result. He lived in constant pain until his death on March 15, 1937 in Providence. In accordance with his lifelong scientific curiosity, he kept a diary of his illness until close to the moment of his death.
Early efforts to revise an established literary view of Lovecraft as an author of 'pulp' were resisted by some eminent critics; in 1945 Edmund Wilson expressed the opinion that "the only real horror in most of these fictions is the horror of bad taste and bad art". But "Mystery and Adventure" columnist Will Cuppy of the New York Herald Tribune recommended to readers a volume of Lovecraft's stories, asserting that "the literature of horror and macabre fantasy belongs with mystery in its broader sense." Gale said that "Lovecraft at his best could build a mood of horror unsurpassed; at his worst, he was laughable". In 1962 Colin Wilson, in his survey of anti-realist trends in fiction The Strength to Dream, cited Lovecraft as one of the pioneers of the "assault on rationality" and included him with M.R. James, H.G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, Tolkien and others as one of the builders of mythicised realities over against the failing project of literary realism. Subsequently Lovecraft began to acquire the status of a cult Writer in the counterculture of the 1960s, and reprints of his work proliferated. In 2005 the status of classic American Writer conferred by a Library of America edition was accorded to Lovecraft with the publication of Tales, a collection of his weird fiction stories.
Lovecraft protégés and part owners of Arkham House, August Derleth and Donald Wandrei, often claimed copyrights over Lovecraft's works. On October 9, 1947, Derleth purchased all rights to Weird Tales. However, since April 1926 at the latest, Lovecraft had reserved to himself all second printing rights to stories published in Weird Tales. Weird Tales may only have owned the rights to at most six of Lovecraft's tales. Again, even if Derleth did obtain the copyrights to Lovecraft's tales, there is no evidence that the copyrights were renewed. Following Derleth's death in 1971, his attorney proclaimed that all of Lovecraft's literary material was part of the Derleth estate and that it would be "protected to the fullest extent possible."
By 1957 Floyd C. Gale of Galaxy Science Fiction said that "like R. E. Howard, Lovecraft seemingly goes on forever; the two decades since their death are as nothing. In any event, they appear more prolific than ever. What with de Camp, Nyberg and Derleth avidly rooting out every scrap of their writings and expanding them into novels, there may never be an end to their posthumous careers". According to Joyce Carol Oates, Lovecraft (and Edgar Allan Poe in the 19th century) has exerted "an incalculable influence on succeeding generations of Writers of horror fiction". Horror, fantasy, and science fiction author Stephen King called Lovecraft "the twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale." King has made it clear in his semi-autobiographical non-fiction book Danse Macabre that Lovecraft was responsible for his own fascination with horror and the macabre and was the largest figure to influence his fiction writing.
Aside from his thinly veiled appearance in Robert Bloch's "The Shambler from the Stars", Lovecraft continues to be used as a character in supernatural fiction. An early version of Ray Bradbury's "The Exiles" uses Lovecraft as a character, who makes a brief, 600-word appearance eating ice cream in front of a fire and complaining about how cold he is. Lovecraft and some associates are included at length in Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea's The Illuminatus! Trilogy (1975). Lovecraft makes an appearance as a rotting corpse in The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril by Paul Malmont, a novel with fictionalized versions of a number of period Writers. John Shirley's story When Death Wakes Me To Myself offers a tale of a therapy patient slowly remembering a former incarnation when he was H.P. Lovecraft. Germen Writer Wolfgang Hohlbein used H. P. Lovecraft as a main character in his pulp fiction series Der Hexer (The Wizard), which is mainly based on the Cthulhu Mythos, even though the plot takes place before Lovecraft was born.
Chaosium, publishers of the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game, have a trademark on the phrase "The Call of Cthulhu" for use in game products. TSR, Inc., original publisher of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, included a section on the Cthulhu Mythos in one of the game's earlier supplements, Deities & Demigods (originally published in 1980 and later renamed to "Legends & Lore"). TSR later agreed to remove this section at Chaosium's request.
Lovecraft has also influenced Gaming, despite having hated games during his lifetime. Chaosium's tabletop role-playing game Call of Cthulhu, released in 1981 and currently in its seventh major edition, was one of the first games to draw heavily from Lovecraft. Novel to the game was the Lovecraft inspired insanity mechanic, which allowed for player characters to go insane from contact with cosmic horrors. This mechanic would go on to make appearance in subsequent table top and video games. 1987 saw the release of one of the first Lovecraftian board games, Arkham Horror, which sold extremely well. Though few subsequent Lovecraftian board games were released annually between 1987 and 2014, the years after 2014 saw a surge in the number of Lovecraftian board games, possibly because of the entry of Lovecraft's work into the public domain combined with a revival of interest in board games.
