Monday, March 7, 2016

Would H.P. Lovecraft support Donald Trump?

A new novel turns the racist genius inside out:
It is perhaps odd, then, that Matt Ruff’s new novel, Lovecraft Country, is set in Jim Crow America, long after Lovecraft’s death in 1937. Despite drawing the title from a term coined by Keith Herber to describe the fictional New England landscape in which Lovecraft set many of his stories, Ruff’s novel takes place primarily in Chicago; though there are excursions afield to locales both terrestrial and celestial, very little of the story is actually set in the eponymous Lovecraft Country. Nor do Ruff’s characters resemble the typical Lovecraftian protagonist — white, male, and with antiquarian tendencies. Atticus Turner is a black man and a veteran of the Korean War. Make no mistake: this is a novel about racism, told from the point of view of African Americans, written by a white man in the generic tradition of another, problematic white writer.

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