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A look at author H.P. Lovecraft

POSTED: May 31, 2014 9:00 a.m.
Joel Samuelson, Lory Kaun/Barrow County News

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Let’s talk about something called diversity.

No, nothing as important as ethnic diversity. This is a sports column and hardly the place for me to even begin to tackle something that complex and gritty.

Of course I mean diversifying your skills as an athlete and an all-around good person, but first...H.P. Lovecraft.

I’ve been reading a lot of this guy’s stuff lately. If you’ve never heard of him, he’s best known for being one of the earliest true horror writers.

If you enjoy people like Stephen King and...well...does anyone else even matter in modern horror? Like I was saying, if you enjoy Stephen King’s writing, you have Mr. Lovecraft to thank for being such an enormous influence on the bespectacled genius with goofy hair.

You can Google an image of him. I’ll allow it. Just come right back here when you’re done.

Either way, Lovecraft created some truly terrifying stories about the Cthulhu mythos and other creepy beasts and scary scenarios. That’s what he’s best known for.

What people may not know him for are his essays on literature and classical culture. Surprising, I know. I really would have thought that the casual reader would be more abreast of literary criticism from the early 20th century, but it turns out that they’re not.

Well I’ve been reading some of those essays lately, and I’m telling you about them now so you’ll be impressed by my erudite recreational activities. Call it egotism, call it a cry for help, I’m not particular. Either way, I’ve found them interesting.

One of the best pieces of advice that Lovecraft offers young writers is this: write as many different kinds of things as you can so that you’ll maybe discover what you’re good at.

If you want a great literary example of this, (oh, you say you don’t?) look no further than the famous playwright George Bernard Shaw. Shaw tried his hardest to become a novelist, but it never took. In short, his books were awful. Finally, he took to writing stage plays and became known as second only to Shakespeare.

In athletics, some people wake up one day and say, "Hey! I’m going to devote my life to football and nothing else."

There’s nothing wrong with devotion. Really. But if we’re so focused on one thing, we miss out on a world of opportunity.

This summer, here’s your assignment. Try something new. Never played beach volleyball? Give it a swing.

Never taken up surfing? Hang ten.

Parasailing? Maybe don’t do that one. It sounds dangerous.

Either way, take some chances this summer. Pick a few new sports or activities you’ve never done before, like my personal favorite, Cinco Magnifico. We’ll talk about it later.

Locking yourself into a little box can be a real tragedy. Just think. Without such diversity, the world wouldn’t have Happy Gilmore, and that’s a crying shame.

Then again...Blended.

 

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