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The Annotated Supernatural Horror in Literature

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,119 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
H. P. Lovecraft's "Supernatural Horror in Literature," first published in 1927, is widely recognized as the finest historical survey of horror literature ever written. The product of both a keen critical analyst and a working practitioner in the field, the essay affords unique insights into the nature, development, and history of the weird tale. Beginning with instances of ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published January 1st 2000 by Hippocampus (first published 1927)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,391)
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J.G. Keely
Sometimes called 'the most important piece of literary criticism in the Horror genre', Lovecraft's essay on the history and method of supernatural horror is a great resource for readers and writers alike, as it mostly consists of a list of his favorite authors and their most notable and unusual stories. Really, an editor should go through the text, collect all the stories and authors Lovecraft mentions, and then make them into a shot story collection, with this essay as an introduction--hard to ...more
Amy Sturgis
Every time I reread "Supernatural Horror in Literature," I find something new to appreciate. This is an invaluable resource, both for what it tell us of the development of the Gothic, weird fiction, and horror (and, for that matter, science fiction and fantasy) -- Lovecraft is a well informed and insightful critic who grasps context as well as content -- and also for what it tells us of Lovecraft's influences and inspirations. Anyone interested in imaginative literature should consider this a "m ...more
H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) nos ofrece en ‘El horror sobrenatural en la literatura y otros escritos teóricos y autobiográficos’, un gran análisis sobre lo que es el verdadero horror. Esta fantástica y exhaustiva edición, nos llega de la mano de Valdemar, e incluye el famoso ensayo del Maestro de Providence, sus relatos de terror preferidos, textos sobre narrativa fantástica (algunos inéditos en castellano), algunos apuntes autobiográficos y una completísima bibliografía y notas a cargo de Juan An ...more
Scarlet Cameo
Mar 26, 2016 Scarlet Cameo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fan de Lovecraft hy del terror.
Tal vez Lovecraft sea una de las mejores personas para recomendarte libros por que este ensayo es, en gran parte, eso: una enorme lista de recomendaciones pero no sólo porque el considerara a Dickens, Shelley, Polidori o Poe buenos autores, sino porque los consideraba autores que le dieron la vuelta a su genero, que supieron explotar las emoción más primitiva: El miedo.

Lo que Lovecraft hace aquí es ir construyéndo el camino hacia su escritura, pasando por autores, países y géneros que le fueron
Libros Prohibidos
Nov 18, 2015 Libros Prohibidos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leer a Lovecraft es siempre una experiencia estimulante, ya sea en su faceta de escritor de ficción o ensayista. En El horror sobrenatural en la literatura demuestra sus conocimientos sobre un género del que es uno de sus mayores referentes y aporta su opinión autorizada de algunas de las mejores obras de terror de la Historia. Una pequeña joya de lectura (y consulta) imprescindible. Reseña completa:
Feb 11, 2013 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this rad, free, typoriffic eBook accessible through goodreads, which led to downloading a dozen ePub files for books listed available via the Gutenberg Project. Not sure how many I'll actually read but, like Bolano's Between Parentheses, this explodes your to-read queue (out of respect for others' update streams, I only added one book I couldn't find at the Gutenberg Project site). Also I found this interesting in terms of going though 2666 again recently and noting bits apparently influenc ...more
Nicole Cushing

Here's the good, the bad, and the ugly about this book:

The Good: If you read this book, you'll get a sense of the historical development of the dark "weird" tale (in the U.S. and Europe). If you're like me, you'll find yourself reading the various descriptions of stories and novels and finding yourself underlining them for future addition to your to be read list. That might be the coolest thing, actually...through this book, I've discovered all sorts of other authors I wouldn't have known about.
Jun 15, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovecraftians, horror fans, literature students
Recommended to Michael by: Serendipity
Shelves: literary-studies
As someone who loves Lovecraft, but doesn’t care much for most of what passes for “horror” writing, this book is a wonderful readers’ guide for me. I’ve tracked down a number of the stories he recommended, and in general have found them quite enjoyable. Even in cases where I’m not as enthused as HPL was, (eg: Lord Dunsany), I’m interested to see the influences on my favorite writer of weird fiction. For others with as much interest in him as I have, this book is a must-read.

For the rest of you,
May 03, 2008 Donald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, writer-reads
This started as a historical essay on weird fiction that was published in 1927 in a magazine called The Recluse. The edition I was able to find is a 1973 reprint of a 1945 reprint. Interesting that no one since has taken on the task of writing about writers, and that Lovecraft's thoughts have stood the test of time.

