Uncanny Memes in the Weird
The horror author infamously famous for his listless, gaunt, lantern-jawed face, H. P. Lovecraft is smiling. This picture is the only such one. The effect is uncanny. Weird it may be, it is not the rare occasion that horror geeks or slasher fans cannot help but ask themselves of the appeal in horror fiction. Is it just the gory scenes? Only cheap thrills compared to something far more hideous, a dread unfathomable to the richest of imaginations? An answer seems to be lurking behind Lovecraft’s enigmatic smile.
What connects Herman Melville and Henry James to H. P. Lovecraft, and through him, to John Carpenter, Ridley Scott, and video games? Is there a secret code hidden in the cypher of one of Sigmund Freud’s most elusive writings?