From within the Abyss of the Mind: Psychological Horror in H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Call of Cthulhu”

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Inst. för humaniora

Abstract: ABSTRACT An attempt to put the horror writer H. P. Lovecraft on the map of psychoanalytical criticism, this analysis examines Lovecraft’s use of setting, characters, and narrative mode and structure in “The Call of Cthulhu” (1926) to show how his construction of horror has its ground in psychology, or, more specifically, in ideas of identity and violated boundaries of the self. In addition, brief reflections on Modernist art, its connections with psychoanalysis, and its analogies to Lovecraftian imagery are provided in order to show the echoes of the Zeitgeist in Lovecraft’s horrors. Although Lovecraft made claims for the universality of the horror he depicted, the present analysis also maps its specific and time-bound characteristics.

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