I've pulled some names out of this edition. Perhaps I can even find some of the novels mentioned and thereby see into the past in order to more understand supernatural horror today...
Kevin Lucia
Dec 08, 2012 Kevin Lucia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably the only downside: SO comprehensive, I have no idea if I'll ever be able to read all the tales suggested. Highly recommended for anyone reading or writing in the horror genre. And highly readable, also.
Ebster Davis
Jun 25, 2015 Ebster Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got to geek together with a dead guy, how cool is that?!

Basically this is a large essay where he reviews the history and development of the Gothic-paranormal horror genre (or as he sometimes calls it, "The Weird").

I loved hearing his take on the different stories, he was even a bit critical of Edgar Allan Poe (who he's a fanboy of). He even included a few stories I wouldn't have thought of as belonging to the genre, and some I hadn't heard of and will definitely check out.

I think it's funny
May 15, 2015 Curtis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This should perhaps be more aptly titled "The History of Supernatural Horror in Literature." Lovecraft does an excellent job of listing works that contain cosmically horrific elements and themes – and that's it. If you're looking for a Grand Unifying Theory of supernatural horror, this isn't the place to find it. It's more genre-definition-by-name-dropping than critical combination of theoretical ideas.

Nonetheless, it's an interesting and useful resource. I don't know that I'll ever read it all
Feb 23, 2016 Diletta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Una grandissima risorsa per lettori e scrittori. Inutile dire che ho aggiunto nuovi titoli in wishlist e che ho segnato un sacco di cose.
Erik Angle
If you’re a fan of H.P. Lovecraft, of weird fiction, of horror, and/or interested in the history of (primarily Western) literature, and want your reading queue blowed up, this essay is for you.

Supernatural Horror in Literature is an overview of the historical development of weird fiction (now generally referred to with the genre tag “Horror”), much like a family tree. Lovecraft begins with the classical corpus of Western literature and follows the scarlet thread of the weird up to his present da
Ignacio Senao f
Jan 12, 2015 Ignacio Senao f rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Muchas les gustaría mantener una conversación con ese sujeto, y esto es lo más parecido a lo que podéis aspirar hasta la fecha.
Habla de él, de su vida, de lo mal escritor que es, y curiosamente dice que de chico estaba siempre enfermo y que ahora es robusto y sano (muere al poco: ironías de la vida)

No se tira muchas flores ni indaga mucho en su vida, pero si lo hace hablando de las novelas que le han gustado. Podríamos decir que es un periodista de salsa rosa actual y raja de los libros que lee
May 12, 2015 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read Lovecraft's landmark essay about 20 years ago. Going back to it after re-reading all of his stories as well as S. T. Joshi's biography gave me new insights into Lovecraft's understanding of the genre. Joshi's notes help to identify the influence these works had on Lovecraft's writing, and add context and information about the works covered.
Jun 07, 2009 Charles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Lovecraft not only wrote very fine horror fiction in his own right, he was a student of the genre and this is an excellent introduction to the topic of supernatural literature, although, of course, it does not deal with later works.
Riina Ojanen
Lovecraftin kirjoittama lyhyehkö artikkeli kauhukertomusten historiasta toimii hienosti nopeana läpileikkauksena aiheeseen. Se ei jää pohtimaan teosten merkittävyyttä, listaa ennenminkin kuin perehtyy ja arvottaa "lovecraftimaisen" kauhun muiden muotojen edelle, mutta samalla siitä välittyy myös kirjoittajan lukeneisuus ja katsauksen kattavuus. Erityisen mielenkiintoista oli huomata naiskirjailijoiden määrä tässä historiikissa.

Aiheesta kiinnostunut lukija voi huomata merkkailevansa miltei joka s
David B
Jun 27, 2014 David B rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is HP Lovecraft's assessment of the state of supernatural fiction from its origins in pre-history (much of his celebrated racism figures in these theories) to the 1920s, when this slim volume was written. Since Lovecraft himself is such a titanic figure in American horror, his critical opinions on the genre are naturally of interest to anyone attracted to the topic. Here Lovecraft discourses at great length on his personal favorites, proving himself to be an expert summarizer. Anyone intere ...more
Emi Kanter
May 23, 2013 Emi Kanter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I must recommend this to every horro fan.
Apr 08, 2016 Tonk82 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, teorico, propio

La última vez que me acerqué a este libro fue hace ya 8 años. Con la noticia de que posiblemente se haya encontrado un nuevo ensayo escrito por Lovecraft ("El cancer de la superstición", encargado por Houdini pero nunca publicado), he querido volver a revisarlo.

Fue publicado por Edaf en 2002 y recopila toda una serie de textos variados: trozos de cartas, pequeños ensayos... y creo que merece la pena desglosar lo que contiene:

-La breve autobiografía de un escritorzuelo intrascendente:
Dave Maddock
May 14, 2015 Dave Maddock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dave by: Mythgard: Literary Copernicus
Shelves: criticism
While Lovecraft made some good points early on about fear and its exploitation in horror, most of the work is a bit bogged down in critiquing various works and authors. And since I haven't read most of what he cites, I have little basis from which to agree or disagree with his assessments.

