This genius of the macabre certainly had his own tastes and not everyone will agree with them. Still, if you care about horror, etc. it would be hard to find a better introduction to fantastic literature. Beware of spoilers, however. Lovecraft had an unfortunate tendency to give away the endings of certain stories. If you are really interested in a piece he is discoursing on stop and go read it. As a result of this flaw, it took me a while to finish this book but it was worth it. The chapter on Arthur Machen sent me rushing to read whatever of his I could find and I did not regret it one little bit. On a side note, Lovecraft’s critical method has much to recommend it, even outside genre studies. While he never talks down to readers or oversimplifies matters, illumination is Lovecraft’s goal. His description of the style of M. R. James, for instance, is so concise and lucid that any reader would instantly understand what he is talking about. In these days, when so much criticism seems to obscure, analytical works that aid the intellectual, non-specialist reader are sorely needed. 


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