I was sitting in
And while I usually don't like transcribing long passages in this blog, I'll make a exception this time because I think if you've ever read Lovecraft, you'll see what I saw:
"Aside from those more obvious considerations touching Moby Dick, which could not but occasionally awaken in any man's soul some alarm, there was another thought, or rather vague, nameless horror concerning him, which at times by its intensity completely overpowered all the rest; and yet so mystical and well nigh ineffable was it, that I almost despair of putting it in comprehensible form. It was the whiteness of the whale that above all things appalled me. But how can I hope to explain myself here; and yet, in some dim, random way, explain myself I must, else all these chapters might be for naught."
Throw in a few more adverbs, and I bet your average reader couldn't tell who wrote that paragraph. All the elements of Lovecraft are there: the nameless horror, despair at relating those feelings into words, but compelled his experiences to mankind. So while Melville may never have been sited as an influence of Lovecraft, we can probably assume that at some point Lovecraft read Melville along with the other writers of the American Renaissance (including Melville's contemporary and friend Nathaniel Hawthorne), we could possibly argue that in some way, the tone and theme's of Moby Dick subconsciously infused their way into Lovecraft's writing.
I may be totally wrong here, or just a guy who reads too much, but I can now read Melville and Lovecraft in a whole new light, and learn to appreciate their work from a much deeper point of view.
Until Next Time...
(While my Lovecraft epitome was a coincidence this year, last year it wasn't. If you want to read more about my Lovecraft habit, you can read last year's blog 'Tis the Season.)