Lovecraft’s Anxieties

Lovecraft, in the beginning of The Call of Cthulhu, says “The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents…The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality…”. Lovecraft eloquently states an age old fear about science: that it will eventually open us up to such incredible and terrifying possibilities the likes of which will destroy us. The limitless expand of scientific inquiry still to be done is like outer space, and so it seems natural that from that void evil gods of madness and strange comets of alien color come from. The imagination, when set with anxiety, produces horrific scenarios and monsters, much like Lovecraft did in his novels. This anxiety, I feel, is over the advancement of science. However, he’s not wrong. The Cold War, with the threat of total nuclear annihilation a very real danger, is proof that advancements in science have an extremely powerful effect on the world, and may in fact one day destroy it.

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