Date: 2011-11-05 06:52 am (UTC)
golden_orange: trust me, i'm wearing a vegetable. (Default)
But I'm not just criticising him for being a racist, I'm criticising him because in this particular case he allows his racism to fundamentally affect the quality of his work (for me, anyway). Yes, lots of artists, writers, poets, politicians and scientists of the time may have held or even expressed views similar to Lovecraft's at the time, but like captain_ziggy says, they didn't all write stories in which someone's racial identity is supposed to be a shocking and horrifying plot-twist (even if something similar was a common fictional trope). You make a good and valid point about not applying modern standards to past situations, but that's not a 'get-out-of-criticism-free' card; I may indeed be applying a post-2000 mindset to a past work, but it's the only one I've got, and according to it "Medusa's Coil" is rendered completely absurd in a way I can't get past. So in that sense, yes, I fully believe that he deserves being pulled down on that score.

Though if we are going to approaching Lovecraft from the standards of the time, however (and you're right, it's not entirely fair to not consider the contemporary standards of the day) it's perhaps worth noting that according to various sources I've read even by the standards of his time many of Lovecraft's views on race were quite extreme.
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