From Whence Do Things Come?

Posted: October 28, 2016 in Blog
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I am a fan of the works of H.P. Lovecraft.  I do not much get into the debate regarding his racism, much as I do not much get into the debates regarding other negative personal qualities of artists whose work I may admire.  Perhaps that is a form of condoning, though I’d not support such bigotry.  Maybe a sprinkle of naïveté?  It’s a difficult situation, so I digress …

The point of this post is that I cannot determine when I was exposed to Lovecraft’s works.  I recall seeing an original edition Deities & Demigods book from Dungeons & Dragons, and it had a section on the creatures of Lovecraft.  I was quite young, preteen, and I do not feel like the information was unfamiliar.  I was raised in a conservative, religious household.  I was not exposed to Lovecraft through my family.  I spent most of my formative years in a rural area, so I did not have any sort of regular access to the sorts of stores, libraries, or general groups that may have offered such an introduction.  And to put a finer point on it, the internet had not yet been invented.

So, I am left to wonder – where, when, and how did I learn of Lovecraft?

I also mentioned in another blog post that I wrote a play when in elementary school.  The play was largely influenced by A Boy and His Dog.  To the best of my recollection, I had not read the Ellison book or seen the film.  I wonder where this knowledge comes from.

This also leads me to examining of memory, but not just that, also creativity.  I used to think (and may still do) that our brain is capable of mimicking sensation.  It knows, in an abstract sense, what any stimuli would feel like.  I figured this was how dreams could feel so “real”.  This, of course, easily results in the question ‘how would you know it felt right if you had not felt it before?’ but again, I shall digress rather than delving this post even further into metaphysics.

I have also heard of readers wondering how a writer’s imagination can not only conjure up the things it does, but then how do the words manage to so convincingly convey the situation and accordant feelings?  Imagination is the answer, of course, but there must be something compelling of it, or it may easily be dismissed.

Perhaps it is fitting that I began this thought exercise with mention of Lovecraft.  He wrote of things outside the boundaries of human perception.  Things that could not be properly seen or known by the human mind.  Things that might break said minds and result in insanity.

The generous span and scope of potential human knowledge amazes me, as do its possible limitations.

 

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