Edgar Allan Poe vs. H.P. Lovecraft - Mystery vs.

Terror –

An introduction to gothic literature:
The so-called ‘gothic literature’ began to flourish in England, Germany and the United States Turing the late 18th century, to be continued later on during the 19th and 20th centuries. Gothic literature, also known as gothic fiction or gothic horror, is a genre that contains elements and details of both horror and romance. It is believed that this genre started with Horace Walpole, an English author who published in 1764 the novel ‘The Castle of Otranto’. The term ‘gothic’ found its way into literature because it holds a tight relation with very sensible and emotional concepts and gloomy themes. It has found its natural setting in castles, mansions and monasteries, often crumbling and in ruins. This type of architecture became an absolute obsession an fascination for almost all gothic novelists, being an art that reunites poetry ( the so-called Graveyard Poets), beauty and fantastic landscapes in its depths.

The most famous author of gothic literature:
In the dark and complicated world of gothic art, one author has become exceptionally famous among his many colleagues. He has become an icon of the gothic literary world, and without any doubt, he has inspired a very large list of writers and artists during the 19th and 20th century. He is, as you may have already guessed, Edgar Allan Poe. Here we have a short biography of his life and works: Edgar Allan Poe was born in 1809 in Boston, on the 19th of January. His parents, David Poe and Elizabeth Arnold were both actors. One year after his birth, David Poe left his family. In 18811, his mother died, and Edgar was taken in by the family of John Allan, a prosperous tobacco merchant from Richmond, Virginia.

With Allan. In 1840 he published ‘ The Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque’ and won a 100 dollar prize for his story. the life of Edgar Allan Poe has been full of crisis and troubles which have become reflected in his stories. One of these people is Juan Perucho. Their economic situation was not very good.Frog’. In 1836. A few days after. miserable prince and identifies him with the main character of Gerard de Nerval’s poem. l’inconsolé. he returned to Richmond. Le Prince d’Aquitane à la tour abolie: Ma seule étoile est morte. many people have dedicated long hours to the study of the life and works of Allan Poe. Edgar Allan Poe died on the 7th of October of the same year in the hospital of Baltimore. A great deal of writers and critics have been writing about him up until our days. There. He suffered a terrible blow when his wife Virginia died of tuberculosis in 1847 and in 1849. Without any doubt. Poe’s situation didn’t become any better. he was found lying on the streets of Baltimore in a very grave condition. and he won 50 dollars for the short story ‘Message found in a bottle ’. he married his cousin Virginia Clemm and the same year he published ‘ The stories of A. Edgar Allan Poe through the eyes of other great artists: As I have said before. ‘ Hop. who sees Poe as a cursed. his famous poem ‘ The Raven ’ was published and he was recognized by the critics for the first time. ‘The Gold Bug’. and it is a fact that he will be present in our art for many years to come. Gordon Pym ’. It was at that point where his stories were recognized. and Edgar decided to move to Boston. since they didn’t get along very well. ‘ The Wretched ’: ‘ Je suis le ténébreux. Five years later. and was buried in the cemetery of the same city. he wrote his last story. in Richmond. due to a very great amount of alcohol that he drank. le veuf. et mon luth constellé .

Of course. but express what it seems to be a cry for maternal love. of course. even if it were only for the grandeur of my love ! ’ . Poe was a soul marked by disgrace and that.Porte le soleil noir de la Mélancolie. all my passions seem to be infiltrated in this single burning desire. but it is a fact that the desperate need of maternal affection is one of the constant features in Poe’s work. Princess Marie Bonaparte makes another approach on Edgar Allan Poe’s stories. words that would reveal my heart and would permit me to offer it naked before you. She believes that the dark characteristics of Poe’s writing came from a very old infancy trauma: the vision of his mother’s dead body. as I know you to be a poet. His stories do not contain the slightest detail of sensuality in the relations of his characters. in this single desire to make people understand. when he was only three years old. you could not deny telling me that which you refuse to admit: that you would love me. I would fall on my knees and beg for words. oh my sweet Helena. Baudelaire translated the works of Edgar Allan Poe and spread them across Europe. According to him. We cannot verify this. Again and again I have pressed your letter against my lips. I am quite sure that if you would pierce my soul with your spiritual gaze. to make them see that which has no human expression or form: the unstoppable eagerness of my love for you.’ Another famous artist who worked on Poe’s writings is Charles Baudelaire. had a massive impact on his literature. if I could only believe in the efficacy of prayers to God. and I have wept tears of joy and divine desesperation! OH. All my thoughts. something the author never had. and still conserves that status. ‘Les Fleurs du Mal’ became very popular among the gothic literature readers. Charles Baudelaire himself found inspiration in Poe’s stories and his most famous work. where they gained immediate success and caused wonder. We can see what Edgar Allan Poe’s concept of love was in a letter that he wrote to one of his very few fiancées: ‘ My love.

