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“The Shadow over Innsmouth”

Jonathan's goosebump moment

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The book “The Shadow over Innsmouth” by H. P. Lovecraft – Jonathan’s goosebump moment

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“Hello! My name is Jonathan Garcia, I come from Curaçao and my goosebump moment was when I read the book “The Shadow over Innsmouth” by H. P. Lovecraft, which was one of my first fiction stories when I was about fourteen years old. I like it a lot because of the atmosphere that the author creates at the time of presenting his narrative, how he describes places, environments and sensations, and it was the book that encouraged me to write my own stories.”

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A cult work

In “The Shadow over Innsmouth” the protagonist investigates the genealogy of his ancestors, in a journey dedicated to the study of his ancestors and the study of the vestiges of the past. This journey into the unknown of his family, by the grace of the fantasy genre, will lead to a blasphemous encounter with the supernatural and the occult.

Lovecraft’s work remains an object of worship by our contemporaries. A character surrounded by cursing, apathetic, an avowed racist, an enemy of the modern world and brimming with phobias, he tried to integrate into society without success. All this accumulated contempt for humanity was poured into his work, which was peppered with a personal fantastic mythology – known as The Myths of Cthulhu – and an apocalyptic and degraded vision of the universe.

Lovecraft’s Imaginary Geography

“The Shadow over Innsmouth” is a novel of five chapters, written by H. P. Lovecraft in 1931 and published in April 1936 in full as a novella. It was the only work by Lovecraft published in this form during his lifetime. His novels were usually published in serialized form in magazines.

The story is set in the fictional and decadent town of Innsmouth, Massachusetts, and narrates the discovery of the half-human half-fish hybrid beings that inhabit it. Innsmouth is part of Lovecraft’s imaginary geography, which mixes real New England locations with fictional ones.

This small coastal town lives isolated from the rest of the neighboring towns. There is something repulsive in the atmosphere of its streets, in the pestilence of the waters of its bay, even in the anatomy of its inhabitants. All this is told in the first person by a traveler named Robert Olmstead, a resident of the also imaginary town of Arkham, who travels to Innsmouth attracted by curiosity.

The decay of the houses and people of Innsmouth is presented as the result of a mysterious epidemic that decimated the population years before. As always, Lovecraft’s descriptions are powerful, evocative and terrifying.

 

A great innovator of the horror genre

Howard Phillips Lovecraft had a weakness for ice cream and cats. In fact, he had a black cat, and in his own words: “I do not dislike dogs any more than I dislike monkeys, human beings, merchants, cows, sheep or pterodactyls, but for cats I have had a particular respect and affection since the early days of my childhood”.

Considered a great innovator of the horror genre, to which he contributed his own mythology – the so-called Cthulhu Myths, a literary cycle of cosmic horror -, H. P. Lovecraft was born on August 20, 1890, in Providence, the capital and largest city of Rhode Island, in the United States.

Lovecraft was a gifted child who at the age of two was already reading poetry, and at the age of six or seven began to write. At that time his favorite genre was crime fiction. At 13 he started the Providence Detective Agency and at 15 he wrote his first story, “The Beast in the Cave”. At sixteen he wrote an astronomy column for the Providence Tribune.

The death of his maternal grandfather in 1904 affected the young man so much that he thought of suicide. However, he overcame this idea thanks to a tendency that had been acquiring much weight in the nature of the young Lovecraft: intellectual curiosity.

 

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