Jan 8th, 2018, Herbert West: Reanimator (Part I) by H.P. Lovecraft, The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft

As this piece is one of HPL’s longest but was originally published in serialized form, I figure breaking it into parts for the blog isn’t totally cheating.

Herbert West: Reanimator is the first story HPL wrote that explored the scientific ways in which a person might be brought back to life. It’s a recreation of Frankenstein’s monster, in many ways, but some scholars posit that HPL actually wrote this story as a parody of the “Zombie” tale, which he apparently despised as tropish and hackish in terms of literary merit. I can see his point, considering what the Zombie has become in popular culture today.

Part one of this story follows the narrator and Herbert West on their first try reanimating a corpse they pull from a fresh grave. It is made clear at the beginning of the piece that Herbert has disappeared. Then the accounts follow of why his disappearance may have happened, though not how. As the first part of a six-part story, this is a solid hook with a twist on the monster they attempt to create. While not applicable much to my own work inspired by HPL and EAP, perhaps it will grow in relevance as we delve farther in.

The one thing this piece does that is integral to HPL’s body of work, is introduce the institution of Arkham University, the place from which much of the horrors in HPL’s work seem to flow from.


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