TOO SOON: In the Mouth of Madness


And here is another TOO SOON piece written for Where the Long Tail Ends. This particular one looks at John Carpenter’s In the Mouth of Madness, as well as H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King. Here is a quick sample:

Lovecraft was a fairly interesting writer who tends to be neglected academically in favor of other American authors who are easier to digest, such as Edgar Allan Poe and Robert E. Howard; which is a shame, really. A lot of it has to do with the fact that Lovecraft made life terribly difficult for himself both personally and professionally. He obviously followed his own path, and in doing so, he created an incredibly rich body of work that literally has no commercial appeal. Poe not only had C. Auguste Dupin, but a wealth of short stories that are psychologically compelling while remaining brilliantly compact, so he’s easier to translate to other media. Plus, due mostly to his bewildering death, Poe is viewed as being mysterious and romantic, again making him more interesting. Outside of Herbert West, Lovecraft did not create any character that has really withstood the test of time. In fact, his most popular creation is probably the Necronomicon, a book that has appeared in numerous movies such as Evil Dead and Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. His writing is dense, the English he used was archaic when it was originally published, and while he would be perfectly fine with describing a wall or a tree for two or three pages, when it came time to describe the monster, he would simply explain that it was too horrible for words. And because he was a prolific letter writer – he wrote over 80,000 letters in the last 25 years of his life – we tend to have a little too much information about Lovecraft, such as his racism and anti-Semitism – which I’m sure his Jewish wife really enjoyed.

Read the rest of the article right here.