BTW that's Don Kenn on the header, who's also brilliant. The combination of the two kinda bridges the gap between Edward Gorey and Aubrey Beardsley in my mind's eye.
Elsewhere Zak Smith said: lovecraft in his home era, when the urge to be purist is most intense, is profoundly antisocial and timeless and devoid of cultural markers. It's about people alone in featureless rooms with the landscape... It's like his language strips away so many signifiers of everyday life that it's at its best when dealing with only "eternal" things: a house, a desert, a field, a forest, a museum, an office. Nothing that has any chance of being dated.
Which I think of as "Call of Kafka" or, where the monsters really are up to something conspiratorial and it is society-must-be-defended, then Kafka of Cthulhu.
I would add another strand: for me, the mystery's the thing, but not really in the sense that now you have a puzzle to solve. CoC adventures where you actually do learn something about the True Nature of the Universe strike me as deeply problematic, partly because the monsters turn out to have human-readable motivations after all (what with being created by humans and all). I think my favourite resolution to a CoC mystery might be that you realise at the end of it that now you know less about the Mythos than you did before.
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