In 1984, Writer Donald Wandrei caused some controversy after he was offered a World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement but refused to accept it because the award was a bust of H. P. Lovecraft that he felt looked more like a caricature of Lovecraft than an actual representation.
Other notable works with Lovecraft as a character include Richard Lupoff's Lovecraft's Book (1985), Cast a Deadly Spell (1991), H.P. Lovecraft's: Necronomicon (1993), Witch Hunt (1994), Out of Mind: The Stories of H. P. Lovecraft (1998), Stargate SG-1: Roswell (2007), and Alan Moore's comic Providence (2015–17). Lovecraft also appears in the Season 6, Episode 21 episode "Let it Bleed" of the TV show Supernatural. A satirical version of Lovecraft named "H. P. Hatecraft" appeared as a recurring character on the Cartoon Network television series Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. A character based on Lovecraft also appears in the visual novel Shikkoku no Sharnoth: What a Beautiful Tomorrow, under the name "Howard Phillips" (or "Mr. Howard" to most of the main characters).. Another character based on Lovecraft appears in Afterlife with Archie. He appears as a minor character in Brian Clevinger's comic book series Atomic Robo, as an acquaintance and fellow-scientist of Nikola Tesla, having been driven insane by his involvement in the Tunguska Event which exposed him to the hidden horrors of the wider universe. He is eventually killed when his body becomes host to an extradimensional being infecting the timestream.. Lovecraft is a central plot element, as well as a character in Paul La Farge's 2017 novel, The Night Ocean. In the Japanese manga and anime Bungo Stray Dogs there is a character known as Howard Phillips Lovecraft who, like other characters in the series, is named after great literates. Even his power, "The Great Old Ones" pays homage to his classic book, The Call of Cthulhu, which grants him the ability of transforming himself into an octopus like Monster resembling Cthulhu.
Lord of a Visible World: An Autobiography in Letters was published in 2000, in which Lovecraft's letters are arranged according to themes, such as adolescence and travel.
Lovecraft's poetry is collected in The Ancient Track: The Complete Poetical Works of H. P. Lovecraft (Night Shade Books, 2001), while much of his juvenilia, various essays on philosophical, political and literary topics, antiquarian travelogues, and other things, can be found in Miscellaneous Writings (Arkham House, 1989). Lovecraft's essay "Supernatural Horror in Literature", first published in 1927, is a historical survey of horror literature available with endnotes as The Annotated Supernatural Horror in Literature.
For most of the 20th century, the definitive editions (specifically At the Mountains of Madness and Other Novels, Dagon and Other Macabre Tales, The Dunwich Horror and Others, and The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions) of his prose fiction were published by Arkham House, a publisher originally started with the intent of publishing the work of Lovecraft, but which has since published a considerable amount of other literature as well. Penguin Classics has at present issued three volumes of Lovecraft's works: The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories, The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories, and most recently The Dreams in the Witch House and Other Weird Stories. They collect the standard texts as edited by S. T. Joshi, most of which were available in the Arkham House editions, with the exception of the restored text of "The Shadow Out of Time" from The Dreams in the Witch House, which had been previously released by small-press publisher Hippocampus Press. In 2005 the prestigious Library of America canonized Lovecraft with a volume of his stories edited by Peter Straub, and Random House's Modern Library line have issued the "definitive edition" of Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness (also including "Supernatural Horror in Literature").
The European Union Copyright Duration Directive of 1993 extended the copyrights to 70 years after the author's death. All of Lovecraft's works published during his lifetime became public domain in all 27 European Union countries on January 1, 2008. In those Berne Convention countries that have implemented only the minimum copyright period, copyright expires 50 years after the author's death.
In 2009, Lovecraft Holdings, LLC, a company based out of Providence, filed trademark claims for clothing graphics of Lovecraft's name and silhouette.
Lovecraft's style has often been subject to criticism, yet scholars such as S. T. Joshi have shown that Lovecraft consciously utilized a variety of literary devices to form a unique style of his own – these include conscious archaism, prose-poetic techniques combined with essay-form techniques, alliteration, anaphora, crescendo, transferred epithet, metaphor, symbolism, and colloquialism.
In August 2014, author Daniel José Older started a petition to change the World Fantasy Award statuette from a bust of Lovecraft to one of African-American author Octavia Butler. Kevin J. Maroney, Editor of The New York Review of Science Fiction, also supported the call for the WFA to be changed from Lovecraft's face, suggesting it be replaced with a symbol representing the fantasy genre. Maroney argued this should be done "not out of disrespect for Lovecraft as a Writer or as a central figure in fantasy, but as a courtesy to generations of Writers whom the WFA hopes to honor." In response to the campaign, the board of the World Fantasy Awards announced in September 2014 that it was "in discussion" about the Future of the award statuette, and in November 2015 it was announced that the World Fantasy Award trophy would no longer be modeled on H. P. Lovecraft.