Miéville on Lovecraft

While gathering my thoughts on China Miéville’s astonishing Kraken, I remembered this short statement of his on a favorite Lovecraft story and it’s not just fascinating to hear, but it also contains an explanation of sorts of what he’s doing in works like Kraken.

7 thoughts on “Miéville on Lovecraft

  1. “Lovecraft describing with a libidinal vertiginous horror the kind of organic misogynation and filth that he perceives to be New York.” The guy actually talks like that! Of course, now I don’t know if I like him more or less.
    Though this video was very topical, since I just finished a Mieville and am currently reading an omnibus edition of Lovecraft’s stories.

  2. oh well, undeniably a good writer, craft-wise though, but.. how will you explain those views to your children… I found it a stable way of being more self-aware – instead of being self-indulgent, I mean – to rely on the verdict of your own children. It changes everything..

    and of course this cannot (the least) be understood by certain people… (qed, I’d say..
    we had this discussion before) who can only be pitied for the loss they aren’t even able to feel..

    to question what this stupid life is about, over and over again, trying to describe it or master it with art (or s.th. sort of) is futile if you constantly deny yourself THE experience .. *g*

  3. @Ronak: eh, but on the other hand, if you look through the interviews online, he can slip as easily from register to register in speech as in writing. His new book, Kraken, is filled with easy, slang-ish, highly annoying language.

  4. by the way, what do you think about Lovecraft? I’m a bit puzzled at the atrociousness, the pulpyness of the actual writing. I used to think he was a good WRITER, but my sister who’s a big fan bought me a collection of his stories and I was flabbergasted. Seems very bloated, wishfully victorian-esque to me.

  5. I’m highly inexperienced with the Brit and American writing of his time — one Dickens, I think –, so all of its writing seems rather similar to me. In an enjoyable way, that is.
    But in the five stories I’ve read, it seems to me that there’s a very real fear underlying his writing. Initial thought is that it is a sort of reaction to the rather anthropocentric views of nature (can’t remember who the major writers of the period were, but I’m pretty sure I have the time right, because the Brits were doing things to the environment in India, and Indian history has been hammered down my throat since I was six) that were in vogue then, but I’ll have to read more to be sure.

  6. @shig, to answer your question very belatedly, I now think his writing itself is highly skillful; he very effectively builds around me what feels like a labyrinth in the way it makes me feel out of place, a labyrinth made of big words and other people’s terror.

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