The Lovecraft series continues because I’m still stalled in getting new stuff out.
This one, I hope, will eventually get another look for my World War One in Fantastic Fiction.
Raw Feed (2005): “The Temple”, H. P. Lovecraft 1920.
It’s only 1920 and this is already, after his “Dagon“, the second time already he’s introduced the exploration of ancient, alien cities, a plot element prominent in his more famous “At the Mountains of Madness“, “The Call of Cthulhu“, and “The Shadow Out of Time“.
This is also the only Lovecraft story, with its tale of the mishaps of a German U-Boat, set entirely during World War One.
Unfortunately, his depiction of his narrator, the commander of the submarine, is a jarring caricature who constantly rails against the ignorant peasants under his command, the inferiority of non-Prussians, and generally spouts off German war propaganda.
I don’t know why Lovecraft did this. It could be he simply didn’t care much one way or another since doing realistic characters was not a major concern of his. He could be repeating, for whatever reason, American propaganda from the war, or Lovecraft the Aryan lover could be giving what he thought was a realistic portrayal. [This is an unfair characterization. Lovecraft was an Anglophile.] Or it could simply be that character of the German commander owes something to the editor at Weird Tales where this story was first published.
We don’t actually have any manuscript from Lovecraft for it, so we don’t know what was changed for publication.
More Lovecraft related material is on the Lovecraft page.