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In recent years, a small but significant number of H. P. Lovecraft's critics have begun to address the question of language in his fiction. Language has always been an issue with Lovecraft's detractors, and anyone familiar with his criticism knows the legacy of critiques of his verbosity and ambiguity. Lovecraft's early antagonistic reception in the world of critical scholarship was no doubt due in part to his deliberate affect of language and perhaps in part to the generally low opinion of "weird" fiction held by many critics. But it is less our intention to address those old discussions here than to help advance the front of a new one. In John Langan's postmodem, language-oriented article, "Naming the Nameless: Lovecraft's Grammatology," he delivers the argument that "Lovecraft's language in fact embodies the ideas that drive his fiction" (27). For the new inheritors of the Lovecraft critical tradition, language is the essential question of Lovecraftian texts, and the critical process of this generation should manifest itself in attempting to understand how that language operates. To that end, this essay offers a view of Lovecraft's texts through the ideological lens of Walter Benjamin.

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Lovecraft Annual