Lovecraft. Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Such combination is very difficult to obtain. He is another master of mystery and terror. illusions and the unreal) is quite opposite to the tradition of the ‘black gothic Anglo-Saxon novel ’. what exactly does fantastic mean? Fantastic is something that can make people escape from the ordinary and leads them to discover new and hidden worlds. But. Edgar Allan Poe managed to combine the two traditions using the finest literary skill and obtained the perfect novel or short story. there is another author that. In spite of this.day life. He is. and that it would lead him to his perdition in the end. His major idea for his stories was cosmic horror. one of the most famous among readers of gothic literature. Lovecraft. P. Life and work of H. fantasy and science fiction. far away from every. And I have to say that Edgar Allan Poe is fantastic. followed Edgar Allan Poe’s footsteps. of course. because the traditional romanticism of the German novel (which is focused on wonders. which showed a pure macabre terror. we can see the opinions of Rafael Llopis. If we pounder on the style that Edgar Allan Poe uses when it comes to writing stories. Lovecraft : H. The other Master of Terror : Yet. His characters often . who states that Poe’s style is a kind of synthesis of two forms of previous literary horror: the Germanic tradition and the British tradition. born on the 20th of August 1890 in Providence. was an American author fascinated with horror. P. where he shows his beliefs that life is incomprehensible for mere human minds. and may consider them ‘fantastic ’. We are seduced by wonderful irrationality when reading Poe’s stories. Rhode Island. in some way. better known as H. P.We can see that Poe didn’t have a sexual concept of love: he believed that love was one of Man’s most deep and dangerous feelings.

Robert Bloch. such as ‘ The Alquimist ’. Poe has also influenced authors like Jules Verne ( in creating distortions of reality ). Lovecraft dedicates an entire chapter to Allan Poe. as natural. ‘ The Mountains of Insanity ’ is a sort of continuation of Egdar Allan Poe’s stories of ‘ Gordon Pym ’. . in Providence. the Circle went on. a set of stories about dreams of terror and death. Lovecraft was relatively unknown during his life. we can say that Poe’s favourite detective August Dupin became a sort of ancestor of Sherlock Holmes. and Edgar Allan Poe. There are two very big and well known categories in Lovecraft’s works: the ‘ Dream Cycle ’. the ‘ Chtulhu Mythos ’. A few of his stories only appeared in magazines such as ‘ Weird Tales’. a collection of science-fiction works about alien gods and cosmos. but he did keep a regular correspondence with other writers of his time. and the Mythos. and thus. This became known as the ‘Lovecraft Circle’.mock sanity. who influenced him in his ‘Dream Cycle’. and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. but there are two of them that were special to him: Lord Dunsany. The most famous piece of the Mythos is. Alan Moore. He found death on the 15th of March 1937. Benthy Little. Lovecraft received his influence from many writers. although they never met in person. It is said that Lovecraft’s work. There are some stories of Lovecraft. Lovecraft’s works are like a challenge for Romanticism and the values of Christianity. These authors often borrowed elements from Lovecraft’s stories. without any doubt. although the author specified that is was written as a tribute to Allan Poe when he abandoned his ‘ Poe standards ’ and decided to create something different. such as Clark Asthon Smith and August Derleth. and August Derleth was in charge of extending Lovecraft’s influence in his books. After Lovecraft’s death. saying ‘ he brought us the short modern horror story ’. Thanks to Poe’s detective stories. and many more. such as ‘ The Murders in the Rue Morgue’. In his ‘Supernatural Horror in Literature ’. ‘The Grave ’ and ‘ The Stranger ’ that could perfectly pass as Poe’s. with the writers’s authorisation. a series of stories that influenced writers such as Stephen King.

