Announcing: The All Has Read Project
With the rise in popularity of Lovecraftian icons and tropes in pop culture and entertainment—tentacled alien gods are showing up everywhere from Magic Cards, to the trailer for Stranger Things 2, to Monopoly—the foundational texts of cosmic horror are often misrepresented. The popular mythology built around Cthulhu and his nasty crew of monstrous deities is often attributed to the Great Old One’s inventor, H.P. Lovecraft, but the cephalopod-ish dragon on the front of a pack of cards is rarely representative of his true literary origins. As a nerd, a pessimist, and a recovering know-it-all, the general state of Lovecraft’s legacy irks me in the same way pedants get annoyed when jocks call their Halloween costume “a Frankenstein” when they're really dressed as Frankenstein's monster. That’s why I’ve decided to do something about it. That’s why I am starting The All Has Read Project.
Starting next week, on February 13, I will be writing about my experience as I undertake a task of unknowable consequence. I intended to read all of H.P. Lovecraft’s short stories and novellas, beginning with the works that comprise the author’s Arkham Cycle (where all the tentacles and gods and scary books came from). By writing my thoughts here on Everything Is Scary I hope I can bring a progressive, modern eye to the oft misrepresented texts, highlighting their import ideas and dragging some of Lovecraft’s bigger problems and hypocrisies out into that light (white supremacy, I'm looking at you). I want to dispel my own misconceptions about Lovecraft and the genre he helped inspire, comparing the author’s original ideas to their 21st century counterparts.
So here is how this is going to work: every two weeks I’m going to publish a reading diary of my thoughts on one of Lovecraft’s stories, comparing the content to art and entertainment from today that takes inspiration from it, modern re-interpretations of the material, my previously held misconceptions, and other entries in this digital forbidden book club. Since all of Lovecraft’s work is readily available to read online, I will be posting a link to the next story at the end of every entry, so you can read along with me. And I hope you do. I hop you join me as I dive into the fabled Necronomicon, never to emerge until all has been read.