Howard Phillips Lovecraft’s Progressive Conservatism

Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937) was a strange man who wrote even stranger fiction. His visions of extra-dimensional landscapes and the all-powerful beings that inhabit them have struck a dissonant chord not only with literary history but also with the horror genre itself. However different Lovecraft’s stories may be, they have reached a substantial amount of readers directly, and many millions indirectly. One could write a compelling thesis on the bits and pieces of Lovecraft’s fiction found in, among others, Batman (Arkham Asylum), the music of Metallica (Call of Cthulhu) and World of Warcraft[1], but this is not the goal at present. In this essay, Lovecraft’s The Shadow over Innsmouth (1932) will be read for a singular purpose: to discover how Lovecraft, by way of his stories, comments on the idea of broadening one’s horizon.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Mythmaking in Jeanette Winterson’s Weight

“The free man never thinks of escape”


Jeanette Winterson always gets under my skin. I have not read any of her novels and thought bad about it. Weight is undoubtedly the worst Winterson novel I have read until now. At times it feels somewhat forced and it does not shift in style and genre as much as novels such as The Stone Gods and The Passion, which is something that I love about the other Winterson’s novels. But the fact that Weight is not Winterson’s best work does not mean that the work is bad. On the contrary, it is one of the best novels I’ve read in a long time. Continue reading

Freedom in Games: a Marketing Fiction?

I remember the first games I played, games such as Prehistoric and Commander Keen. These games were linear in their story and the ways in which you went from level to level. It was a something huge when, a few years later, Peter Molyneux introduced a game where players could choose what they wanted to do, instead of being forced by the game to move through the levels as was intended. Continue reading

The Computer, Capital of the Twenty-first Century

Exposé <of 2010>

 Note: This is a work-in-progress experiment based heavily on Benjamin’s Expose’s in the Arcades Project.


Introduction

History is like Janus; it has two faces. Whether it looks at the past or at the present, it sees the same things.

—Maxime Du Camp, Paris, vol. 6, p. 315 Continue reading

From Hell: Experiments in different temporal modi

From Hell appeared in the Taboo anthology for comics in 1991 and subsequently was published in different comics magazines. Most readers nowadays encounter the work in its collected one-volume printing which has around 572 pages. From Hell is a tale of ascension and apotheosis, of how a man becomes a god. More importantly for our purposes here today: From Hell is an experimentation of how this god might see history. Not as a chronological string of events tied together by the historian’s explanation, but as a frightening achronicity. All time, past and future, descending towards a present so vast that it can only be fathomed by a divine gnosis.

Continue reading