I hate H. P. Lovecraft.
I know. I know. Talented tortured writer. Inspiration for some of my favorite authors, artists, friends, RPGs, etc.
I have read his Cthulu stories and his dream cycle. I have enjoyed them both for the most part. But through them, there was an undercurrent, a twisting strand that I loathed. Two, actually.
His stories have two ideas that are consistent. Both are completely antithetical to the weft of my very being.
First, that the Anglo Saxons are superior to every other race on Earth. Everyone else is deformed, ill intentioned, and/or foolish. His descriptions would have been enough, but biographies, personal letters, and countless scholarly works have been written about it. His Anglophilia came at the expense of everyone else. And it grates upon me.
Even so, it does not appear in every work. And he is usually subtle. It is possible to read without noticing for some people. But the second idea is larger and far more explicit.
If you were to search for one unifying idea throughout every one of his stories, it would be that humanity is best off not exploring, not researching, not learning about the universe. Because if humans learned more, if we saw what was truly out there, we would either go mad or be destroyed (sometimes both.)
I cannot even begin to describe how much that idea infuriates me.
Yes, the universe is big, scary, and filled with things beyond our comprehension. But we should not let fear keep us from learning. Our curiosity is one of our greatest attributes. And I stand with G. K. Chesterton who said, “[f]airy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey.”
That is the place where I stand. That is what I believe.
And I find some comfort in the fact that Lovecraft would have hated me, too.