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