Fish You Can’t Leave Behind: Deep Ones and Other Creatures as Symbols of Corruption in the Narratives of H. P. Lovecraft

In: Monstrous manifestations: Realities and the Imaginings of the Monster

The past as a source of conflict is a topic that permeates H. P. Lovecraft’s narratives. This chapter analyses the reasons for which the writer places such a strong emphasis on the past, the various strategies that he uses to transport the past to the present in his texts, and the ways the past reflects his phobias and obsessions. Special attention will be given to three of Lovecraft’s works: At the Mountains of Madness, ‘Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family’ and ‘The Shadow over Innsmouth.’ The novella is a clear example of how Lovecraft combines the history of a primitive alien species with the shape of his own racial views, whereas the other two tales explore the realm of the family heritage and its relation with Darwinism as well as, in a broader sense, the corruption of lineages.

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