Thursday, 9 June 2016

Anderson And Lovecraft

Does anyone out there want to write a comparison between Poul Anderson and HP Lovecraft, two American writers of fantasies about "gods" and of fictions about interstellar travel? I do not know anything like enough about Lovecraft and mention him here only because I am currently reading Alan Moore's Lovecraftian series, Providence.

I make three observations -

(i) We differentiate between imaginative and realistic fiction and place both Anderson and Lovecraft in the former category. Of course, Anderson wrote both realistically and imaginatively. Nevertheless, there is a clear distinction between merely realistic fiction on the one hand and fantasy or sf on the other. Anderson wrote realistic historical and detective fiction but is mainly known for his sf and fantasy.

(ii) Anderson could have turned his hand to Lovecraftian horror as to anything else and would probably have surpassed the original.

(iii) Lovecraft is known only for horror whereas Anderson's range of subject matters and genres is wider and deeper than the merely horrific.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

An interesting idea, that Poul Anderson could have written excellent horror if he had chosen to do so. And probably have surpassed both Lovecraft and Stephen King. Alas, I've read far too little of Lovecraft's works (one or two short stories) to be able to contrast or compare Anderson with Lovecraft.

If you will look up my "Uncollected Works of Poul Anderson" article I think you will find a few stories he wrote classified as horror, such as "Ashtaru The Terrible." And Dahut the Siren's story in THE DOG AND THE WOLF comes close to being horror. But, that's about it.