English 177 - Winter, 2018

Study of an Individual Author

Topic: H. P. Lovecraft

Class Information

Instructor: Shershow, Scott
CRN: 53159
Time: TR 1:40-3:00
Location: 308 Voorhies


H. P. Lovecraft’s stories, in his lifetime (1890-1937), either went unpublished or appeared in “pulp” magazines such as Amazing Stories; and in 1945, just eight years after his death, the critic Edmund Wilson dismissed him as a “hack.” Today, by contrast, Lovecraft is recognized as one of the great American writers of horror, fantastic, or “weird” fiction. Lovecraft’s stories, some of them joining in what was later called a “Cthulhu Mythos,” a coherent imaginary universe, have inspired literally thousands of imitations, parodies, films, games, and graphic novels. In recent years, Lovecraft has also been regarded as an intellectual hero by some contemporary philosophers inspired by his nihilistic vision of an indifferent universe.

In this class, we will read the majority of Lovecraft’s stories and novellas, including such masterpieces of weird fiction as “The Call of Cthulhu,” “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” “At the Mountains of Madness,” and “The Shadow Out of Time."


Evaluation will be based on class participation, midterm and final exams, one shorter and one longer paper.


Tales (Modern Library Edition), H. P. Lovecraft