Robert Howard explains the butchersome logic of empire to HP Lovecraft

Originally published at:


Lovecraft seemed to have many personal shortcomings but I enjoy his stories anyway.

Agreed. I wonder what type of protest Lovecraft would receive on the internet these days if he were alive. More than Orson Scott Card? Separating the art from the artist is certainly more difficult these days when we know so much about everyone. Not sure if that is good or bad…

It is uniformly bad. No one is without fault, without guilt, without something regrettable in their past or make up. If we are to judge art it cannot solely rest on the predilections and foibles of the artist.

This reinforces the impressions I have of Messrs. Lovecraft and Howard: Lovecraft using purple prose to express the fears of his well-to-do contemporaries, the fear that all their entitled culture was to be torn away by perverted barbarian foreigners, that the universe could swat us like a fly and not even notice. Howard was more in favour of the scrappy underdogs who took what he wanted from the perfumed aristocrats.

Thanks for this interesting excerpt. REH’s letter dates to 5 December 1935. I haven’t seen the John Clute book you linked to, but the full Lovecraft/Howard correspondence has been published in an annotated edition as A Means to Freedom, available from Hippocampus Press.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.