Separating the Artist from the Art: Reading and Adapting H.P. Lovecraft's Cosmic Horror Stories
This thesis examines the challenge of separating the artist from their art in the context of H.P. Lovecraft's (1890-1937) cosmic horror stories, taking into account the author's well-documented racism and the extent to which it permeates his work. By analyzing adaptations such as FromSoftware's 2015 video game Bloodborne and Matt Ruff's 2016 novel Lovecraft Country, the study explores how creators address Lovecraft's racist ideologies in their own narratives, and whether it is possible to disentangle these beliefs from the broader themes and motifs that define his oeuvre, and whether that is desirable. Through a combination of biographical analysis, thematic exploration, and ethical criticism, this thesis seeks to contribute to the ongoing debate surrounding the ethics of engaging with and adapting the work of morally compromised artists.
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