Friday, March 2, 2007

Lovecraft's Adventurous Expectancy

For some reason or another, this has been on my mind, and I had to dig out my copy of The Annotated H. P. Lovecraft just for this footnote:
Adventurous Expectancy: A central element in Lovecraft's aesthetic of the imagination, and a concept to which he attached particular significance.

"What has haunted my dreams for nearly forty years is a strange sense of adventurous expectancy connected with landscape and architecture and sky-effects.... I wish I could get the idea on paper -- the sense of marvel and liberation hiding in obscure dimensions and problematically reachable at rare instants through vistas of ancient streets, across leagues of strange hill country, or up endless flights of marble steps culminating in tiers of balustraded terraces. Odd stuff -- and needing a greater poet than I for effective aesthetic utilisation" (Selected Letters, III, 100).
I know this feeling, the sensation that "there is something more" behind the veil of reality I work with on a daily basis. Mine isn't so much from "vistas of ancient streets," but through the way light will slant through the trees, or the way the night air in the summertime smells so cleaner right before dawn. This needs a greater poet than I.

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