Cthulhu is almost as famous, if not more famous, than Lovecraft himself. I guess there’s something oddly personable about an anthropomorphic squid-jellyfish-bat monster from outer space. So it’s probably worth pointing out that the first appearance and development of Cthulhu marks a turning point, maybe even a breaking point, in Lovecraft’s fiction. There are certainly continuities that run across the entirety of his writing; even his earliest stories feature people whose minds are torn apart by unthinkable truths, although sometimes this truth is nothing more than that one’s great-grandfather was actually a gorilla. Much of his early work, though, owes a massive debt to Poe and Dunsany.

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