News | Friday, 24th August 2018
Gothic expert edits new collection of legendary horror writer
Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes has shaped the first collection of H.P Lovecraft’s Gothic fiction
A new collection of prolific horror writer H.P Lovecraft’s works has been edited by a University Gothic expert.
The Gothic Tales of H.P Lovecraft, published by the British Library, also features an introduction from Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes, Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Film at Manchester Metropolitan University.
It is the first collection of Lovecraft’s stories to concentrate on his Gothic writing and includes both classics and lesser-known tales from the very beginning to the end of the author’s career.
Despite working in relative obscurity before his death in 1937, Lovecraft has become posthumously celebrated as one of the greatest 20th century weird and horror fiction writers. Tales such as ‘The Rats in the Walls’ and ‘The Call of Cthulhu’ are considered to have influenced modern horror writers such as Stephen King, who once called Lovecraft “the twentieth century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale”.
From his home in Rhode Island he penned dozens of short stories for pulp magazines and created entire fictional universes with their own pantheon of gods.
The writer's weird vision mixes brilliantly with the trappings of earlier Gothic horror to form innovative mosaics of frightful fiction that have the power to haunt the reader's subconscious.
Dr Aldana Reyes, founder member of the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies, is a passionate fan of Lovecraft and an expert in Gothic fiction.
He said: “H. P. Lovecraft is best known for his tales of cosmic horror, in which unnameable nightmares torment the limits of human consciousness, but his mastery of weird and unspeakable terror is underpinned by the writer's sizeable contribution to Gothic fiction.
“The writer's weird vision mixes brilliantly with the trappings of earlier Gothic horror to form innovative mosaics of frightful fiction that have the power to haunt the reader's subconscious. This introductory collection is intended for those who might be interested in exploring the more classical side of Lovecraft or may be simply looking for a way into his fictional world.”
Manchester Metropolitan has celebrated the legacy of Lovecraft in the past. The 2015 Gothic Manchester Festival opened with a Gothic art exhibition entitled 'Crafting the Weird', housed Brian Yuzna, a Hollywood horror legend and director of many Lovecraft adaptations, and ended with an esoteric pub quiz on Lovecraft’s mythos among many a knitted Cthulhu.
As part of this year’s celebrations, the Gothic Manchester Festival also ran a Lovecraft-themed live-action role playing game entitled “Migrations – A Special Exhibition from Miskatonic University” that was presented by Dr Chloé Germaine Buckley, Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Film, and was temporarily housed in Special Collections.