On 3 December I gave a talk at Treadwells on about how Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos – both in his hands and in those of his contemporaries and followers – had been a surprisingly potent influence on modern occultism. It seemed to go pretty well… for the first time ever, a talk of mine was both sold out and had a ticket waiting list!
Sadly, plans to video the talk fell through, but there was an audio recording made: you can listen to it here:
Quite a few of the audience asked for a list of footnotes and links for the stuff I referenced, so here we are.
First thing is the bit of research I didn’t get the chance to do… ST Joshi’s mammoth Lovecraft biography, I Am Providence, which looks fascinating. (I did read some of his shorter essays, though – start here.)
http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/09/ghostbusting-lovecraft A great thinkpiece on Ghostbusters as the most optimistic expression of the Mythos.
The HP Lovecraft Historical Society are at http://www.cthulhulives.org/
(This is where you can get the excellent Miskatonic University t shirt I wore, by the way.)
Their history: http://www.cthulhulives.org/whatisit2.html
The Michel Houellebecq HPL piece. http://www.theguardian.com/books/2005/jun/04/featuresreviews.guardianreview6
Official history of the tabletop roleplay game:
Alan Moore on his published and upcoming HPL comic books:
Plush Cthulhu history:
On HPL & the World Fantasy Award furore: http://www.elizabethbear.com/?p=2513
Me on True Detective and The King In Yellow: http://www.spiralnature.com/culture/hype/true-detective-flat-circle-chapel-perilous.html
As ever, one core aspect of my talk was Adam Possamai’s theories regarding Hyperreal religion. You can read my in-depth introduction to his ideas in the Darklore journal here:
My main source for the history of chaos magic and HPL’s influence was The History of British Magick After Crowley by Dave Evans: it’s not specific about the influence of Robert Anton Wilson on the original cohort, but his thought is clearly present.
If you haven’t done it already, read Wilson’s Cosmic Trigger: Final Secret of the Illuminati. If you have, then read it again. And if you ever get the chance, see the play.
If there’s any specific questions about the talk, please drop them in comments.