Anniversaries are funny things. Nothing happened on September 11, 2011. It was just another day. And yet, and yet. I suppose it is how the mind works, how we deal with time and memory. Does a man love his wife any less on the day before their 25th wedding anniversary? Was the pain of loss any less on September 10, 2011? Certainly not. Maybe it’s just that in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, we often fail to find time to think on such things. And so they simmer below the surface, waiting to burst forth.
Today is an anniversary of a death. It will go unnoticed by most, and being the 75th such anniversary, I seriously doubt that anyone feels the pain of loss that those who knew him must have felt in the days and the years that followed March 15, 1937, the day that H.P. Lovecraft succumbed to cancer of the small intestine at the age of 46. In life, Lovecraft never received the praise he deserved, and even with the benefit of his massive influence on popular culture, he is still relatively unknown.
But that influence is massive. The debt I owe him is obvious, but I’ll be bold—you’ve never read a horror novel or seen a horror movie that was produced after 1950 that was not influenced by H.P. Lovecraft. He is the Edgar Allen Poe of the last century, and his ideas rest at the heart of modern horror.
I could say more, but the fact is others have said it first and said it better. Rest in Peace, Howard. Perhaps we will see you again when the stars come round right once more.
“Heaven knows where I’ll end up – but it’s a safe bet that I’ll never be at the top of anything! Nor do I particularly care to be.” –H. P. Lovecraft