Poe is truly a genius. He stands on a level up at which HP Lovecraft could only gaze. But Lovecraft is pretty frickin cool. A new edition of the Tales and a biography are reviewed in the NY Times book review.
If you spend enough time in Lovecraft’s lonely landscapes, fear really does develop: not the fear that you will come across unearthly creatures, but the fear that you will come across little else. And what first seems horridly overdone accumulates a creepy minimalism. Taken as a whole, Lovecraft’s work exhibits a hopeless isolation not unlike that of Samuel Beckett: lonely man after lonely man, wandering aimlessly through a shadowy city or holing up in rural emptiness, pursuing unspeakable secrets or being pursued by secret unspeakables, all to little avail and to no comfort. There is something funny about this — in small doses. But by the end of this collection, one does not hear giggling so much as the echoes of those giggles as they vanish into the ether — lonely, desperate and, yes, very, very scary.