The strange book behind "True Detective"

That’s fair enough. I may go back to it.

AFTER I re-read the King in Yellow… :slight_smile:

That isn’t to say the show isn’t without issues. It’s two good ol’ boy cops in the South, set largely in the 1990s. Both have problematic relationships to women (or humanity) and objectify women. I think the writer of the show is well aware of this and using that as part of the backdrop.

Lovecraft had a racism problem too, though he was married to a Jewish woman. I consider it more a cultural product of the times they each lived in than an individual hatred.

Here they are:

Episode 315, The Repairer of Reputations, 1 of 2, by Robert W. Chambers

Episode 316, The Repairer of Reputations, 2 of 2, by Robert W. Chambers

Episode 347, The Yellow Sign, by Robert W. Chambers

Can’t find the earlier episodes…


uh… from the wiki page:

The series premiered on January 12, 2014

And now from the The Classic Tales Podcast.

Episode 347, The Yellow Sign, by Robert W. Chambers
03 January 2014 07:01

Now, I’m not a suspicious human, prone to bouts of conspiracy.

A man of his era and unable to see past its prejudices. That’s not exactly uncommon

Yeah,most authors reflected the casual racism of that era, but we tend to remember the ones who were more in the Abolitionist camp (Thoreau, Emerson, Darwin, Melville, Conrad, Twain) and that’s not just because of some post-modern academic PC conspiracy.

But we still love HL Mencken, because there’s one racist in every wood pile I guess. And even Edgar Rice Burroughs was crazy racist in his assumption that an inbred English lord orphaned in the jungle was so genetically superior to African tribesman that in battle Tarzan could brush them off like gnats.

I think John Carter was at least as dodgy as Tarzan for that. Still love 'em though, even though they’re pulp.

Don’t forget H Rider Haggard, too. And I remember being uncomfortable with Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop.

I haven’t had a chance to chase down the horror stories about Evelyn Waugh. But Roald Dahl’s friends said he wasn’t the rabid antisemite he’s supposed to be. Hemingway is still an asshole.

About ten years ago I read most of what I could find of Robert Chambers off of Gutenberg (or wherever), and was surprised at how little it connected to what I knew of the mythos of Lovecraft. My ears perked up when it turned up in True Detective, but apart from the fact that it’s been the two main characters turning themselves inside out, it’s just been a macguffin when it comes to the killer. Perhaps I’m misremembering the Chambers stories.

He listened, dully interested but already knowing the end.

Speaking of DG, I really loved how they handled the King in Yellow/Hastur mythos there. Probably my favorite part of the whole setting.

Absolutely – the idea of Hastur/KiY basically being an personification of entropy is brilliant.

Infinitely creepier than something ■■■■■ and squishy with too many tentacles and exclamation points.

This is exactly how I felt about it. Thankfully, I started watching before I knew about the KiY stuff. Having read KiY ages ago, it was a nice little surprise… BUT, that’s all it was. The show is still solid and watchable, but it’s not X-Files weird because of the KiY reference; no, it’s just a well-made cop show.

(I’m also getting overly saturated with our culture’s “anything Lovecraft” obsession. It’s tiring too see all Cthulhu tattoos and plushy dolls. Kinda misses the point of the books in my opinion. Oh well…)

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