[Milton-L] Miltonian references in HPL's works

Dario Rivarossa ilTassista dario.rivarossa at gmail.com
Mon Jun 13 09:30:51 EDT 2016

Dear friends and scholars

references -- either clear or hidden -- to the major sources of
western literature and culture are ubiquitous in Howard P. Lovecraft's
stories, from Homer, Dante, Shakespeare to Ambose Bierce, A. Conan
Doyle, E. A. Poe, Bram Stoker, Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Oscar Wilde,
not to speak of contemporary biology and anthropology (Darwin,
Haeckel, Frazer), astronomy / physics (Einstein, Planck, Heisenbeg),
and psychology (Freud), besides obviously the Bible. Incidentally,
most of these authors were personally and accurately read by the
Providence master since he was against "second-hand erudition."

As for Milton, hints at PL tended to become subtler, and more and more
interesting as the years passed.
Quite plainly, in "Dagon" (1917) the protagonist's terror "ran curious
reminiscences of Paradise Lost, and of Satan's hideous climb through
the unfashioned realms of darkness."
In "The Shunned House" (1924) the alien vampire can hardly be made
out, but is described as "all eyes." A reference to the apocalyptic
creatures in the Book of Revelation, or to the substance of (angels
and) devils according to Milton?
In one of his masterpieces, "The Whisperer in Darkness" (1930), a bust
of Milton appears twice -- Lovecraft himself kept a bust like that in
his library. The object is mentioned as it were casually, but imho it
clearly implies a coded warning to the protagonist, trying to remind
him of the devils who appear as insects in PL, that is the core
concept of the story.

ilTassista http://tassonomia.blogspot.it
co-artist with the Magic Trio http://tiziafra.wix.com/the-magic-trio

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