Lovecraft’s Magick Realism

H.P. Lovecraft claimed to be a total materialist, so how did his stories become so involved with the realms of the esoteric and magical?

Eric Davis, in an essay titled “Calling Cthulhu,” writes,

This phenomenon is made all the more intriguing by the fact that Lovecraft himself was a “mechanistic materialist” philosophically opposed to spirituality and magic of any kind. Accounting for this discrepancy is only one of many curious problems raised by the apparent power of Lovecraftian magic. Why and how do these pulp visions “work”? What constitutes the “authentic” occult? How does magic relate to the tension between fact and fable? As I hope to show, Lovecraftian magic is not a pop hallucination but an imaginative and coherent “reading” set in motion by the dynamics of Lovecraft’s own texts, a set of thematic, stylistic, and intertextual strategies that constitute what I call Lovecraft’s Magick Realism.

Speaking of new Lovecraftian visions, I finally saw The Call of Cthulhu, a retro-silent movie released in 2005.  The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society has more, much more, unspeakably more.

The Lovecraft cult has even reached the shooting sports: “Bullets over Arkham.”


2 thoughts on “Lovecraft’s Magick Realism

  1. I thought they did a near-brilliant technical job with Call of Cthulhu, recreating the feel of an actual period silent movie… and am definitely looking forward to The Whisperer in Darkness. Thanks for the link to the article!

  2. Pitch313

    Reading my first Lovecraft story as a young teenager confirmed me as a life long fan. The Cthulhu Mythos figures in my Pagan practice.

    It, for reasons that I cannot quite explain, offers a more or less serious, dark enshrouded mythology that works in and for today’s Pagan approaches to magic. The story universe is more convincingly “real” than the author’s own materialist world view. I sometimes think that we get what it entails to make a discovery and live out the encounter even when doing so confounds our ordinary understanding of the world. That’s what Lovecraft’s stories show us.

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