18 November 1930 ). The created a wonder world of ‘gothic romance ’. and indeed all rivals. would be present in the works of many artists. 20 January 1916 ). 19 June 1931 ). Poe stands first in basic seriousness and convincingness. here are a few quotes by H. Vernon Shea. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe set the pillars to a world of mystery. Edgar Allan Poe is my model. ’( to J. it is only because he himself paved he way by creating a whole atmosphere and method which lesser men can follow with relative ease. ‘ But Poe was my God of fiction. ’ (to Rheinhart Kleier. ’( to Fritz Leiber. And not also literature.P Lovecraft : Together.’ ( to Clark Ashton Smith.P. and in sinister twists of morbid human psychology. this concept has . that is.’ ( to Rheinhart Kleier. 9 November 1936 ). If I have ever been able to approximate his kind of thrill.Lovecraft about Poe : Since Edgar Allan Poe had a very big influence on Lovecraft’s stories. ‘ Since Poe affected me most of all horror-writers. fantasy and terror that later on. H. I can never feel that a tale starts out right unless it has something of his manner . a concept which today is very popular among horror literature fans. ‘ Next to Blackwood. ‘ Poe has probably influenced me more than any other person. In total effect he probably transcends Blackwood. The world of Edgar Allan Poe and H. 2 February 1916 ).P Lovecraft about ‘ the Master of Mystery ’: ‘ When I write stories. what he does tell is told with a potent art and demonic force which no one else can even approach.though his themes tend to centre in limited manifestations of the terrestrially gruesome.

they have created some great masterpieces. and when you listen to his music. it has taught me about life and about the difficulties that one must go through in order to find his place.spread itself into the dark world of metal music. As I myself am a big fan of Edgar Allan Poe an d H. I could not deny the great influence that these brilliant artists have had over one of my favourite bands of all time. I grew fonder and fonder of the band as the years passed. often known as HIM. he said that creating it was ‘ like a trip into my personal hell to a certain extent ’. And so. Ville Valo. by combining the gothic sensibility with a few aggressive accords. A lot of groups like Apokaliptica. It changed my way of thinking and my way of observing the world around me. Marilyn Manson. Since I have been listening to this band for over nine years. I knew why I liked the lyrics so much. The leader of the band. until I found out that the singer and composer of HIM is a very big fan of Edgar Allan Poe. and a great deal of directors .P Lovecraft. Since then. I can . and I seem to understand these authors better. is considered the ‘Edgar Allan Poe ’ of today. Cradle of Filth. Epica. Venus Doom. I reread stories written by Poe or Lovecraft. Tristania. the most famous being Roger Corman. They have found inspiration for their lyrics and. Every now and then. About their last album. gloomy romantic influence of Poe in his lyrics. Personal reflections: I have to say that reading this type of literature had a great impact on me. that his latest tattoo was the eyes of the writer ‘carved ’on his back. He is in love with Poe’s works. the band has become my favourite and their songs are of great importance to me. Black Sabbath and HIM have their influences in the literature of these two masters of horror. have put on the big screen a lot of stories taken from the great work of the these two authors. an idea that was constantly in Egdar Allan Poe’s mind every time he wrote. you can feel the dark. I often thought that listening to their songs was like listening to the stories of Edgar Allan Poe. Then. They have also penetrated into the film scene. everything became clear. The love of Ville Valo for Poe’s literature is so big. he reads short passages of Poe in his concerts. a finish group called His Infernal Majesty.

by H.wikipedia.P Lovecraft and others. 1995 ‘ Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos ’. 1993 ‘Cuentos ’. by Edgar Allan Poe. by H. Random House Publishing Group.A.com http://es. their passions and I can almost feel the magic of their period.hplovecraft.feel their sufferings. Without any doubt. Planeta S. 1998 www.P Lovecraft. Ballantine Books.org/wiki/Howard_Phillips_Lovecraft . La Maison de L’ Écriture. ’ ( Edgar Allan Poe ) ‘ All that we see or seem is but a dream within a Bibliography : ‘ Tales of Mistery and Imagination’ . dream. 2003 ‘ Dreams of Terror and Death ’. by Edgar Allan Poe. Wordsworth Editions Limited.. they are two of my favourite writers of all time and I strongly recommend them to anyone who appreciates good literature.


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