Then I perceived with horror that I was growing too old for pleasure. Ruthless Time had set its fell claw upon me, and I was 17… Adulthood is hell.
One can’t write a weird story of real power without perfect psychological detachment from the human scene, and a magic prism of imagination which suffuses them and style alike with that grotesquerie and disquieting distortion characteristic of morbid vision. Only a cynic can create horror—for behind every masterpiece of the sort must reside a driving daemonic force that despises the human race and its illusions, and longs to pull them to pieces and mock them.
The best weird work of today (and that includes older figures like Ramsey Campbell, Thomas Ligotti, T. E. D. Klein, Dennis Etchison, and others) is increasingly read by only a coterie of cognoscenti and not by general public. I’m not sure what can be done about this; perhaps it is only a sign that, as Lovecraft wrote long ago, weird fiction in its essence is really only meant for the “sensitive few.”
It’s clear why reading Lovecraft is paradoxically comforting to those souls who are weary of life. In fact, it should perhaps be prescribed to all who, for one reason or other, have come to feel a true aversion to life in all its forms. In some cases, the jolt to the nerves upon a first reading is immense. One may find oneself smiling all alone, or humming a tune from a musical. One’s outlook on existence is, in a word, modified.