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Supernatural Horror in Literature

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  999 ratings  ·  67 reviews
H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937), the most important American supernaturalist since Poe, has had an incalculable influence on all the horror-story writing of recent decades. Altho his supernatural fiction has been enjoying an unprecedented fame, it's not widely known that he wrote a critical history of supernatural horror in literature that has yet to be superceded as the finest ...more
Paperback, 106 pages
Published June 1st 1973 by Dover Publications (first published 1927)
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Khost by Vincent HobbesDracula by Bram StokerProgeny by Patrick C. GreeneFrankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus. [By M. W. Shelley.] by Mary ShelleyThe Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Tales o... by Robert Louis Stevenson
Horror: 101
10th out of 60 books — 24 voters
The Rats in the Walls by H.P. LovecraftThe Shadow Over Innsmouth by H.P. LovecraftThe Call of Cthulhu by H.P. LovecraftThe Dunwich Horror by H.P. LovecraftSupernatural Horror in Literature by H.P. Lovecraft
H.P. Lovecraft: His greatest works
5th out of 12 books — 6 voters

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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
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
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 4 of 5 stars
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,
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...
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
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
Kevin Lucia
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Gonzalo Oyanedel
Conjunto de ensayos, notas y apuntes que ofrecen un sólido retrato del autor, destacando su persistente interés en el horror y cómo éste se ha reflejado en la literatura a través del tiempo. Desde su precoz autobiografía hasta la ardiente apología de su cuento "Dagón" (al parecer denostado por sus contemporáneos), la selección enriquece el perfil del escritor acusando además la evolución de su prosa en el tiempo, resultando muy recomendables los textos dedicados a sus admirados Lord Dunsany, Rob ...more
This book is, simply put, priceless. H.P Lovecraft, one of the most influential 20th century horror writers, reviews some of the best horror tales of all times. Make no mistake, if you know something of the man you can easily feel his voice. But, while as expected he promotes those writers that have similar cosmic views as his own, he still describes in detail the work of others whose "limited" or "traditional" views of man and his place in the universe greatly differ from his own. The man can p ...more
Jul 20, 2012 K rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: okay
This is a pretty good survey of weird/horror literature for it's time. H.P. Lovecraft does an excellent job of covering quite a bit of territory, but I wish there had been more depth to the novel.

From Wikipedia: Lovecraft examines the roots of weird fiction in the gothic novel (relying heavily on Edith Birkhead's 1921 survey The Tale of Terror), and traces its development through such writers as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe (who merits his own chapter), and Ambrose Bierce. Lovecraft nam
Un resumen parcial, incompleto y bastante subjetivo de la historia de la literatura de horror. La visión del maestro Lovecraft es lo que defiende este texto, en el que podemos aprovechar las sugerencias de ciertos autores, como precursores e influencias posibles del genio de Providence. Aparte de eso, un estudio bastante pobre y en el que el autor no explica muchas de las bases que rigen su forma de evaluar textos. Por ejemplo, hay miles de referencias a lo que sería un "horror cósmico" sin que ...more
Very good essay by the grandmaster of supernatural literature, H.P. Lovecraft himself. On less than 100 pages, he provided a concise and easy to read, yet very informative overview of the horror literature from the Middle Age manuscripts, through the popularity of the gothic novels, creative heights of Edgar Allan Poe, all the way to Lord Dunseny and other top writers of the early 20th century.

In this essay, Lovecraft demonstrates not only his great knowledge of the subject matter, but also his
Jim Perry
An interesting account of the development of horror in literature. What I found most interesting were all the authors cited. Plenty of new material to read, material Lovecraft found significant.
HP Lovecraft was a serious student of the work done within his chosen genre, and this book is evidence. Though written long, long ago, and discussing some works that are long (and undeservedly)-forgotten, the tenets that the Old Gent sets forth in this treatise still hold true to this day. Anyone seeking to work within the horror genre MUST have it. Those who wish to further their understanding of that genre, or of the Cthulhu Mythos specifically, SHOULD have it. The book itself is well-written ...more
H.P. Lovecraft writes a nice little history of horror and supernatural literature. It's easy to read and comes from someone who really likes horror literature. I had hoped for a bit more analysis of the genre or authors/stories. A lot of the time he gives quick, spoiler synopses to tons of books and short stories that he really digs. With horror stories, I don't know if we want to be told the end before we read it. Oh well, the good thing is that he rattles off so many titles that there's reall ...more
Diego Claire Ulthar Sideral
Uno de los mejores ensayos sobre el género de terror que he leído. Se merece varias reseñas para analizar todas las referencias literarias que expone H. P. Lovecraft. <3
Cooper Renner
Surveys "horror" literature as of about 1930. Direct and well done and makes me curious about some of the writers I haven't read or have read only a bit of.
S. T. Joshi's annotations helped immensely with my understanding of Lovecraft's essay, particularly with the Gothic period authors (e.g. M. G. Lewis, et al) since that is the era with which I'm least familiar. Lovecraft assumes his reader has a depth of familiarity with the works discussed equal to his own, which might not be true of modern readers (at least it isn't for me!)

It's a shame Lovecraft died at such an early age; I would've loved to see his essay expanded into literature of the 1940s,
David Bonesteel
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
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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...
The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories At the Mountains of Madness and Other Tales of Terror At the Mountains of Madness The Call of Cthulhu

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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” 1278 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.” 21 likes
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