New England narratives: space and place in the fiction of H. P. Lovecraft

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Work on regionalist writers has emphasised the use of a specified geographical location and the deep authorial, emotional connection to that region--its physical environment, local characteristics, customs and idiosyncrasies (Inness and Royer, 1997: 4). Barton Levi St. Armand (1977) has described H. P. Lovecraft as a writer of weird fiction whose work takes on such "local-color significance" because of its use of specific locales in developing an atmosphere of malevolence (38). Alan Lloyd-Smith (2004), writing on modern adaptations of American Gothic fiction, has observed that some of Lovecraft's work could usefully be compared to William Faulkner's Southern Gothic in terms of their mutual focus on local customs and mindsets (117). I seek to explore these ideas more fully by directly examining two of Lovecraft's stories within a regionalist framework, arguing that the intricate blending of a personal experience of these real-life locations with a detailed fictional geography is fundamental to the success of his work. It supplies a degree of authenticity conducive to sustaining a convincing supernatural narrative.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-72
Issue number1
Early online date22 Mar 2007
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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