Sunday, July 29, 2007

Lovecraft deconstructed

I came across an old post-structuralist approach to H. P. Lovecraft in Donald R. Burleson: "Lovecraft: Disturbing the Universe" (1990).

Well, I don't know what to say. The work really shows how dogmatic post-structuralism really is (even though they themselves claim differently). Every short story is self-reflective, subversive, labyrinthic. illogical etc. This may actually be true for some of the stories. But Burleson aren't really addressing the content of these stories. He is following his own trail of subversive and illogical arguments.

Example 1: Call of Cthulhu.
It is said that Cthulhu is the high priest of the Great Old Ones. The word Cthulhu resembles Catholic, so... what actually?!

Well, what does that in fact tell us about the Catholic church, eh?!

Example 2: The Cats of Ulthar.
Words starting with cata or kata sounds like cat therefore the word catacombe (naturally?) comes to mind and that shows how labyrinthic the story really is.

If that is true then this argument goes for anything ever written about cats.

Example 3: The Statement of Randolph Carter.
"Warren's name also suggests warring, and one thinks of critic Barbara Johnson's celebrated and felicitous definition of deconstruction as "the careful teasing out warring forces of signification within the text itself." (p. 25)

No, we do not and Lovecraft certainly didn't!


Post a Comment

<< Home