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The Monster in the Mirror:
Looking for H. P. Lovecraft

By Robert H. Waugh


Back Cover Text

During the past three decades, Robert H. Waugh has established himself as a leading scholar on H. P. Lovecraft. Bringing to the study of Lovecraft a remarkable breadth of knowledge in literature, aesthetics, history, and philosophy, Waugh has approached his subject with sensitivity and nuance. In this volume of his collected essays on Lovecraft, the reader will learn of the importance of documents in Lovecraft’s work; his provocative similarities to the Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi; and his fascination with underground horror, as exemplified in At the Mountains of Madness and other tales. In a trilogy of substantial essays, Waugh looks at Lovecraft’s seminal story “The Outsider” from a variety of critical perspectives. A concluding article probes the controverted issue of religion in Lovecraft’s life, thought, and writings. In all, the essays demonstrate that Lovecraft’s multifaceted work is a virtually inexhaustible treasure-trove for the scholar and analyst.

Robert H. Waugh is professor of English at the State University of New York at New Paltz. In addition to his articles on Lovecraft, he has written on David Lindsay, Samuel R. Delany, Arthur C. Clarke, and other science fiction writers. He is also a widely published poet.


  • Introduction
  • Part I: First Principles
    • Lovecraft’s Hands
    • Documents, Creatures, and History
  • Part II: Sorties
    • “The Picture in the House”: Images of Complicity
    • At the Mountains of Madness: The Subway and the Shoggoth
  • Part III: Meditations on “The Outsider”
    • “The Outsider,” the Terminal Climax, and Other Conclusions
    • Lovecraft and Keats Confront the “Awful Rainbow”
    • The Outsider, the Autodidact, and Other Professions
  • Part IV: Materialism, Theology, and Imagination
    • Lovecraft and Leopardi: Sunsets and Moonsets
    • Lovecraft Born Again: An Essay in Apologetic Criticism
  • Works Cited
  • Index

Bibliographic Information

The Monster in the Mirror: Looking for H. P. Lovecraft. By Robert H. Waugh. New York, NY: Hippocampus Press; 2006 & 2021; ISBN 0-9761592-7-9 (softcover); 306 pages.

Purchasing This Book

This book may be purchased in softcover from Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble or directly from the publisher, Hippocampus Press.

  Return to Literary Criticism This page last revised 2 March 2022.
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