Reading Lovecraft in an Era of Post-Truth

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    This essay investigates the work of H. P. Lovecraft via its relevance in our twenty-first century cultural moment, questioning the multivalent roles that fact, fiction, and evidence play in contemporary politics and myth-making. Our current era of “post-truth,” used to signify a new period in which objective truth is rejected and replaced with believably true fabricated narratives, draws surprisingly similar parallels to Lovecraft’s stories: “Nyarlathotep” depicts a wondrous demagogue figure that successfully manipulates belief in a stable reality, while novellas like "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" and The Mountains of Madness warn readers of cover-ups whistleblower narratives that reveal manufactured absences of truth. Thus, Lovecraftian tales serve as effective cautionary tales of humanity’s eventual geopolitical and environmental fate, helping us to understand and prepare for the mistakes of our very real and active present.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)91-103
    JournalAeternum: The Journal of Contemporary Gothic Studies
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


    • H. P. Lovecraft
    • Post-truth
    • Simulacra
    • Defactualization
    • Credibility

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