So, recently I've been re-reading Lovecraft's THE DUNWICH HORROR, which reminded me of a post I made about this story a good decade or so back. My parody was a bit unfair, as parodies often are, but I think it makes a valid point: that Lovecraft suffers as a writer of horror because he's too easily frightened. Here's the link:
A particular feature that stands out for me this time is Lovecraft's prose style. Lovecraft criticizes Wm Hope Hodgson for his prose, while committing eccentricities of style himself.
Here's what Lovecraft had to say about Hodgson' prose style:
. . . seriously marred by painful verboseness, repetitiousness, artificial and nauseously sticky romantic sentimentality, and an attempt at archaic language even more grotesque and absurd [than in WHH's earlier book THE BOATS OF THE "GLEN CARRIG"].*
So let's compare Hodgson's invented dialect, which succeeds in distancing his tale into a late 17th through early 18th century framework
And surely I sped forever through the dreadful hours, and went neither to the right nor to the left, neither did I strive to hide in the bushes nor to evade aught, for I knew that the Maid died slowly in mine arms, and there to be no more gain in life, save by speed, that I have her swift to the Mighty Pyramid to the care of the Doctors. And a great and despairing madness grew ever within me **
with Lovecraft's painful attempt to capture yankee hillbilly dialect
Up that in the rudbeyont the glen, Mis' Corey -- they'ssuthin' ben thar! It smells like thunder, an all the bushes an' little trees is pushed back from the rud like they'd a haouse ben moved along it. An'that ain't the wust, nuther. They's prints in the rud, Mis' Corey -- great raound prints as big as barrel-heads, all sunk daown deep like an elephant had ben along, only they's a sight more nor four feet could make.
Whatever these two texts' merits or otherwise in authenticity,*** I wd suggest that Hodgson's is far more readable.
And then there's Lovecraft's fondness for a few obscure words, such as eldritch, which have achieved the status of self-parody.
current reading: Stoker biography.
* [SUPERNATURAL HORROR IN LITERATURE, pages 59-60]
**[THE NIGHT LAND, THE COLLECTED FICTION OF [WHH] Volume Four page 365]
***Lovecraft did a much better job with the 18th century diction in THE CASE OF CHARLES DEXTER WARD, the best of all his 'antiquarian' tales