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Re: "Lovecraft's Comfortable World"
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 22 September, 2020 12:45PM
OK, Dale. I'm going to clone off the Machen Super Thread now...

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: "Lovecraft's Comfortable World"
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 25 September, 2020 11:50AM
Dale Nelson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> Rather, he writes of beautiful things that he
> would like to "go to." The sunset draws him
> emotionally, psychologically ... I might say
> spiritually. He wants to be united to something
> of which the sunset is a sensory emblem. ...
>
> Again, he responds lovingly to the sight of
> architecture that is always old. ... So part of his response to the
> architecture that he does love is that it is
> redolent of the old, the bygone. Now I think it
> would be easy to relate this, too, to a spiritual
> desire, to a desire to go into a wider, better
> place than that of the common world. ...
>
> Lovecraft is resolutely anti-religious, but he
> manifestly does draw comfort from experiences of
> the beautiful that, it seems to me at least,
> probably relate to the spiritual or (overused
> word) the "mystical."


I agree. I have this impression too.

I think a more mundane explanation could be used, to the same effect. I think Lovecraft missed the days of his childhood, and therefore was a conservative. During the time his father, who was a business man, still lived, the family's economy was good: they all lived in a big nice house, with a library, they had servants, and on the backside was a yard and field with horses. But after his father's sudden early death, as H. P. grew, the family assets gradually dwindled.

My theory is, that people who look back upon their childhood with fondness, tend to be conservative. While people who mostly remembers poverty or misery, tend to be more liberal; they look for change, strive for compensation in life. This is of course a very general deduction, and I don't think it works consistently. And there are all kinds of combinations in background. So based on that, I guess a person may be conservative in some aspects, and liberal in other aspects.

A religious person may interpret Lovecraft's longing for beauty past the present and the common (which partly found satisfaction in magnificent sunsets hinting of dreamy beauty hidden below the horizon, in admiring classic architecture, from his historical excursion trips, in strolling the pastoral fields with their old cultured remains), as spiritual yearning. Lovecraft himself would likely have described it more scientifically in terms of subtle nerve stimuli applied to the brain, causing a pleasurable sensation. I embrace both perspectives, although they need not necessarily be related or be present simultaneously.

Re: "Lovecraft's Comfortable World"
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 25 September, 2020 01:46PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Dale Nelson Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> >
> > Rather, he writes of beautiful things that he
> > would like to "go to." The sunset draws him
> > emotionally, psychologically ... I might say
> > spiritually. He wants to be united to
> something
> > of which the sunset is a sensory emblem. ...
> >
> > Again, he responds lovingly to the sight of
> > architecture that is always old. ... So part of
> his response to the
> > architecture that he does love is that it is
> > redolent of the old, the bygone. Now I think
> it
> > would be easy to relate this, too, to a
> spiritual
> > desire, to a desire to go into a wider, better
> > place than that of the common world. ...
> >
> > Lovecraft is resolutely anti-religious, but he
> > manifestly does draw comfort from experiences
> of
> > the beautiful that, it seems to me at least,
> > probably relate to the spiritual or (overused
> > word) the "mystical."
>
>
> I agree. I have this impression too.
>
> I think a more mundane explanation could be used,
> to the same effect. I think Lovecraft missed the
> days of his childhood, and therefore was a
> conservative. During the time his father, who was
> a business man, still lived, the family's economy
> was good: they all lived in a big nice house, with
> a library, they had servants, and on the backside
> was a yard and field with horses. But after his
> father's sudden early death, as H. P. grew, the
> family assets gradually dwindled.
>
> My theory is, that people who look back upon their
> childhood with fondness, tend to be conservative.
> While people who mostly remembers poverty or
> misery, tend to be more liberal; they look for
> change, strive for compensation in life. This is
> of course a very general deduction, and I don't
> think it works consistently. And there are all
> kinds of combinations in background. So based on
> that, I guess a person may be conservative in some
> aspects, and liberal in other aspects.

Maybe.

I see it more as do you want things to change or remain the same *in the present*? Therefore, if a person came up out of poverty, or at least tight times, as I did, but manage to acquire some level of security beyond what one had in the past, they tend to want things to remain the same.

Similarly, one who grows up secure, loses that, they'd maybe want stuff to change.

But that's just how I see it, who knows?

>
> A religious person may interpret Lovecraft's
> longing for beauty past the present and the common
> (which partly found satisfaction in magnificent
> sunsets hinting of dreamy beauty hidden below the
> horizon, in admiring classic architecture, from
> his historical excursion trips, in strolling the
> pastoral fields with their old cultured remains),
> as spiritual yearning. Lovecraft himself would
> likely have described it more scientifically in
> terms of subtle nerve stimuli applied to the
> brain, causing a pleasurable sensation. I embrace
> both perspectives, although they need not
> necessarily be related or be present
> simultaneously.


I have a personal hypothesis on this phenomenon.

When viewing natural spaces that seem appealing, it conveys to the viewer, subliminally, the idea of possibility for personal improvement--here is a good hunting ground. Here I can farm, etc. There is no, or little, direct human competition.

Similarly, in seeing man-made artifacts, whether modern or ancient, it also subliminally conveys the idea of plenty--not natural plenty to be exploited, but social plenty that may be tapped into for benefit.

Not sure of any of this, though, still working thru it.

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: "Lovecraft's Comfortable World"
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 25 September, 2020 02:16PM
Sawfish Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> I see it more as do you want things to change or
> remain the same *in the present*? Therefore, if a
> person came up out of poverty, or at least tight
> times, as I did, but manage to acquire some level
> of security beyond what one had in the past, they
> tend to want things to remain the same.
>
> Similarly, one who grows up secure, loses that,
> they'd maybe want stuff to change.
>

Maybe, yes. Although I think our basic behavior and drive is formed very early in life. The earlier, the more deeply things are impressed upon us. (Actually, most of our behaviors we are already born with, according to astrology.)

Another important factor, is how we are socially brought up, if we are taught (or not) to struggle for personal advancement. What role models our parents play.
Then again, some seem suis generis, individuals rising out of nowhere. (But I suspect, if one digs deeper, there will some be important influences for these too.) Like CAS, for instance, just where the hell did all that imagination come from?! I can't see it but other than a supernatural phenomena.

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