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The Monster in the Mirror: Looking for H. P. Lovecraft Paperback – January 1, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0976159278 ISBN-10: 0976159279 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Hippocampus Press; 1st edition (January 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976159279
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976159278
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,763,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By James Hissom on March 20, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While most of these essays have appeared in the Lovecraft Studies over the last c. 15 years, Waugh has added two completely new pieces at the end and substantial material to the older works. What makes this book so valuable amidst the articles and books generated by the lastest HPL vogue is the author's self-admitted new-critical orientation, i.e., close attention to imagery, diction and figurative language that became popular in college classrooms way back in the fourties and seems to have survived deconstruction, new historicism, etc., as a means of making sense of literature.
The result is essayism in the best sense: Waugh ferrets out image-patterns, cognate words and extended metaphors, finding analogies in mainstream western literature - everything from Sophocles to Ezra Pound - and ties his findings to a variety of non-dogmatic themes: Lovecraft's self-education, race, authenticity, shoggoths, Leopardi's poetry, biblical traditions, you name it. The prose in sometimes thick with allusions and rapid metaphorical leaps - if you were raised on critics like Empson and Blackmur, you'll feel at home - and often requires attentive re-reading.
But the effort is worth it: Waugh is streets ahead of the often reductive or method-driven recent work that wants to pin down Lovecraft's meanings to his "thought" as expressed in the letters and essays, or demonstrate how wonderfully his works (like everything else on earth) can be deconstructed. Waugh certainly has some strong interpretive positions - no one can read the central essays on "The Outsider" without having his/her views challenged - but the overall effect is that of a well-conducted, new-critical class discussion: a real openness to the work at hand that encourages new ideas rather than submission to the author's methodology.
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