I just finished a compilation of Lovecraft's stories. I'd never read more than one at a time and it quickly became obvious that, one, he recycled themes like a sidewalk panhandler and, two, he had a hatred for immigrants and a low opinion of blacks. In every story blacks appear as slaves and expendable fluff. In many stories he slanders all non-anglo saxons unmercifully.
Does this man deserve his cult like following and status as a great American writer? Personally, I think he's a racist hack and his stories, though disquieting, repetitive and badly written. The plots are full of holes and inconsistencies and his dialogue, though bizarre enough to be intriguing, is campy at best. Yet, his contribution prevails.
Remember that the wiew on other races was radically different in 1920's and 1930's than it is today.
Wonder how HP would have liked Obama for Prez ;)
In "The Call of Cthulhu" he writes of a captured group of mixed race worshipers of Cthulhu: “the prisoners all proved to be men of a very low, mixed-blooded, and mentally aberrant type. Most were seamen, and a sprinkling of negroes and mulattos, largely West Indians or Brava Portuguese from the Cape Verde Islands, gave a colouring of voodooism to the heterogeneous cult. But before many questions were asked it became manifest that something far deeper and older than negro fetishism was involved. Degraded and ignorant as they were, the creatures held with surprising consistency to the central idea of their loathsome faith.”
In a letter of January 23, 1920, Lovecraft wrote: “For evolved man — the apex of organic progress on the Earth — what branch of reflection is more fitting than that which occupies only his higher and exclusively human faculties? The primal savage or ape merely looks about his native forest to find a mate; the exalted Aryan should lift his eyes to the worlds of space and consider his relation to infinity!!!!”
In the short story "The Rats in the Walls," one of the narrator/protagonist's nine cats is named "Nigger-Man", after Lovecraft's own cat. “As I have said, I moved in on July 16, 1923. My household consisted of seven servants and nine cats, of which latter species I am particularly fond. My eldest cat, "Nigger-Man," was seven years old and had come with me from my home in Bolton, Massachusetts ..."