Yes, it’s time, with no apologies, for that story.
Raw Feed (2005): “The Horror at Red Hook”, H. P. Lovecraft, 1925.
This is the first of what I term the “I really hate New York” stories of Lovecraft. Part of their charm is the sheer hatred and disgust of the city that comes through Lovecraft’s vituperative prose. The city and its mongrel, money-grubbing inhabitants are base, degraded, devolved, unimaginative, and unregeneratively evil.
The evil (Yezidis — devil worshipping Kurds from Kurdistan) is still festering, growing again at Red Hook at story’s end. [Yes, I am well aware that Yezidis are not exactly Satan worshipers — at least not of a Christian version of Satan and have been aware of that since reading Arkon Daraul’s A History of Secret Societies in 2002.]
Unconquered evil, is of course, hardly exceptional in Lovecraft, though.
This story sort of stands at a cross road for Lovecraft. Like the story Lovecraft wrote immediately before it, “The Shunned House“, that features a rather traditional horror creature: the vampire with its reference to Lilith, this story has a traditional evil. Continue reading ““The Horror at Red Hook””