I like HPL's focus on "cosmic fear" in the introduction and I can appreciate what he's doing as a critic tracing the use of cosmic fear down through the literary tradition he is extending. However, the large am
Aug 23, 2014 Eija rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yliluonnollinen kauhu kirjallisuudessa käsittää H. P. Lovecraftin esseen kauhukirjallisuuden historiasta aina 1700-luvulta 1920-luvulle saakka. Varhaisessa kauhukirjallisuudessa ajan hengen mukaisesti tarinat sisältävät kauhun ohella sentimentaalisuutta ja romansseja. Lovecraft kritisoi juurikin näitä piirteitä monissa muuten ihailemissaan teoksissa.

Tätä tietokirjaa voi suositella kaikille kauhukirjallisuudesta ja sen historiasta kiinnostuneille ja se soveltuu hyvin myös aloitteleville kauhukir
May 16, 2011 Kenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You could hardly hope for a better guide to the horror genre than H. P. Lovecraft. Not only is he near-universally acknowledged as the 20th century's greatest horror-story author, he seems to have read an impossible volume of the stuff. His knowledge is encyclopedic: generally with a survey written 80+ years ago, the writer's idea of what was most important doesn't line up with modern anthologists, critics, etc.; but with Lovecraft even "The Yellow Wallpaper" (for instance), anthologized now mai ...more
Ana Martins
Apr 01, 2013 Ana Martins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, essay
É um ensaio histórico fabuloso sobre horror sobrenatural feito por H. P. Lovecreft, que abrange um alargado príodo da história da literatura de terror de relatos, contos e romances desde contos populares, baladas e mitos da antiguidade e da Idade Média, passando pela época do Renascimento e pelos romances góticos, as histórias de fantasmas Vitorianas e escritores americandos pulp, e, dando vários exemplos de alguns autores e histórias mais conhecidas.
É um registo sobre autores como Edgar Allan P
It breaks the heart to think that, for much of a sadly brief life, H.P. Lovecraft produced some of his best work as a studious amateur rather than as a sublime professional. 'Supernatural Horror in Literature' is a wonderful exploration of a literary feeling and mode that Lovecraft himself would have totally redefined within a decade of the essay's publication, but appreciation of it is dampened somewhat by the nagging thoughts; these 95 pages took two years to complete? And all for an unpaying, ...more
Apr 03, 2016 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating survey of supernatural literature from spanning from early Gothic fiction to Lovecraft's contemporaries. A terrific resource on very common titles (and the reception and insight of those works one hundred years ago) as well as a very valuable tool for getting ideas on more obscure novels and reference books from the time. Joshi's citations and annotations also make this the definitive edition and are sometimes as fascinating as Lovecraft's text.
Lovecraft's treatise on the horror genre isn't so much of a collection of dos-and-don'ts as it is an essay about what's worked and what hasn't. Essentially a long list of recommended works (many of which are summarized in HPL's uniquely opulent patois), this brief book is a reading list/who's who of the writers who have inspired (or annoyed) Lovecraft. Definitely recommended for those with an interest in the history of horror fiction.
Though a little too much of this is summarizing weird fiction tales/novels/poems and not enough is on the analysis of those stories, there are still moments in it that make it worth the read. The essay itself has been called the required reading list of early horror (and indeed, there is plenty of reading there; from gothic to Poe) and it does a nice job of creating a linear path from the Gothic tradition of old decrepit castles to the "modern" horror that was based in the sciences. While HP Lov ...more
Juan Antonio
Mar 10, 2015 Juan Antonio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only thing I do not like about this book is all the spoilers it contains. I have had to be very cautious when I was reading the summaries and descriptions of the works mentioned by Lovecraft. Nevertheless I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes this genre. I was looking for a list of the most remarkable horror novels and tales and Lovecraft just made it easier for me.
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Howard Phillips Lovecraft, of Providence, Rhode Island, was an American author of horror, fantasy and science fiction.

Lovecraft's major inspiration and invention was cosmic horror: life is incomprehensible to human minds and the universe is fundamentally alien. Those who genuinely reason, like his protagonists, gamble with sanity. Lovecraft has developed a cult following for his Cthulhu Mythos, a
More about H.P. Lovecraft...

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“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown” 1404 likes
“The one test of the really weird (story) is simply this--whether or not there be excited in the reader a profound sense of dread, and of contact with unknown spheres and powers; a subtle attitude of awed listening, as if for the beating of black wings or the scratching of outside shapes and entities on the known universe's utmost rim.” 23 likes
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