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Is there such a thing as "Lovecraftian" New England? Not really. There are a lot of fine old antiquities that can evoke curiosity, respect, and enjoyment of their beauty and their evocation of more civilized times. And if you visit places that were used in his stories, the memory of the story can lend an eerie atmosphere to what you see. But there is very little that is intrinsically sinister, and even less to remind you of the transdimensional alien beings that infest Lovecraft's tales. It is clear that the landscape of Lovecraft's stories is the expression mainly of his own moods, in which real places appear as real people do in our dreams, transformed by a logic beyond reason. In this sense he cannot really be classed as a regional artist, of the type that captures the life of a community. His gaze was always beyond familiar things toward the unknown. To tour Lovecraft's New England is to be forcibly reminded of what a great feat of imagination he really accomplished. The artist is the creator rather than the mirror of reality; and monuments of words can be more enduring than monuments of stone.

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Photo of HPL with Frank Belknap Long's cat Felis, from H. P. Lovecraft, Miscellaneous Writings

Copyright 1997, 2004 by Joseph Morales